After ending a six-year playoff win drought earlier in the week, the Del Norte Warriors made it two North Coast Section victories in just four days in an exciting showdown in Alameda on Saturday afternoon.
Playing in the North Coast Section Division-4 bracket, the No. 7 seeded Warriors upset the odds at No. 2 St. Joseph Notre Dame and came away with a 5-4 win.
The Del Norte boys scored all five of their runs in the top of the third inning to overturn an early 0-2 deficit, and then held on down the stretch despite allowing the home team pull within one in the bottom of the seventh.
After winning just once in a nine-game spell back in April, the red-hot Warriors have now tasted victory in seven of their last nine games and will head into next week’s NCS semifinal at Arcata with plenty of confidence and momentum.
“The stage didn’t seem like it was too big for them” head coach Brandon Coborn said of this senior-heavy team. “Our schedule throughout the year prepared us for this.
“The guys were really relaxed and they played with great energy today. And we didn’t allow our mistakes to come back and hurt us.”
Collin Tromble got the party started in the top of the third with a base hit and the Warriors quickly loaded the bases on a Cooper Maxwell walk and an Aiden Rice hit-by-pitch.
Saxon Taylor then singled to give the visitors runners at first and third, before Brody Mattz drove in a fourth run on fielder’s choice.
Cole Blackburn capped the big inning with an RBI single to score Taylor a few minutes later.
Ethan Thomas got the start on the mound and threw five strong innings.
The senior standout gave up two hits and six walks, while striking out nine, before Blackburn came in and got the save with two hitless innings.
“Ethan Thomas threw a hell of a game, and our bulldog Cole Blackburn was able to come in and shut the door for us,” Coborn said.
Bommelyn finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run; Taylor was 2-for-4 with a run; Mattz was 1-for-3 with an RBI; Thomas was 1-for-3; Blackburn was 1-for-3 with an RBI; Tromble was 1-for-3 with a run; and Rice was 1-for-2 with a run.
Maxwell also had a big game behind the plate and “called a great game” for the pitchers, as he has been doing for much of the season.