Warriors rebound with big fourth inning en route to 4-1 win over Fortuna

The Del Norte baseball team put themselves into an early hole, but the Warriors used defense and pitching to shut down the Huskies and escape Fortuna with a 4-1 victory.

Del Norte committed a throwing error in the first inning that allowed Fortuna to pick up an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. After that, the Warriors defense locked down.

"We looked good. Our defense was great, (Jonathan Calderon) pitched a heck of a game," said Del Norte head coach Travis Johnson. "When they did get on base, we turned double plays and made all kinds of good plays defensively. The kids played great."

Like the defense, Calderon got off to a shaky start, hitting a batter and laboring through a 21-pitch first inning as the Huskies grabbed the lead. He bounced back with an efficient eight-pitch second inning and needed only eight pitches again in the fourth and fifth innings.

Calderon scattered seven hits through seven innings, striking out one hitter and hitting one batter. The only run was unearned.

The Del Norte offense waslargely held under wraps until the fourth inning. Senior catcher Josiah Johnson drew a lead-off walk and made it to second on a single by senior shortstop Nathan Porter. Calderon then tied the game with a single, and senior second baseman Chris Bray gave the Warriors the lead with a 2-RBI double. Two batters later, senior outfielder Casey Nelson drove in the game's final run with another single.

"We played lots of small ball, we had hit-and-runs, everything was executed to perfection in that inning," Johnson said.

The win, the Warriors' fifth in as many games this season, is the first in the Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 this season.

"It means a whole lot. It is a confidence builder, the kids were excited," Johnson said. "They played hard and they didn't give up. You could tell that it is not going to be the only game that they are going to win. They are really on right now."

With a 1-0 record, Del Norte grabs an early lead in the conference race as the only undefeated team left.

The Warriors will be back on the road on Saturday for a double header against McKinleyville. The Panthers were 0-2 in the conference prior to Wednesday's game at Eureka.