By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
With the season on the line, the Del Norte High baseball team came through when it mattered most, winning both of its games at Fortuna on Saturday to keep its playoff hopes alive.
In the first contest, the Warriors defeated the Huskies 10-5. In game two, Del Norte came away with a 11-5 win.
"I felt we were playing much more controlled the whole time," head coach Pablo Lorenzi said. "It was a nice feeling."
Now, the Warriors have the potential to earn a possible playoff berth in the Northcoast section playoffs. Del Norte plays McKinleyville at home on Wednesday. The game is set for 4 p.m. at the high school.
Lorenzi believes if his team wins the game, they have a good shot at getting a playoff berth Â– if not, the season is likely over.
If the Warriors win on Wednesday, Lorenzi said he will head down to the Bay Area when the playoff standings are announced on Sunday to make a case for Del Norte.
"We have nothing to lose and everything to gain," Lorenzi said about the match against the Panthers.
Currently, Del Norte is in fourth in the Big 5 with a 5-6 league mark and is 11-11 overall. McKinleyville is second at 7-4 and 12-11 overall. Eureka is in first with a 7-3 mark and Arcata is third at 6-3.
In the second game on Saturday, Del Norte proved it could get the clutch hits to win the game.
With the score 5-1 in the fourth, Fortuna came back to tie the game at five. In the fifth inning, senior Justin Yslas hit a crucial home run to give the Warriors a 7-5 lead.
Yslas said the squad knew they had to step it up on Saturday.
"We were trying to come up with big hits," he said. "We knew that if we don't win our last three games our season is over."
Lorenzi said getting needed hits has been a problem at times this season and has hurt the Warriors in games, such as the two losses against Arcata the week before, when Del Norte had the chance to make key hits to take control of the game, but failed to do so.
"They came back, but we were able to hit the ball," Lorenzi said, adding he was proud of the way his team played in all facets of the game.
In the first game on Saturday, Kyler Davis went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. Joey Yeoman was 2-for-5 with two runs and Evan O'Brien went 1-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs. He also was the starting pitcher and pitched five innings, giving up four runs and had four strikeouts.
In the second game, Kevin Walsworth pitched four innings, giving up only two hits and had seven strikeouts. He also was strong at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two doubles, three runs and two RBI's.
Yslas went 2-for-4 with a home run, two runs and two RBI's.
Davis went 1-for-3 with a run and two RBI's. Ross Bertolini went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.