Several players step up as Warriors return to winning ways

File photo – Del Norte’s Eddie Velazquez had a breakout game against Hidden Valley on Friday.

The Del Norte Warriors got a boost as they get set to resume league play next week with a big 10-1 win over Hidden Valley in Crescent City on Friday.

The victory capped a busy week for the Del Norte boys, who ended a five-game losing streak with a tie against Etna at the Shasta tournament on Thursday before returning to winning ways against Hidden Valley.

“We took care of the baseball, and that was really good to see,” said head coach Brandon Coborn, whose team committed just one error on the day. “And we also took advantage of the other team’s miscues.”

Lead-off hitter Willie Bommelyn had a big day as he continues to play a pivotal role in his senior season, while sophomore teammate Eddie Velazquez had a breakout game.

Bommleyn went 2-for-4 with an RBI, a run and four stolen bases, and also pitched two strong innings in relief to help secure the win.

It was the busy Bommelyn’s third pitching appearance this week after returning to the mound this season for the first time since before high school.

“Willie Bommelyn, especially this past week, has been the prototypical lead-off hitter for us,” the head coach said. “He finds ways to get on base, and when he gets on base he uses his speed.

“And it’s been really fun to watch him play. He’s really grown into his role on the mound. He has continued to get better and better.”

Velazquez , meanwhile, went 2-for-3 with two runs, and he appears to be picking up his game at an opportune time.

“It’s been a little bit of a rough spring for him and it was really good to see him get his first hits of the season,” Coborn said. 

Cole Blackburn also was instrumental in the victory, finishing 1-for-4 with a pair of runs and pitching the opening five innings for the win on the hill.

Blackburn, who his coach described as a “bulldog,” gave up just one earned run on four hits and three walks and struck out five.

File photo – Willie Bommelyn

“He really goes out there and he’s a huge competitor,” Coborn said. “It’s really fun to coach a player like that.”

Mason Borges also had an impact at the plate and finished 1-for-1, while Brody Mattz was 1-for-3 with a run and Kanyon Starkey was 1-for-4 with a run.

Borges, a junior infielder, has been dealing with an injury, but came off the bench for his first hit of the season as well.

The Warriors, who improved to 7-7-1, will play at McKinleyville in a Big 5 showdown on Wednesday, weather permitting.

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