Eureka takes both games of doubleheader
In the first and second innings of the Del Norte High baseball team’s doubleheader against Eureka on Saturday, the Loggers outscored the Warriors 16-1.
Del Norte’s Josiah Johnson slides into home plate in the third inning of the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader against Eureka. Johnson was out on the play as Kody Osborne grounded into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded. The Warriors lost 6-0 and 19-4 (5) to the Loggers. Del Norte Triplicate/Bryant Anderson
“At the beginning (of games), it’s almost like we’re not awake sometimes,” sophomore first baseman Aaron Fitch said. “I wish we could start off earlier.”
Del Norte could not recover from its slow starts in both games, losing 6-0 in the first game and 19-4 (five innings) in the second game. The Warriors are now 0-5 overall and 0-4 in Humboldt-Del Norte league play.
“I’m pleased with the first game,” Del Norte coach Jared Wells said. “I thought we played really well. The second game was really tough.”
Players and spectators were treated to a bright and sunny day at Del Norte High School, a rare respite from the rain that has curtailed practice and game time for the Warriors. The break in the weather would be the only break Del Norte would receive in the afternoon.
In the first game, Eureka led off the top of the first inning with four runs, two scoring on a throwing error by Warriors starting pitcher Jonathan Calderon. The Loggers added two more runs in the second inning on a steal of home plate and an RBI single.
Del Norte loaded the bases with two outs in the third inning but failed to score. Fitch walked to lead off the fourth inning and attempted to advance on Kody Osborne’s grounder to second base but was declared out on the charge of interfering with the fielder’s attempt at the ball.
“Terrible officiating,” said Wells. “You can quote me — terrible officiating.”
The Warriors struggled to hit Eureka starter Eugene Palmer, who threw a complete-game two-hitter with nine strikeouts. Calderon settled in by the third inning, allowing just two more base hits in the game, but the damage had long been done.
In the second game, the Loggers held a 3-1 lead after the first inning before exploding for seven runs in the second inning.
“They pretty much raked everything we pitched,” Fitch said. “It makes it hard keeping up with their pitchers.”
Del Norte climbed back into the game with three runs in the third inning, punctuated by Ryan Gomes’ two-run single. Eureka scored once in the third inning, then had another offensive outburst in the fourth inning.
The Loggers’ first nine batters in the fourth inning all got on base as Eureka tacked on eight runs. Del Norte suffered another controversial call when Ignacio Moreno was ruled to have interfered with a Logger baserunner during a rundown between third and home, helping to extend the inning.
“One thing led to another, led to another,” Wells said. “Their hitters were disciplined. They hit (open) places. I feel like we hit the ball to places occupied by fielders.”
The Warriors host Fortuna on Wednesday with a chance for redemption available.
“We need to show that this was a learning experience,” Fitch said. “We need to be awake in the first.”