By Josh Bronson
Pilot staff writer
A pair of runs in the fourth inning wasn't enough to take down the Del Norte Warriors as the Bruins fell 3-2 Thursday afternoon.
The Bruins (6-3) and the Warriors (6-5) started the game in a defensive battle, with neither team scoring until the fourth inning.
In the first inning, after allowing the first two batters to get on base, starting pitcher Fred Corpening forced the Warriors to hit into a double play.
Derek Nelson made a nice play at third base, taking the ground ball and stepping on third for the first out and then slinging the ball to first to get the second.
The Warriors turned in a few impressive defensive stops of their own.
In the third inning, Anthony Longo hit a shot to right center that looked like it would drop, but center fielder Chad Freeman made the catch on the run and then threw out Ryan LaThorpe who slipped and couldn't make it back to first base in time.
Although Corpening couldn't keep runners off the bases, he was able to keep them from getting home and didn't allow a run in the three innings he pitched.
The Warriors got on the board first with a pair of runs in the fourth inning off of the new Bruin pitcher, Nelson.
But the Bruins answered right back in their half of the inning with two runs of their own.
Corpening started off the inning by getting to first on a hit-by-pitch.
Chase Bansemer stepped up to the plate and ripped a triple to the wall in right field that scored the speedy Corpening from first.
Bansemer then scored on a perfectly executed squeeze play by John Kennedy that tied the ball game at 2-2.
But the Warriors tallied another run in the fifth inning on a ball that got by Longo behind the plate scoring the runner from third for the 3-2 lead.
The Bruins tried to even the score in the bottom of the fifth as LaThorpe tried to come home on another squeeze play attempt, but Tyler Parke couldn't get his bat on the ball and LaThorpe was stranded in between bases.
Nelson did a good job in the sixth and seventh innings holding the Warriors to only one baserunner who was subsequently thrown out trying to steal second by Longo.
"Our pitching was great again and our defense has been splendid as well," Berkowitz said. "Our hitting has been up and down, but we're going to be putting a little more emphasis on the basics this week in practice."
LaThorpe, Nelson and Bansemer each had two hits apiece while Kennedy had one for the Bruins.
The Bruins open league play on Tuesday, April 10, against Siuslaw at home at 4:30 p.m.