Three times, the Del Norte High baseball team took the lead over Eureka High in Wednesday afternoon's Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 League contest.
Three times, the Warriors gave up the lead.
The last time, they gave up the game along with it.
The Loggers scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and retired Del Norte in order in the top of the seventh in a 5-3 victory at Eureka High School.
Aaron Fitch was the losing pitcher for the Warriors (5-8 overall, 1-3 HDN Big 5) in his first start of the season. The junior allowed four runs on four hits in 5 1/3 innings, walking six batters and hitting one while striking out three. Luke Seats relieved Fitch for the final 2/3 of an inning.
While Fitch ran into trouble on the mound, he excelled at the plate.
His double in the first inning plated Chris Bray for the game's first run. His triple in the fourth inning allowed Nathan Porter to score and give Del Norte a 2-1 lead.
Fitch was picked off third base by the Loggers after his triple, in the third of three such instances that took place for the Warriors. Eureka (8-8, 3-1 HDN Big 5) quashed the Del Norte rally and parlayed a two-run single in the bottom of the fifth inning into a 3-2 lead.
The Warriors got two quick outs to begin the sixth inning before Fitch walked. Del Norte junior Josiah Johnson singled and the Loggers overthrew third base in an attempt to tag Fitch out, allowing him to score and tie the game.
In the bottom half of the inning, Fitch induced the first out and allowed a walk before Seats replaced him on the mound. Eureka loaded the bases with consecutive singles and drove two of the runners home on an RBI groundout and an RBI single to take the lead for good.
Porter went 1 for 2 with a walk against the Loggers. Juniors Johnson and Dylan Pease and senior Josh Barriga each went 1 for 3.
Del Norte continues its season Saturday at Arcata High with a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m.
Reach Robert Husseman at email@example.com.