By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
On Monday afternoon, the Del Norte High varsity baseball squad enjoyed a nice, sunny day of practice.
So far this year, days like this have been few and far between for the Warriors.
Previously, the team has had little opportunity to take the field due to wet and rainy weather the past several weeks.
Head coach Pablo Lorenzi said this was only the third time they were able to practice outdoors.
With the team opening the season on Friday at a tournament in Red Bluff, he said it has been a challenge to properly evaluate the players. While practices have occurred indoors, it's harder to evaluate and work with players in a smaller, more enclosed space ¬Ė especially the pitchers.
"It's been extremely difficult," Lorenzi said, adding the coaching staff will use the Red Bluff tourney as a chance to work on lineups and figure out players that can potentially make an impact.
Not seeing the players practice consistently on the baseball field has made it very hard for the coaches to know exactly what type of team they have this year, and in what ways individual players can do to help the squad.
"For us, it's a chance to see where we're at," Lorenzi said about the Red Bluff tournament. "It's been hard to determine who going to contribute right now."
Overall, Lorenzi has been pleased with the dedication of his team and the hard work they have put in the past month to get ready for the season, despite the limitations of being unable to practice the majority of the time outside.
"They've been doing what they have to do to get ready," he said.
This is the first year since 2002 that Lorenzi has coached the boys varsity squad.
Previously, he led the Warriors to league titles and the North Coast Section playoffs in 1997 and 1998.
He coached the girl's softball team, which his daughter was a member of after the 2002 baseball season. Last year was the first time in several years Lorenzi had not been a coach in some capacity.
This year, he decided to return to the baseball diamond after a group of parents asked if he would coach the varsity baseball team again.
"I enjoy working with the kids," he said.
The Warriors first game will be against Red Bluff Friday evening. The squad will play two games on Saturday. The team's first home game will be on Mar. 14 against Brookings at 4:30 p.m.