It’s back to baseball on Thursday for the Eureka Loggers, who will try to move on from the recent firing of head coach Jackie Christensen when they open a key three-game series against Arcata.
Christensen was let go in bizarre circumstances on Saturday despite leading the team to a 10-3 record this spring and having his players in contention for the Big 5 championship.
The news was met with disbelief throughout the local baseball community, especially considering the Loggers are on a seven-game winning streak.
Just as surprising has been the lack of explanation for the move given to the coach or the public at large, with school Athletic Director Kristie Christiansen still not giving a reason for the firing.
Either way, the Eureka players will turn their attention back to baseball on Thursday when they travel to Arcata for a single game at 4 p.m.
The game will also be the first at the Arcata Ball Park this spring.
Both teams are in the thick of an exciting race for the league championship, with two big series scheduled over the next nine days that will decide the title.
And all three teams involved will fancy their chances.
Arcata is 7-2 in the Big 5, with both losses coming against McKinleyville, which is 8-1, while the Loggers are 6-0 but still have to play both of those teams three times.
Arcata and Eureka play three times this week, including a doubleheader at Eureka on Saturday, but no matter what happens in that series, the league title won’t be decided until next week’s big series between Eureka and McKinleyville.
Eric Giacone, the assistant AD at Eureka, will take over as head coach of the Loggers for the remainder of the season.
And Christensen is hoping his players can continue to perform in his absence.
“It’s not over for them,” he said. “They’ve still got to go and get it done. I wish them the best.”
Ray Hamill writes at humboldtsports.com, where you can read lots more about sports in Humboldt County.