Grizzlies earn 5-2 win in game two of doubleheader
A win can do wonders for a team’s confidence.
Del Norte Grizzlies pitcher A.J. Briganti receives a high-five from head coach Eric Enos after he struck out three straight Eureka Falcon batters on Thursday in Crescent City. Del Norte split against Eureka. They lost 8-3 in game one and then won 5-2. For more photos, go to triplicate.com/photos. The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
The young Del Norte Grizzlies American Legion baseball team, which has struggled so far this season, earned a 5-2 victory against the Eureka Falcons in Crescent City on Thursday in the second game of a doubleheader. The Grizzlies lost the first contest 8-3.
Before Thursday’s win, all three of Del Norte’s previous victories had come against the same team, Southern Humboldt.
A huge factor in the victory was the play of pitcher A.J. Briganti, who threw seven strikeouts, including striking out three straight batters, while giving up six hits.
“It builds more confidence for us,” Briganti said about the win. He added that his pitches were working well for him on Thursday.
“I mixed up all my pitches and I was able to keep them off balance,” he said.
Del Norte is now 4-11 for the year.
Head coach Eric Enos said that it was wonderful to see the team play to their abilities and finally hit the ball well. They also kept errors down, which has been a problem all season, and made only one in game two.
“It’s big,” he said. The victory shows the team what they are capable of, Enos said. Regardless of the struggles this season, Enos said he has been proud of the resolve his squad has displayed.
Tim Drafahl of the Del Norte Grizzlies gets ready to throw the baseball on Thursday. The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
“These kids are always still out there battling,” he said.
In the first game, Enos said the major reason for the loss was not capitalizing on scoring chances, with Del Norte leaving 15 runners on base for the contest.
“We didn’t hit well in key situations,” he said.
In game two, the Falcons took a quick 1-0 advantage.
The Grizzlies came right back and did a great job hitting the ball and took a 2-1 advantage after one inning.
In the fourth inning, Isaac Sanders led off with a double that landed in center field. Later, Jonathan Fertig drove in a run on an error by the Eureka shortstop to extend the lead to 3-1.
By the seventh inning, the Grizzlies had a comfortable 5-1 lead, and despite giving up a home run, held on for the victory.
Sanders finished the game 3-for-4 with two doubles. In the first contest Curtis Paulson was 2-for-4 with a run and Fertig was 1-for-2 with a run and an RBI.
Out of six at-bats in both games, Luke Seats did a good job getting on base by drawing five walks.
Enos said it is a very young team this season, with only one player over 18, compared to the majority of the teams they face who are much older and more experienced.
He said that they are still learning the game but with this win, they have shown that they have the potential to do well.
The squad also has suffered a number of injuries, and it was without one of its best hitters, Joey LeFebvre, on Thursday due to a hip pointer. Enos hopes to have him back soon.
On Saturday the Grizzlies will face Grants Pass, Ore., at Brookings-Harbor High School in doubleheader action. The first game begins at 2 p.m. Six members of the Grizzlies are from the Brookings area and this gives them a chance to play in their hometown, Enos said.
“It’s important for us to do that for them,” he said.