Del Norte uses big inning to beat Arcata 8-1, grab late lead in the league title race

The Del Norte baseball team was rolling in all phases of the game on Wednesday night as the top two teams in the Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 standings battled in Arcata. The Warriors came out with an 8-1 victory to improve to 7-3 in the conference standings while Arcata falls to 6-4.

Steven Maready got the start and the win for Del Norte, throwing seven innings and allowing one run on seven hits, three walks and three strikeouts. Maready also got plenty of help from his teammates.

"He threw a great game," said Del Norte head coach Travis Johnson. "Even when they did hit it off of him, our defense made several double plays today to just kill the inning. It was an all-around good defensive day."

While the Del Norte defense came out firing, the offense needed a couple innings to get warmed up.

"It was basically four innings of solid defense," Johnson said. "We just kept going back and forth until Arcata got one run in the fourth inning. After that we blew it open."

Del Norte scored all eight of its runs in the fifth inning after all nine batters in the lineup reached base safely before the first out was recorded.

"We had a couple bunts for hits, we had a couple where we beat the play out at first and we had two doubles in that inning," Johnson said. "We earned the runs. We were really scoring in bunches there for a while."

Austin Healy, Jonathan Calderon and Maready all hit two-RBI doubles in the fifth inning and Nathan Porter knocked in another run. Every Warrior except Maready scored in the inning.

The win puts Del Norte in a strong position to capture a conference championship. The Warriors have two games remaining, both against Arcata in Del Norte on Friday .

"Winning that game down there in their home field was huge," Johnson said. "Now we put the pressure on them to have to come up to our town and win up here. It was a big game."

Del Norte got a little bit of help from Eureka, which beat Fortuna on Wednesday. Now the Warriors have to win one of the two games in the doubleheader on Friday to capture the HDN title.