ARCATA — The Humboldt Crabs return this summer, as always, along with their traditional youth boys and girls baseball camps. For a downloadable registration form, CLICK HERE.
Kids will have the opportunity to spend a week with some of the best collegiate baseball players from all over the state as well as from the Pacific Northwest who are on the Crabs 2016 roster starting in early July through the first week of August. The Crabs coaches will also be in attendance.
Three separate camps accommodating skill level and age group will be offered.
The beginning camp is a $45 three-day event for ages 6 to 8 for those starting their baseball journey.
The first beginning camp is from July 6 to July 8 at Hiller Park in McKinleyville. The second session is from July 18 to July 20 at two different locations, Little League Field in Arcata and Newburg Park in Fortuna. Session three is from July 25 to July 27 at Redwood Fields in Eureka. All beginning camp sessions last from 9 a.m. to noon.
The youth camp is $95 per session for boys and girls from ages 9 to 14 who want to learn all defensive positions, fundamental hitting techniques and the importance of teamwork in baseball.
There are discounts for the youth camp for families with multiple children attending.
The first youth camp is from July 11 to July 15 at Hiller Park. The second session is from July 18 to July 22 at Little League Field and Newburg Park. Session three is from July 25 to July 29 at Redwood Fields. All youth camp sessions last from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
A four-day advanced camp is also being offered at $65 for serious players looking to hone their batting, pitching or fielding skills for the next level. The minimum age is 12 years old and is only in the first week of August.
Advance camp kicks off August 1 ending August 4 at Redwood Field from 9 a.m. to noon.
Registration forms will become available at all county elementary and middle schools, the Arcata and Eureka chambers of commerce, and Ray’s Food Place in McKinleyville, Fortuna and Arcata.
Weekly Camp Dates for ages 9 to 14: $95 Fee
July 11–15: McKinleyville (Hiller Park) Hours: 9am–1pm
July 18–22: Arcata (Little League Field) Hours: 9am–1pm
July 18-22: Fortuna (Newburg Park) Hours: 9am–1pm
July 25-29: Eureka (Redwood Fields) Hours: 9am–1pm
Advanced Camp for ages 12 to 15 only: $65 Fee
Aug 1–4: Eureka (Redwood Fields) Hours: 9am–12pm
Three-Day Camps for ages 6 to 8: $45 Fee
July 6-8: McKinleyville (Hiller Park) Hours: 9am–12pm
July 18-20: Arcata (Little League Field) Hours: 9am–12pm
July 18-20: Fortuna (Newburg Park) Hours: 9am–12pm
July 25-27: Eureka (Redwood Fields) Hours: 9am–12pm
Contact Crabs Board Member Roger Lorenzetti at 707-499-9075 of email@example.com for more information.
Wheeler joins Crabs coaching staff for 2016 campaign
By Danny Penza, Eureka Times-Standard
The Humboldt Crabs coaching staff has had a solid Sacramento State influence in recent seasons, and it’s not going to be any different this time around.
Tim Wheeler, a former first-round pick of the Colorado Rockies in 2009, has been announced as the latest addition to the Crabs’ coaching staff for the 2016 season. Wheeler will server as Humboldt’s hitting coach this summer, working alongside manager Tyson Fisher and pitching coach Eric Giacone, both of whom are entering their third year with the team.
“Tim Wheeler is not only one of the best players I have ever coached but also one of the best human beings I have ever been associated with,” Sacramento State head coach Reggie Christiansan said through a Crabs press release. “This is a tremendous hire for the Crabs. Tim has a bright future as a coach as he makes the move from player to coach.”
A former outfielder at Sac State and two-sport standout at El Camino Fundamental High School in Sacramento, Wheeler was the second of two first-round picks by Colorado in 2009, taken by the Rockies with the No. 32 overall pick.
Wheeler was named a second-team All-American by Baseball America in the 2009 season, hitting .385 with 18 home runs and 72 RBIs while starting all 54 of the Hornets’ games.
Prior to the 2010 season, Wheeler was tabbed by Baseball America as the Rockies’ seventh-best prospect.
His best minor-league season came in 2011 with the Rockies’ Double-A affiliate in the Texas League, the Tulsa Drillers. Wheeler not only led the team in home runs with 33, but had the top mark in the entire organization while hitting .287 with an even .900 OPS in 138 games.
Coming out of that season, he was ranked as the No. 5 prospect in the Colorado minor league system, while also cracking Baseball Prospectus’ Top 100 prospects list at spot No. 97 entering the 2012 season.
A hamate bone injury in his right hand during the first week of the season hampered his 2012 campaign. While he hit .303 for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox at Triple-A, he hit only two home runs.
Wheeler most recently played with the Rockies’ current Triple-A affiliate in Albuquerque during the 2015 season.
This is Bobby the Bobblehead. Bobby's getting so excited for the upcoming season, he can barely contain himself. He's running all over Humboldt County during the month of May, hiding some little goodies for a few lucky Crabs fans to find.
Here on the North Coast, it's no secret that the Crabs experience is pretty fantastic (if we do say so ourselves — and we do), but it's always a bit of a thrill when we get some exposure beyond the Redwood Curtain.
Well on Jeopardy on Tuesday, Feb. 16, a Contestant named Zach Binney told host Alex Trebek that he and his friends travel the country during the summer in search of baseball fun, and that in all his travels, the very best experience he's had was right here in our little ballpark!
Well folks, it's official. The Crabs are the best. #jeopardy #GoCrabsGo #LifeAsACrab
As it turns out, Binney and two friends write a blog called "Scrappy Journeymen With Heart Who Blog the Right Way," and on Sunday, July 6, 2014, the trio visited Humboldt and took in a game. They threw out the first pitch(es), had themselves a generally good time, and then wrote about it. You can read the whole thing here, but below are a couple of highlights.
"At high noon, we heard a jarring emergency siren, but no one around seemed to notice. We learned that it signals fire and tsunami warnings and has to be tested once a day, always at noon. At Crabs games, though, it has unofficial status as the moment it’s legal to buy beer. We think all cities should have beer alarms."
"The announcer booth was the Don Terbush Announcer Booth 1949-1994. 45 years calling games in Arcata, CA is an achievement any of us would be proud to have on our resume."
"Examples of (the band's) shenanigans included “Ole” for mound meetings, “Na-na-na-na BAT BOY” for the batboy, Sportscenter theme after a great double play, Chicken Dance during an intentional walk, Wild Thing after two non-intentional walks, frequent requests for a Freeway Ball, and numerous others. The director even seemed to have a whiteboard that listed specific songs for specific game situations. Due to their presence and enthusiasm, we didn’t hear a minute of canned music for the entire duration of the game."
And finally, their conclusion and score:
Conclusion: 68.5 on our completely arbitrary scale. It’s slightly inflated due to the first pitch, but this was a really fun game regardless. The crowd and band really make the experience and push it on par with San Rafael. The Pacifics may have a slight edge in creativity, but the Humboldt area clearly takes a lot of pride in this team and it’s infectious as all hell. 9.5/10
ARCATA (Aug. 3, 2015) — What else is there to say but, “Wow”?
An unforgettable 2015 season of Humboldt Crabs baseball is now officially in the books, and what a season it was. The Crabs finished with a stellar 41-9 record, and put the icing on their tasty cake by rolling to the championship of the inaugural Humboldt Invitational Tournament with a perfect 5-0 record.
“This team, they’re just outstanding, said a tired-but-beaming Tyson Fisher after the final out was recorded. “What they’ve done this summer is truly remarkable. You set goals and this team took those goals seriously.”
One of those goals was to finish the season with fewer than 10 losses, and that goal seemed in serious jeopardy when the team suffered its seventh loss on July 5. But the team reeled off a 21-2 run to end the season and accomplished the impressive feat.
“They know what it takes,” said Fisher. “The way that they approached the game here every single day, it’s awesome what they accomplished this summer. We had a solid group of guys that we could count on each and every day they were in the lineup to give us their best.”
And perhaps they were at their very best during the tournament run. The Crabs opened up the tournament against the Pacific Union Financial Capitalists, aka the Pufcaps, a powerful young team that had beaten the Crabs twice in 2014.
The Pufcaps jumped out to an early lead 3-0 lead, but the Crabs, as they’ve proven all year, had no issues playing from behind. They got on the board when big Bobby Schuman uncorked his first – but not his last – homer of the season in the fourth.
They added two more runs in the sixth but were still trailing 4-3 heading into the eighth. That changed quickly when Allen Smoot doubled and Ben Petersen hammered a towering shot onto U.S. 101 to give the Crabs their first lead of the game.
The lead was short-lived, however, as the Pufcaps answered with a tying home run in the bottom of the frame, sending the game into extra innings.
In the 11th inning the Pufcaps got generous, giving the Crabs the gift of two errors, and they took advantage, scoring four times to build a 9-5 lead. That was enough to survive a Pufcaps rally in the bottom half, and the Crabs hung on for a hard-earned 9-7 win.
The Crabs cruised through the rest of round-robin play on Friday and Saturday, getting stellar starting pitching from Tyler Bennett, who struck out a season-high 14 batters in eight innings in a 13-1 victory over the Solano Mudcats on Friday, and Donald Robinson, who shut down the Auburn Wildcats for seven innings in a 6-0 win on Saturday. Oh, and Schuman homered both Friday and Saturday, and Smoot extended his hitting streak to 31 games.
That earned the Crabs the top seed going into Sunday’s elimination portion of the tournament. And the first “victory” for the Crabs on Sunday came before they even took the field, as the Pufcaps, widely expected to breeze past the Wildcats in their 2-3 matchup, were completely stifled by Auburn pitcher Jacob Call, managing only an unearned run in a 3-1 loss.
The Crabs then took the field against the Mudcats, and once again, stellar starting pitching led the way. Justin Mullins threw a complete game in his final start of the summer to earn his fifth win and set up a championship showdown with Auburn.
In the finale, Fisher handed the ball to their ace and Pitcher of the Year, Drew Weston. And as usual, Weston dominated, allowing just one run over seven innings. The offense, meanwhile, did its thing, scoring four runs in the fifth and five in the sixth to break open the game and put the place into party mode. Perhaps the only thing that went wrong all day was the end of Smoot’s amazing hitting streak when he put up an 0-fer in the first game.
But all that did was give the crowd a chance to stand and acknowledge the season for the ages that Smoot had in Humboldt. He set all-time Crabs records with 85 hits, 57 RBIs and 27 doubles, and batted .447, making the decision to give him the MVP award possibly the easiest in Fisher’s baseball career.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Fisher said of Smoot’s season. “The guy was just unreal all summer long. I’ve never seen a hit streak like that, never seen a summer like that, never seen a season like that, period. Not only is this team one of the greatest in Crabs history, I feel like, but Smoot has definitely had one of the best summers in Crabs history, there’s no doubt about it.”
Once the game was over and the dog pile on the infield had been untangled, all that was left was awards and goodbyes. As mentioned above, Smoot was MVP and Weston was the Pitcher of the Year. The other award, the Heinig/Morsching Memorial Coaches’ Award, was shared by Blake Edmonson, who played both pitcher and outfield, and Beau Bozett, the second-year leadoff hitter who sparked the Crabs’ offense all year long both on the field and with his infectious enthusiasm in the dugout.
And so Season 71 is done, and it was a season that will be remembered forever by the Crabs family. See you next year!
• Tournament Wrap Up by Danny Penza of the Times-Standard Sports Depart, click here.
ARCATA (July 27, 2015) — Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Allen Smoot doubles in a run to give the Crabs an early lead and extend his hitting streak.
That was the play-by-play in the first inning on both Saturday, July 25 and Sunday the 26th, as the Crabs took two of three from the Healdsburg Prune Packers on the last weekend of the 2015 regular season.
“The guy’s unreal,” said manager Tyson Fisher. “He’s having just an incredible summer. He’s a very even-keeled guy; he’s a great teammate, he works his butt off just like all the great ones do, and he’s just been outstanding for us all summer, getting timely hits and big hits.”
The Crabs first baseman now has a 26-game hitting streak, 24 doubles, and a sparkling .437 average. Even in the Crabs’ only loss of the week, Friday’s opener against Healdburg, Smoot went 3-for-4 and scored the team’s only run.
That loss came at the hands of Healdsburg starter Torgen Soderland, who confounded the Crabs over six shutout innings. Only Smoot’s unearned run in the ninth prevented the team from being shut out for the first time all summer.
But you can’t keep an offense like that down for long. Helped out by a very porous Prune Packers defense, the Crabs counterpunched with a 16-3 victory on Saturday night, then took the series with a tidy, hard-earned 5-1 win on Sunday.
“Our guys did what they needed to do,” said Fisher. “Obviously Friday Healdsburg came and beat us, they beat us pretty handily, and our guys bounced back Saturday and Sunday to get the W’s and win the series, with their backs up against the wall. It says a lot about the team and what these guys are made of. I couldn’t be happier.”
On Saturday night, all they really had to do was take what the Prune Packers gave them. And what they gave them was 10 extra outs. Those 10 extra outs resulted in 10 unearned Crabs runs, which was more than enough with Justin Mullins on the hill. Mullins had one rough inning in the third when Healdsburg scored three runs to briefly tie the game but otherwise cruised through six innings to earn his fourth win.
On Sunday, on a spectacular Humboldt summer afternoon, Fisher gave the ball to Donald Robinson, and in what Fisher called “the biggest Sunday game that we’ve had all season,” Robinson delivered his best performance of the season.
“Donald was outstanding, best start he’s had all summer for us,” said Fisher. “We needed a big start, and it was a big outing for him – six strong and he was really locating pitches I think the best that he’s been all summer.”
And the team behind him was stellar as well. The defense turned two slick double plays – one actually started by Robinson – and the offense cashed in on its chances. Smoot doubled in a run in the first and drove in the Crabs second run with a sacrifice fly in the third, and Brad Pluschkell drove home two runners from third with less than two outs, one one grounder and one on a sac fly.
All of which please Fisher to no end.
“For the guys to put on the show that they did,” he said, “it might have been our best game that we played all summer.”
And what a time to have it – as they head toward the season-ending Humboldt Invitational Tournament.
“Going into this final week, we’ll have some momentum, have some confidence” said Fisher. “Our bats are back to where we need to be.”
After one last midweek series, against the Bay Area Tides on Tuesday and Wednesday, the four-team tournament begins Thursday. It’s a round-robin style format Thursday through Saturday, and then the teams will be seeded based on those games for elimination games starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday (the Crabs will play at 2 p.m. regardless of the seeding). The winners of Sunday’s first two games play for the championship at 6 p.m.
Below is the full tournament schedule:
Thursday, July 30
2 p.m. - Auburn Wildcats vs. Solano Mudcats 7 p.m. - PUF Capitalists vs. Humboldt Crabs
Friday, July 31
2 p.m. - Auburn Wildcats vs. PUF Capitalists 7 p.m. - Solano Mudcats vs. Humboldt Crabs
Saturday, Aug. 1 2 p.m. - PUF Capitalists vs. Solano Mudcats 7 p.m. - Auburn Wildcats vs. Humboldt Crabs
Sunday, Aug. 2 10 a.m. - Elimination Game 1 2 p.m. - Elimination Game 2 (Crabs vs. TBD) 6 p.m. - Championship Game
• Game story by the local newspaper, the Times-Standard, click here.
• News Ch. 2 Crabs Corner, click here.
Humboldt Invitational Tournament: July 30-Aug 2 | Season passes and leftover ten strip tickets will be honored for the tournament. One ticket gets you into both games for the day. Get a Crabs stamp at the front gate to go in and out.