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Grizzlies open season today

 

Nate Bruder of the Del Norte Grizzlies, right, tags out a runner during a game last season. Today the American Legion team opens the season at home against Northern Humboldt in doubleheader action. (The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson)
 

Face Northern Humboldt at home starting at 2 p.m. in doubleheader action


Head coach Eric Enos has high hopes for summer success for the Del Norte Grizzlies American Legion baseball team.

The squad returns several veterans as well as a few promising newcomers, which Enos hopes bodes well for the new season, which begins at home today.

“I feel good about our progress,” he said. “I’m excited about this team.”

A strong suit, Enos said, will be with the pitching. Around 10 out of the 14 team members  have the ability to pitch for the Grizzlies. This includes several players Enos is looking at for  the No. 1 pitchers spot.

As a coach, he said it’s quite nice to have such a deep pitching staff to turn to.

“It’s a luxury to have so many pitchers,” he said.


The field includes Kevin Walsworth, a Del Norte High 2007 graduate who pitched for  the College of the Redwoods this past season; Evan O’Brien, a 2008 Warrior grad who plans to play for Shasta College next season, and Logan Lesina, who was the No. 1 pitcher for Del Norte High this spring and also plans to play at Shasta.

Enos said the team has been working hard in practices on their hitting, and he believes they are improving. Last year, the Grizzlies finished the season 13-21.

The key, Enos said, is for his squad to play good, fundamental baseball, capitalizing on other teams’ mistakes and limiting the errors his squad makes, especially on defense.

The players range in age from 16 to 19 years old.

Other players who are returning this year are Kyler Davis and Joey Yeoman, who both played for Del Norte last season.

Yeoman said it’s exciting to play baseball again this summer.

When asked what he likes about the sport, Yeoman replied “Everything. It’s my life.”

 He added he has liked the dedication and focus the team has shown so far. “We’re all playing as a team,” he said.

A newcomer to the squad this year is Travis Stacey, who recently turned 16.

A starter at first base for Del Norte High this spring, Enos  believes he will be a solid contributor this season.

Stacey said he is excited to finally be able to play for the Grizzlies this summer.

He said the players, many who he played with this spring  with the Warriors, have been welcoming and said the team is ready to do well and said the team is striving to have a memorable season.

Enos said Del Norte High three-sport standout Cody Hoffman is planing to try his hand at baseball for the Grizzlies. Hoffman has not played  competitive baseball for several years. 

He is heading to BYU on a football scholarship this fall. Enos said Hoffman has good potential as a baseball player and said he believes he can do well, both in the outfield and as a hitter.

While it will take him time to get adjusted to a new sport, Enos believes he will eventually “be in the mix” as a starter.

This season, Enos will be assisted by coaches Bobby Barrett, Sean Lesina and Bruce Stacey.

 The season begins today with a home doubleheader against  Northern Humboldt. The first game begins at 2 p.m. at the high school baseball field.

On Sunday, the Grizzlies take on Southern Humboldt in doubeheader action starting at 11:30 a.m. at Del Norte High School.

Enos said he believes the team has the potential to have a winning record this year and be competitive in a tough division.

This season will include a wooden bat tournament in the Spokane, Wash., area that begins for five days starting on July 1.

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