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Crabs Crack Crawdad Code

 

The Walnut Creek Crawdads didn't make it easy, but the Humboldt Crabs battled their way to another series win over the weekend, and increased their lead in the Far West League in the process.

The Crawdads became the first team this year to post a shutout against the Crabs in taking Friday night's game 3-0 behind the arms of Jeffrey Doran, who went seven innings to get the win, and relievers Chris Costanza and Ryan Wertenberger.

Uninterested in being shut out again, the Crabs scored in the first inning on Saturday on an RBI single by Riley Drongesen. Two more runs later in the game proved to be enough for Kyle Swannack, who pitched into the eighth and allowed two runs before handing the ball off to James Barragan for the save in a 3-1 win.

On Sunday, Ryan Wiggins hit a three-run homer as part of a five-run outburst in the seventh inning that erased a 2-0 deficit as the Crabs won the rubber match 5-2. Andrew Nelson gave up two runs in seven innings, improving to 4-0 on the season. Zach Reser pitched the eighth and Jason Hampton came on in the ninth to nail down his fourth save.

Now two games up on the Neptune Beach Pearl, the Crabs host their old friends, the Redding Colt .45s, for a doubleheader on Wednesday, betore closing out the regular season against Fontanetti's A's this weekend.

Crabs Take Advantage of Sloppy Seals

 

It's a rare feat when a team manages more runs than hits over a three-game series. But thanks to consistently poor defense by the San Francisco Seals, that's exactly what the Humboldt Crabs did this week, scoring 17 runs on 14 hits in sweeping a three-game midweek series.

The Crabs won Tuesday's game 2-0, despite managing only two hits. The Seals' Xavier Garcia was the tough-luck loser in the game — the only run he allowed came on a bases-loaded walk in the fourth the forced in Bradley Zimmer

Zimmer would single in Jared Deacon in the fifth for the game's only other run. Drew Bradshaw threw eight shutout innings to improve to 4-1 and Jason Hampton pitched the ninth for his third save.

In the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader, a 4-1 win, Chad Bunting — a late addition to the Crabs' roster due to some injuries — introduced himself to the fans in fine fashion. In his first at-bat, he banged a double off the left field wall to plate both Spencer Duggan and Ty Afenir for an early 2-0 lead.

Seals errors in the third and fourth directly led to the Crabs' other two runs. The Seals finally got on the board in the seventh against Kurt Yinger. But with two on and two outs, Juan Carrillo tried to catch the Crabs napping and bolted for home when the catcher Bunting threw the ball back to Yinger after a pitch. The ploy failed, and Carrillo was out at home to end the threat.

The series finale was quite a contrast to the first two games. The Crabs led 5-0 after two innings and 9-0 after the fourth. They added two more runs in the eighth to hit double digits in an 11-0 rout. They must have been feeling good after the between-games tri-tip from Myrtle Avenue Market.

Duggan and Bunting each drove in three runs. Duggan was 2-for-2 while Bunting managed to do it without a hit. Kenny Smith got the win, scattering three hits over six innings. Evan Ewing, Tyler Stirewalt and Zach Reser each threw an inning in relief.

The Crabs now sit at 29-6 overall, and their 12-3 Far West League record gives them a 1 1/2-game lead over the second place Neptune Beach Pearl. They welcome another FWL opponent, the Walnut Creek Crawdads, to town this weekend, for what is amazingly the next-to-last weekend of regular season games this year. The Crawdads are 6-11 in league, and will be desperate for wins if they hope to make the league tournament, which will be held at the Arcata Ball Park from Aug. 3-5.

Road Warriors: Crabs Take Series from Pearl

Playing away from the Arcata Ball Park for the only time this season didn't seem to bother the Crabs much, as they took two out of three games from the Neptune Beach Pearl in Alameda over the weekend. The series victory gave the Crabs a 26-6 overall record and a 9-3 mark in the Far West League, good for a share of first place as they head into the home stretch of the season.

In Friday's contest, Tanner McIntyre improved to 4-1 on the season, allowing two runs in seven innings in a 4-2 win. Zach Reser came in for the last two innings and picked up the save. Spencer Duggan, Ryan Wiggins and Ryan Dettman each drove in a run.

The Pearl bounced back on Saturday to snap the Crabs' nine-game win streak 6-3. They did most of the damage in a five-run second inning, aided by two Crabs errors and a balk. Kyle Swannack took a tough-luck loss, as only half of the six runs he allowed were earned.

After an evening interlude taking in a San Francisco Giants game Saturday night, it was back to the ballpark bright and early on Sunday morning for the rubber match. The Crabs scored three runs early, as Will Soto doubled in Jared Deacon and then scored himself on a groundout in the first, and Ryan Dettman scored an unearned run in the second.

But the lead was quickly erased in the third, when Bob Cruikshank homered for the Pearl with two on off Johnny Melero. The Crabs retook the lead 5-3 in the fifth on RBI singles by Bradley Zimmer and Andrew Rodriguez.

The Pearl wouldn't go away, and still only trailed 6-5 heading to the eighth, but Zimmer drove in two more runs in a three-run rally to provide some decisive insurance as the Crabs prevailed 9-5. James Barragan, who had come in to relieve Melero in the fifth, got his third win of the season.

The Crabs, who have won ten of 11 and 18 of their last 20, are getting some attention across the country now, as even before they went 5-1 last week, they showed up at #24 in the Perfect Game summer collegiate rankings. They now return home for the last two weeks of the regular season. And aside from a doubleheader against the Redding Colt .45s on the 25th, every game left is against a league opponent, starting with the San Francisco Seals, who come to town on Tuesday for a three-game set. First pitch Tuesday is at 7 p.m., and Wednesday's doubleheader starts at 5:30.

Crabs Legend Ned Barsuglia Passes Away

It is with much sadness and a profound appreciation we can never truly express, the Crabs have to report that Ned Barsuglia has passed away. Ned joined the Crabs in the 1950s and was instrumental in keeping the Crabs running for more than 50 years.

Ned originally served as chief scout and recruiter, later taking over as general manager and board president. Ned also lined up sponsors, found the players summer jobs and was a constant consultant. It is because of Ned's dedication and love for the game, that we all get to experience the longest consecutive, collegiate, summer baseball team known as the Humboldt Crabs.

Our thoughts are with Ned's family and friends at this time of loss.

We have reposted a profile of Ned that Scott Gourley wrote prior to the 2002 season.

Crabs Easily Dispatch Prune Packers

 

The Crabs made quick work of the Healdsburg Prune Packers over the weekend, and Nick Latta made sure it was even quicker than the 50/50 girls were prepared for.

Latta's three-run homer in the seventh inning of Sunday's finale invoked the mercy  rule in a 10-0 win to wrap up the sweep before Luiza & Co. had drawn the winning ticket. The victory was the Crabs' second straight shutout, — they had won 9-0 on Saturday, following a 10-5 win in the series opener on Friday.

The Crabs (21-5) were helped out by poor fielding from the Prune Packers in all three games — they committed at least three errors in each contest. 

Two of Healdsburg's three errors on Friday contributed to a six-run second inning for the Crabs. Bradley Zimmer had a run and an RBI in the inning, and Spencer Duggan continued to light up opposing pitching with a two-run double.

The Prune Packers attempted to mount a comeback after breaking up Kyle Swannack's no-hit bid in the sixth, scoring three times in the frame and another in the seventh to make it 6-4, but the Crabs gave themselves some insurance with a three-run bottom of the seventh. Duggan drove in his third run of the game, and Ryan Wiggins and Ty Afenir both added run-scoring singles.

Saturday started out looking eerily similar to Friday. The Crabs scored six early runs — the big blow being a homer by Austin Prott in the second — and James Barragan duplicated Swannack's no-hitter through five innings. Again, Healdsburg broke up the no-hit bid in the sixth, but this time there would be no comeback.

On Sunday, Andrew Nelson took the mound for the Crabs, and was as impressive as his fellow starters, allowing just four hits in six innings. The offense was slower in building its lead, scoring three in the second, two in the fifth, one in the sixth, and had already put up one run in the seventh before Latta came to the plate with Wiggins and Jason Hampton on base and two outs. Latta launched a ball to left-center that zipped just over the fence onto 101 South, drawing the weekend to a close.

The Crabs will host the Bay Area Warriors on Tuesday and Wednesday before heading out of town this weekend to take on the Neptune Beach Pearl. Tuesday is a single game at 7 p.m., and Wednesday will be a doubleheader beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Crabs Take Two of Three from Dawgs

 

After cruising to a 10-1 win on Friday and jumping out to an early 5-0 lead in Sunday's first game, it seemed the Crabs would breeze their way to an easy sweep of the Southern Oregon RiverDawgs. But perhaps they relaxed a little too much, and the Dawgs took advantage, capping a 7-5 comeback win with a four-run ninth inning rally.

The Crabs seemed shaken as they watched the visitors take a 4-2 lead in the second game, but Will Soto came to the rescue, belting two homers in the game to lift the Crabs to a 6-4 victory.

Friday's game was a combination of Tanner McIntyre being his typical stingy self on the mound and the offense scoring early and often on the Southern Oregon pitchers. McIntyre improved to 3-1, yielding just one run in six innings before turning things over to Evan Ewing and Zach Reser. The offense scored two runs in each of the first three innings, then added three more in the fifth and one in the seventh. Riley Drongesen, Bradley Zimmer, Zack McCoy and Ty Afenir each had three hits, and Afenir registered a game-high three RBIs.

After rain postponed Saturday's scheduled contest, the Crabs seemed to pick up right where they left off in Sunday's first game, scoring two in the second and three more in the third. But that turned out to be all they'd get, and the RiverDawgs narrowed the gap with a run in the fourth and two in the fifth.

Then in the ninth, after Reser walked in one run, the Dawgs' Vince Ampi hit a one-out fly to right, and Zimmer came up throwing to home. The ball got to catcher Jared Deacon in plenty of time, but Kyle Secciani came in hard, sliding in and creating a huge dustcloud. When the dust began to clear, the ball was by the backstop and the tying run had scored. Tynan Pedretti then broke the tie with a clean two-run single to center.

In the nightcap, a 4-run fifth gave the RiverDawgs a brief 4-2 lead, but Soto hit the first of his two shots in the bottom of the frame, a two-run blast that tied the game. His second, in the seventh, broke the tie, and then Ryan Wiggins gave the Crabs an insurance run with a freeway ball in the eighth. Andrew Nelson threw three innings in relief of Johnny Melero to earn the win.

The Crabs now sit at 17-5 overall, and 7-2 in the Far West League, tied for first with the Neptune Beach Pearl. On the Fourth of July, they'll host the Eel River Eels at 12:30.

 

Isn't it almost July?

Saturday's contest against the Southern Oregon RiverDawgs has been canceled/postponed. We're planning on playing a doubleheader Sunday beginning at 12:30 p.m.

Long Weekend for the Longhorns

The weekend may have started out soggy and gray, but by midday Saturday, a high-pressure system seemd to have developed directly over the Arcata Ball Park, pushing the clouds away and bathing the field in sunlight while rain still fell over much of Humboldt County. And the Crabs took full advantage, sweeping a three-game set from the NorCal Longhorns and surging to the top of the Far West League standings.

Tanner McIntyre certainly didn't seem to mind having his start pushed back a day. He allowed just two hits in seven innings of work in Saturday's opener, a 4-0 victory, and has now gone 16 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. Zach Reser pitched the last two innings and yielded just one more hit.

The Crabs scored all four of their runs in the third. Ty Afenir and Bradley Zimmer both delivered run-scoring hits.

In the nightcap, under a sometimes brilliant fire-red sky, the foursome of Drew Bradshaw, Jimmy MacWilliam, Evan Ewing and Tyler Stirewalt put up the Crabs' second shutout of the day in a 9-0 win. The Crabs offense took advantage of five Longhorns errors. Jared Deacon, Zach McCoy and Andrew Rodriguez each drove in two runs.

On Sunday, the Longhorns put up more of a fight, but the home team was still too much and finished the sweep 5-3. The Crabs unloaded the bullpen in the game to help starter Johnny Melero earn his second win. Nick Latta slammed his first homer of the year, and Zimmer and Spencer Duggan both stayed hot, igniting rallies in the early innings.

On Wednesday, the Crabs play their first scheduled doubleheader of the season, a 5:30 p.m. twinbill against the East Bay Lumberjacks. Hope to see you there!

Crabs Cool Off Gold Sox

The Crabs bounced back from a rough weekend in a big way, cooling off the red-hot Marysville Gold Sox with a pair of 3-2 wins on Tuesday and Wednesday.

View photos from the series on Facebook!

The Gold Sox had won 35 straight before dropping their game Sunday against the Redding Colt .45s 6-4. But the Crabs were undaunted, looking impressive in sweeping the two-game series, winning the finale in extra-innings, walkoff fashion.

Tuesday's tilt was scoreless through seven, with each team having left seven runners on base. But the floodgates opened up in the eighth. Two singles and a double put the Gold Sox up 1-0 and chased Crabs starter Kyle Swannack from the game. The Gold Sox added another run against reliever James Barragan on a sacrifice fly, but Barragan struck out the next two batters to end the frame.

In the bottom of the eighth, Will Soto led off with a single, and moved to third on Clay Cedarquist's one-out double. Cedarquist was replaced by a pinch runner, Andrew Rodriguez, and with two outs, Spencer Duggan lifted a flyball to short center that found a hole in the defense, scoring both runners to tie the game.

Duggan advanced to third on a bloop single by Jared Deacon, and then scored the go-ahead run when Ryan Wiggins lined a shot right off Gold Sox pitcher Bobby Raymos' foot for an infield single.

On Wednesday, the teams traded jabs in the early innings. Duggan led off the Crabs' first with a single through the hole on the right side, and scored all the way from first when Ty Afenir doubled over a sun-fighting Tommy Lininger's head in left.

Former Crab Justin Lamb led off the Gold Sox second with a single, and eventually came around to score on a fielder's choice. The next inning, a solo home run by Victor Romero gave Marysville the lead.

In the fourth, the Crabs overcame a somewhat lucky third-to-first double play to score the tying run. With Riley Drongesen and Bradley Zimmer on base and nobydy out, Nick Latta hit a hard grounder down the third base line. Casey Scott snagged it, and as he came across the line to grab it, he nearly tripped on third base. Realizing he'd touched the bag, he threw across the diamond to get Latta at first.

However, after Zimmer stole third, Rodriguez singled through the left side to send him home and knot things at 2.

It stayed that way until the tenth, when Ryan Dettman drew a one-out walk. Drongesen poked a hit-and-run single to right that moved Dettman to third. Zimmer then knocked one into left field to send the fans home happy.

This weekend the Crabs resume Far West League action, welcoming the NorCal Longhorns to the park for a three-game set, Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoon. The Longhorns are 4-2 so far in league play.

Studs Too Strong for Crabs

Tanner McIntyre threw a complete game in Friday's opener, but the Studs hammered the Crabs on Saturday and Sunday.

The Crabs learned two things this weekend: the Seattle Studs are studs with the bat, and Tanner McIntyre's a pretty good pitcher.

McIntyre held the Studs to just one unearned run on six hits in the Crabs' 2-1 victory in Friday's series opener, but the Seattle offense ran rampant on Saturday and Sunday, posting 22 hits in a 13-1 win on Saturday and tacking on 15 more in a come-from-behind 8-5 victory before a packed house on Father's Day to take the series 2-1 and drop the Crabs' overall record to 8-4.

Friday's game was an old-school pitcher's duel, fitting for two old-time ballclubs that have been around for at least 50 years. McIntyre was dominant, throwing a complete game and yieiding just the one run on two bloops and an error in the second inning.

The Studs' David Benson was nearly as good, but the Crabs managed to get to him twice in the fifth. Bradley Zimmer hit a one-out homer to tie the game, and then Spencer Duggan doubled to the wall in left and scored on a single by Ty Afenir.

But while the Studs' pitchers continued to find success the rest of the weekend (they allowed runs in only three of the 27 innings), the same could not be said for the Crabs. The Studs scored early and often on Saturday, hammering Drew Bradshaw, Evan Ewing and Jimmy MacWilliam. Bradshaw took the loss, his  first of the year.

Sunday started off promisingly enough for the home team in front of the big crowd, as the Crabs jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the first inning, benefitting from two Studs errors and another home run from Zimmer, his team-leading fourth of the summer. But that would be it for Humboldt's offense, and the Studs slowly but surely began to chip away at the deficit.

They scored once in the third, once in the fifth and twice in the sixth to pull within one, and then hung a four-spot up in the eighth to claim a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Garrett Breda and Caleb Brown had the big hits in the inning — Breda's two-run freeway ball gave the Studs their first lead of the game, and Brown's two-out single added two insurance runs that dimmed any hopes the Crabs had of rallying. Jason Hampton took the loss in relief of Johnny Malero.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Crabs welcome the Marysville Gold Sox back to the ball park for the first time in a few years, and they look to be just as formidable an opponent as the Studs. The Gold Sox were undefeated on the season until the Redding Colt .45s ended their 35-game winning streak on Sunday night. Game time is 7 p.m. both nights.

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