Warriors look to bounce back at Shasta tournament

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – Ethan Thomas delivers a pitch during Saturday’s doubleheader.

The Del Norte Warriors will try to put three tough losses behind them when they open play at the Shasta tournament on Tuesday.

The Warriors lost all three games in their league-opening series against Fortuna, including a tough 3-2 loss in game three on Saturday on a walk-off.

The Del Norte boys also lost game one of Saturday’s doubleheader 6-4.

“That last inning was tough,” head coach Brandon Coborn said after watching his players give up the game-winning run on a Matt Letter walk-off base hit after committing back-to-back errors. 

Overall, however, the Warriors were competitive in both games against the league leaders, who have won five straight games.

“I felt we really competed (on Saturday),” Coborn added. “I felt we were in both ball games. Our pitching kept us in it. But we had six errors and the hits just weren’t falling for us.

“The errors cost us, but I’m proud of the boys. We competed in game one and in game two.”

The Fortuna pitchers frustrated the Del Norte bats all day and held them to just six hits over the two games.

In game one, Brody Mattz finished 1-for-3 with a pair of RBIs, while Saxon Taylor was 1-for-3 with an RBI.

Junior Collin Tromble had a breakout performance in game two, finishing 2-for-3 with a double, while freshman Kanyon Starkey got his first-ever varsity hit and was 1-for-2, with Cole Blackburn finishing 1-for-3.

Tromble’s performance was particularly noteworthy and gratifying.

“It was real good to see him go out there and perform well for us today,” Coborn said of the utility player. “He’s been working hard in practice and has grown into his role.”

Ethan Thomas got the start on the mound in game one and pitched four innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits and three walks and striking out four.

Mattz got the start on the mound in game two and pitched 4.1 solid innings, allowing just one earned run on five hits and one walk, while striking out four, with Blackburn taking over in relief and getting a “tough-luck” loss, according to his coach.

Blackburn struck out five in 1.2 innings, allowing just one unearned run on one hit and one walk.

Saturday’s doubleheader was switched from Fortuna to St. Bernard’s at the last minute because of field conditions and Coborn gave a shoutout to SB coach Matt Tomlin for making the field available and allowing the two teams get the games in.

The Warriors, who are now 6-5 overall, will try to get back on track against Red Bluff on the opening day of the Shasta tournament, with Willie Bommelyn getting the start on the mound.

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