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SRJC standout Logan Douglas has decisions to make

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Santa Rosa Junior College was just moving its baseball season into high gear when everything was suddenly shut down because of the coronavirus threat. Among the victims of the early shutdown was versatile second-year infielder Logan Douglas of Petaluma.

Many baseball fans in the local area remember Douglas as one of those Petaluma National Little League heroes who punched their ticket all the way to the United States finals of the World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in 2012. Douglas and his mates were the toast of the community back then, with their games featured on national television and shown on the big screen at the Boulevard Cinemas downtown.

Douglas was a key contributor back in the day when the Nationals got past a good Valley team that featured Spencer Torkelson and some exciting comeback wins over competitive San Ramon Valley as well. It was the second victory by Petaluma over San Ramon as the Petalumans had won the Nor Cal 11-year-old tournament a year earlier.

Douglas went on to play infield positions for the Petaluma Trojans under coaches Paul Cochran and Jim Selvitella in a high school career that ended in 2017 with a trip to the North Coast Section Division II playoffs and a 5-4 win over San Lorenzo on the road in the first round. Douglas hit the ball at an impressive .402 clip for the season and led the Trojans with 22 RBIs.

“Logan was a senior in my first year as head coach,” said Selvitella. “I could see that he was a no-nonsense player, and I designated him team captain. There was never a time when he wasn’t all business.”

The Trojan coach went on to help guide Douglas and other veteran players in summer competition as part of the Petaluma Leghorn program.

The proven Petaluma infielder has made even more strides since enrolling at Santa Rosa Junior College. He whacked the ball at a .331 clip in 40 games last season for the Bear Cubs and drove in 22 runs against advanced pitching in the competitive Big Eight Conference.

This season, his power numbers have improved with three home runs and 28 RBIs in a shortened season as the Bear Cubs raced to a gaudy 18-2 record before the CCCAA brought down the curtain because of the threat of the virus.

With the local sports landscape virtually non-existent, SRJC has the unique issue of looking for a place for its second-year baseball players to land. Coach Damon Neidlinger has an option of offering another season of eligibility to those who might want to stay.

What about players like Douglas who have proven themselves at every level of the game? One more year at Santa Rosa might not seem practical for players who have posted such good numbers. He hasn’t skipped any spot along the way. A .300 batting average for a good fielding infielder might be a priority for a four-year school that may have lost some key players to graduation, pro-signing or transfer.

Neidlinger acknowledged that Douglas is a good junior college infielder and that there might be a spot on a Division I roster for him. The Santa Rosa coach was extremely cautious, however, because of the extended eligibility given to college players at all levels.

“A lot depends on scholarship money available to schools that might be interested in Logan,” he said. “There is no question that Logan loves baseball and he has been a very hard worker.”

These are not ordinary times, however. Many days may pass before decisions as to where to go to school are made, and baseball is only part of those decisions.

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