The Del Norte Warriors enjoyed a team-bonding trip to Chico over the weekend, as they took full advantage of a bye in league play.
Despite having two of their four scheduled games canceled, the Warriors got to play twice while also taking in a Chico State and Cal State East Bay baseball game and touring the Chico State campus together.
“It was a good experience for us,” first-year head coach Brandon Coborn said. “This was about more than just baseball. It was our way of creating these memories for these boys.”
The Warriors also enjoyed some success on the field, as they get set for their league opener at home to a red-hot Fortuna team on Wednesday.
They opened the road trip with a big seventh-inning rally in a 5-4 win against Las Plumas on Friday, before closing out with a 10-3 loss to a good Chico High team on Saturday.
The loss was the first since opening day for the 5-2 Warriors.
Trailing 4-3 heading into the seventh inning against Las Plumas, the Del Norte boys scored a pair of runs on an Ethan Thomas sac fly and a Brody Mattz single to take the lead, and that would prove to be enough.
“It was exciting to see,” the head coach said. “In the game against LP we were down the whole game and able to chip away and chip away, and when the game got to the seventh we were able to win.
“It really showed we’ve got a lot of fight in our ball club.”
Sophomore Aiden Rice led the way at the plate while hitting ninth in the lineup and finished 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and three runs, while Mattz was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.
Saxon Taylor also had a two-RBI double in the fifth to keep his team in contention, while the ever-dangerous Thomas was 1-for-2 with a pair of RBIs.
Rice got the start on the mound and threw two hitless innings, while allowing one earned run on two walks, with Mattz and Thomas pitching in relief.
Thomas got the win after pitching three hitless innings to close out the game, while striking out six and giving up no walks.
They were, however, unable to carry that momentum into Saturday’s clash against a Chico team that is the best the Warriors have faced this season.
“They played well, but Chico High is definitely the best lineup we’ve seen from top to bottom,” Coborn said.
William Bommelyn was 2-for-4 with a run in the loss, while Mattz finished 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Taylor and Cole Blackburn each also had a hit, with the latter also driving in a run and playing a key role defensively in both games.
“Cole Blackburn played exceptional defense at third base all weekend,” Coborn said.
Preston Daniels got the start on the mound and threw three innings, with Bommelyn and Blackburn pitching in relief.
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