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Del Norte’s bats come alive against Bruins

Del Norte High senior Josh Barriga and the Warriors scored 13 runs on eight hits Wednesday night in a 13-2, five-inning victory over Brookings-Harbor High.
Del Norte High senior Josh Barriga and the Warriors scored 13 runs on eight hits Wednesday night in a 13-2, five-inning victory over Brookings-Harbor High. WesCom News Service / Jef Hatch
Frustrated with its performance at the plate in a Monday loss to Brookings-Harbor High, the Del Norte High baseball team used Tuesday’s practice to make amends in time for Wednesday’s rematch.

“All we did was really hitting,” junior shortstop Nathan Porter said. “We came out aggressive today. No one was sitting back.”

Seven Del Norte batters combined on eight base hits in a 13-2, five-inning rout of the visiting Bruins Wednesday evening at Del Norte High School.

“A lot of hits today — that’s what we needed, a confidence-builder,” said Warriors coach Travis Johnson of the team’s first win since May 4, 2011.

Porter was the lone Del Norte player with multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with a double and four RBI.

Seniors Lane Japp and Garrett Pease, junior Josiah Johnson, sophomores Wesley McGuirt and Cole Bellatti and freshman Austin Healy each picked up hits for the Warriors. Johnson had a two-run double; Healy, McGuirt and Steven Maready also recorded an RBI.

Brookings-Harbor drew first blood, scoring runs in the first and second innings for an early 2-0 lead. The Del Norte bats came alive in the bottom of the second inning, with back-to-back two-run doubles by Johnson and Porter capping a six-run inning.

“Everybody’s batting choices were a lot better,” Porter said. “(Early on) it was like, ‘Are we going to go through this again?’ Everybody stepped up.”

The Warriors (1-1 overall) tacked on two runs in the fourth and five runs in the fifth as Travis Johnson emptied the Del Norte bench. 

Sophomore Jonathan Calderon and junior Chris Bay both reached base in the fifth inning on Brookings-Harbor (1-1 overall) fielding errors and proceeded to score on a wild pitch and a past ball, respectively.

Five of the first six batters in the fifth inning reached base for the Warriors; all would score. McGuirt, Bellatti and Porter each singled in runs; sophomore Matthew Coopman hit a sacrifice fly.

Healy allowed two runs and struck out two batters in two innings, picking up the win in his first varsity start. Calderon struck out four in two innings of relief, and senior Dylan Pease pitched a scoreless fifth inning to close out the game.

“That’s two games in a row they did awesome,” Johnson said of his pitchers. “Our pitchers know they’ve got a good defense behind them. They can make a mistake.”

The Warriors travel to Eureka on Saturday for a doubleheader at St. Bernard’s Catholic High beginning at 11 a.m.

Reach Robert Husseman at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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