Aviators Come Down To Earth

Aaron West (above) maintained his perfect ERA with another dominating performance in Wednesday's second game.

ARCATA (July 7) — Facing the last unbeaten team in the Far West League, the Humboldt Crabs showed they were no pushovers themselves.

The Crabs took two out of three from the Atwater Aviators in a midweek set at the Arcata Ball Park, taking the opener 9-2 on Tuesday and then splitting a Wednesday twinbill — dropping the first 7-0 and then taking the nightcap 12-1 — to improve to 8-4 in the FWL North, two games behind Redding.

Against the top team in the league, the Crabs knew they would have to be sharp.

"We told then this was probably the best team we're going to see in a while," said Manager Matt Nutter. "They were undefeated coming in, so we knew we had our work cut out for us."

But the Crabs showed right away that they wouldn't be intimidated in their own house. Ivory Thomas led off the game with a homer and the home team batted around while scoring six runs in the first inning on Tuesday. Two more in the second gave Cedar Morgan plenty to work with as he picked up his second win, throwing seven innings of shutout ball.

In Wednesday's opener, however, the Crabs' bats went silent against Atwater ace Kevin Christy, who induced grounder after grounder, and was two outs from a no-hitter when Brett Morgan finally broke through with a solid single up the middle.

The Crabs, however, have an ace up their sleeves as well, and threw it on the table in the rubber match. Aaron West was brilliant, yielding just one run on a throwing error in the fourth as he ran his streak to 24 innings so far this year without allowing an earned run.

And the offense showed no ill effects from almost being no-hit earlier in the evening, pounding out nine hits as the Crabs took the series.

Coming into town this weekend are the California Glory, who currently sit at 4-7 in the FWL South. Friday's first pitch is 7 p.m.