FULLERTON (April 9, 2009) — Jon Wilhite, who played for the Humboldt Crabs in 2004, was seriously injured in the crash that killed Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenart and two other people early Thursday morning.
Adenhart had just pitched six scoreless innings against the Oakland A's in his first start of the season, and the group had gone out dancing. On their way home, they were struck when a minivan driven by 22-year-old Andrew Gallo — who allegedly was driving drunk and on a suspended license from a previous DUI — ran a red light. Adenhart, 22, Henry Nigel Pearson, 27 and Courtney Frances Stewart, 20, were killed, while Wilhite, 24, is in critical condition at UC Irvine Medical Center. TMZ.com quoted Cal State Fullerton athletic director Brian Quinn as saying Wilhite is conscious and his injuries were "not immediately life-threatening."
Wilhite, who played his college ball with the Titans, was a catcher for the Crabs in 2004.
"He was one of those rare lefties who caught right hit left," said current Crabs Manager Matt Nutter. "He was a great kid who worked for me that summer, too. He was one of those guys on the team that's always positive, a good guy to be around, always had a smile on his face. We wish him well."
UPDATE April 12 — Wilhite has been upgraded from critical to serious condition. A fund has been established at Wells Fargo Bank to help pay his medical expenses. Donations can be made to the Benefit Fund for Jon Wilhite, Acct. #3980643658, at any Wells Fargo branch.
CHICAGO (April 1, 2009) — Derrick Miramontes, who pitched for the Crabs in 2007 and is expected to return this season after a one-year absence, was named the Horizon League Pitcher of the Week for the week ending March 29.
Miramontes, the crafty righty who Crabs fans will remember from the coiling, old-school delivery he pulled out on most Sunday afternoons in ’07, went 2-0 on the week for University of Illinois-Chicago, and recorded the first save of his college career in a 6-4 win over Big 12 powerhouse Missouri. He then went out and earned two wins by holding Youngstown State at bay until his team could produce not one but two walkoff wins. His dominance over that span improved his season marks to 4-0 with a 1.96 ERA.
In 2007, Miramontes shows Crabs fans his vintage windup, which resulted in a wicked breaking ball that often had opposing hitters flailing. He was unable to pitch for Crabs in 2008, but should be among a large group of returners on the Crabs' 2009 roster.
TURLOCK (March 3, 2009) — Dakota Watts, who is expected to return for a second summer with the Crabs in 2009, has been named the California Collegiate Athletic Association Pitcher of the Week for Feb. 23-March 1.
Watts, a junior, helped Cal State Stanislaus ascend to the top of the NCAA Division II poll for the first time in school history with a dominant performance on Feb. 28 against Sonoma State. He hurled eight shutout innings against the defending CCAA champions, throwing 134 pitches, striking out seven and yielding just two hits in a 3-0 Warriors win.
Watts has been the ace of the Warriors' staff so far this season. He has won all four of his starts, posting a 1.14 ERA — the lowest for a starter in the conference — and holding opposing batters to a meager .183 average. He strikes out a batter an inning, punching out a team-leading 24 in 23 2/3 innings.
Those numbers are strikingly similar to the ones Watts posted for the Crabs in 2008. He emerged as one of the team's most dependable starters, going 5-1 with a 1.33 ERA and 42 K's in 40 1/3 innings. The big, strong right-hander is one of the key pieces of what the Crabs expect to be a strong staff in 2009.
June 6 may seem like a long way off, but the roster for the 65th season of Humboldt Crabs baseball is beginning to come into focus.
There are still holes to be filled, and unforeseen circumstances could alter the look of the roster, but at this time, more than 20 players have committed to spending the summer at the Arcata Ball Park.
The team expects to have at least five returning players, including two-time Crabs MVP Jeff Giacomini. Despite a rusty start due to injury, Giacomini hit .331 and led the 2008 Crabs in almost every offensive category.
"Having Giacomini coming back for his third year with the Crabs is really exciting," said Head Coach Robin Guiver. "It gives us a guy that we know will be a clutch hitter and team leader."
Other returners include catcher Brad Morgan — a local product and fierce competitor who played for the Crabs in 2007 and the Steelheads in 2008 — infielder Beck Wheeler, pitcher Dakota Watts and outfielders Tommy Pavesi and Bobby Ethel.
Ethel will also be bringing along his younger brother, J.J., a prospect that excites Guiver.
"Having both of the Ethel brothers this summer is going to be a lot of fun," said Guiver. "This will be Bobby's third season with the Crabs, and we love his speed, defense, and quiet leadership. J.J. is a catcher who has had a lot of success at the JC level, which led him to signing a scholarship to University of Louisville. I think that J.J. has a chance to be a middle of the lineup-type guy for us, as well as a very good defensive catcher."
Watts, a 6-foot-3 righty, was a pleasant surprise for the Crabs in 2008, posting a 5-1 record and a 1.33 ERA, and Guiver is thrilled to have him back.
"Dakota came to us as kind of an unknown last summer, and pitched better than we expected," said Guiver. "He is a big, strong power pitcher that likes to compete. If Dakota is on he can dominate a game."
Watts will be part of what Guiver expects to be a very strong pitching staff.
"I am a real believer in the idea that pitching wins games," said Guiver. "We have some really good arms that I am expecting to do good things for the Crabs, and a number of guys that have a chance to keep playing ball after their college careers are over."
Other names Guiver gave when asked for pitchers to keep an eye on are Zac Bischoff and John Holtman, both righties. Bischoff was a first-team All North Coast Conference selection as a sophomore at San Mateo Junior College last year, and will help the Fresno State Bulldogs defend their NCAA title this spring. Holtman, a sophomore at Cal State San Marcos, made 14 appearances, including five starts, last year, posting a 4-1 record.
The College most reperesented on the roster so far is San Jose State, which so far is sending four players up Highway 101, including a pair of infielders, junior Karson Klauer and freshman Michael Reiling.
"I think the fans will love Reiling," said Guiver. "He is a hard-nosed player who gets after it in all phases of the game. He was a two-time all-state player at Valley Christan High School in San Jose, and is a guy that the Spartans coaches are really excited about, as are we."
View the complete roster here, and check out the 2009 schedule here.
ARCATA (Nov. 24, 2008) — Just as one train was derailing, another pulled alongside to keep the Humboldt Crabs’ plans to join a league on track.
The Crabs announced Monday that they will indeed join a league in 2009, but it will not be the Sierra Baseball League as planned. Instead, they will be a part of the West Coast League (WCL) Tri-State, a new offshoot of the West Coast League based in the Pacific Northwest, which includes the Corvallis Knights and the Bend Elks.
Crabs President Randy Robertson believes it’s an exciting time to be a Crabs fan as they head into their 65th consecutive season.
“There really is no better way to celebrate the legacy brought to us by the Bonomini and Barsuglia families than to see the Crabs playing baseball in a league again for the 2009 season,” said Robertson. “League play and the great competition could make for one of the most successful Crabs baseball seasons that north coast has experienced. I am really looking forward to the 2009 season.”
The makeup of the new league is nearly the same as the SBL Northern Division would have been. Joining the Crabs in the WCL Tri-State are the Redding Colt .45s, the Southern Oregon River Dogs, the Folsom Pioneers and the Sierra Bighorns. All five teams decided to change course after doubts arose about the leadership of the SBL.
The West Coast League, in contrast, impressed the Crabs board with its professional approach and ability to achieve the goals set out in its mission statement. So when they approached the Crabs and the other teams that had planned to be in the SBL with the idea to organize a new league under the WCL umbrella, they decided to give it a shot.
For the Crabs, this move is aimed at staying competitive in the ever-evolving world of summer collegiate baseball, both by ensuring good competition and boosting their recruiting position. The West Coast League’s success has made its teams more attractive to recruits, and all the league’s teams have gotten stronger as a result. The Crabs hope joining the WCL Tri-State will do the same for them.
“With the Crabs affiliation with the West Coast League through the Tri-State teams in 2009 I believe the Crabs will continue to bring exciting summer collegiate baseball to the North Coast,” said Robertson. “It will be a lot of fun to watch the standings and the head-to-head competition in league games.”
One thing that made the decision to join a league easier for the Crabs is that several of their “away” games will be played at the Arcata Ball Park. They are by far the best-drawing team in the league, and had been concerned about losing gate revenue when they go on the road.
The main West Coast League consists of two four-team divisions, the East and the West. The Knights won the West division last year with a 31-11 record. New this year are the five-team WCL Tri-State and the four-team WCL Portland, both of which will operate semi-independently under the WCL name.
ARCATA (August 4, 2008) — The 2008 Humboldt Crabs closed out another succesful season Sunday finishing with a 35-13 mark. Jeff Giacomini (Bellevue University) won his second consecutive Most Valuable Player award and Reed Brown (Oregon State) was honored for his stellar season on the mound with the Most Valuable Pitcher award. Speedy outfielders Bobby Ethel (University of San Francisco) and Michael Miller (Oregon State) took home the Defensive Player of the Year awards while sluggers Richard Cates (Cal State Northridge) and John Parham (Cal State Northridge) walked away with the Offensive Player of the Year awards.
The Crabs coaches, players and Board of Directors would like to thank the many Crabs fans and sponsers who made the 2008 season such a great one. Only 302 days until Opening Day in 2009!
Leo Rosales, a member of the 2002 team that won the All-American Invitational Tournament, became the latest Crab to make it to the Big Show last Sunday when he made his Major League debut with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
After being called up from triple-A Tucson earlier in the day, Rosales came in out of the bullpen in the seventh inning of the D'Backs' game against the Royals, and allowed four hits and one run in 1 2/3 innings of work.
Rosales, who went to Cal State Northridge, has pitched in 28 games for Tucson so far this year. He was 2-1 with a 4.08 ERA, and was a perfect 9-for-9 in save opportunities for the Rattlers.
According to the Diamondbacks' Web site, the team told Rosales that they hadn't decided whether he'd stay in the majors for a while or be sent back down soon.
Rosales was drafted by San Diego in the 20th round of the 2003 First Year Player Draft. In Baseball America's 2006 Best Tools survey, he was said to have the best changeup in the Padres' farm system.
The Pre-Season Banquet at the Arcata Community Center was an unqualified success, and marked the official kick off of the 64th season of Crabs baseball.
The highlight of the evening was the guest speaker, former Crabs star Dane Iorg. Iorg, a Blue Lake native, played for the Crabs between 1968 and 1970 and went on to play for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals, picking up two World Series rings as a bonus.
Speaking to an enthusiastic crowd, Dane told tales of his days in the majors, and sharing stories about team mate Ozzie Smith, manager Whitey Herzog, and opponents Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens. Recounting his thrilling game-winning single in game six of the 1985 World Series between the Kansas City Royals and his former St. Louis Cardinals team, he mesmerized the crowd of 400 Humboldt County baseball fans.
Throughout his speech, he emphasized that his major-league dreams were made possible by the foundation in baseball he received with Blue Lake Little League, Local Pony League, Arcata High Tigers Baseball, American Legion Baseball and the Humboldt Crabs. His energetic, humorous and inspiring speech will live in the hearts of Crabs fans, and spark nostalgic memories far into future seasons.
The Crabs also honored the national champion HSU softball team. The players and received an enthusiastic welcome from the assembled crowd, and Coach Frank Cheek received a standing ovation after his remarks.
Crabs Manager Matt Nutter introduced his coaching staff and the 2008 Crabs team. Fans had an opportunity to meet the players and talk some baseball with the new team and with friends attending the dinner. New and returning Ballpark Staff received a hearty welcome from fans, and had a bit of a dress-rehearsal for their summer jobs.
At the close of the dinner, Crabs President Randy Robertson declared the 2008 season officially under way. It's time to Play Ball, and we'll see you at the ballpark!
ARCATA (June 9) — South Dakota State senior Craig Parry, who was one of the Humboldt Crabs' stars in 2007, was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 50th round of last week's Major League Baseball draft.
"It feels awesome," said Parry when reached by phone on Monday. "I had known the Pirates would be my best shot at getting drafted this year. Their regional scout had called me with a couple of weeks left in the season and came out to visit me while I was still in South Dakota doing workouts."
Parry, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound outfielder, knew that if he was drafted at all, it would be on the second day, but as things moved into the later rounds without his phone ringing, he began to get anxious.
"I had mixed emotions," he said. "It was definitely nerve-racking. I knew it was my last shot. I was going to be disappointed if I didn't get the opportunity, but I tried to be optimistic."
The good news finally came in the very last round.
"I had friends at the house, and my friends and family were all standing at the computer. I was away from it when my name popped up, and everyone got pretty excited."
A moment later the phone rang. It was Chris Klein, the Pirates' scout, confirming the good news.
On Wednesday he will fly to Bradenton, Fla., where the Pirates hold spring training, to work out for a week before going to State College, Pa., to play for the State College Spikes, the Pirates' short-season "A" team.
Parry is part of the ever-growing connection between the Crabs and the South Dakota State program, run by former Crab Reggie Christiansen. He started 44 of 54 games for the Crabs last season, hitting .324 with 11 doubles and a team-leading 42 runs scored.
His numbers at South Dakota State this year were even more impressive as he was named to the all-Summit League First team. He led the Jackrabbits with 10 homers, 47 RBIs, a .646 slugging pct. and a school-record 20 doubles.
Of the Crabs' experience, Parry said, "It's a great atmosphere, day in, day out, the fans were awesome. It's definitely one of the most fun summers I've had. I'm glad I was able to have that opportunity."
The Humboldt Crabs would like to thank everyone who attended the memorial and celebration of Kevin Morsching on Saturday, Sept. 8 at the Arcata Ballpark. More than 200 fans, Crabs players and coaches gathered at the ballpark to remember Kevin and his family, as well as celebrate his life and contribution as a player, teammate and individual to the greater community.
The Crabs also wish to thank Kevin's aunt and uncle, Kirk and Karen Richards, who drove up from Menlo Park to attend and represent the Morsching family.
While we all deeply feel the loss of Kevin, it is important to know that Kevin's family gave the gift of life to many others across the country through the organ and tissue donor program.
From their loss, the Morsching family has helped to provide life and hope to many individuals and families. The Humboldt Crabs urge everyone to follow the shinning example of Kevin and the Morsching family to register to be an organ and tissue donor.
The Crabs will soon provide a link from the website to information on the organ donor program in California. The Crabs will also provide information on the organ and tissue donor program throughout the 2008 baseball season at the Arcata Ballpark.