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Home Again, and in the Home Stretch

After spend the weekend in lovely — except for the weather — Medford, the Humboldt Crabs return home today, and while it's hard to believe, tonight's 7 p.m. game against the Fresno Cardinals marks the beginning of the final homestand of the 2011 season.

The road trip was moderately successful, with the Crabs dropping Friday's game against the Southern Oregon RiverDawgs 10-9, then bouncing back to sweep a doubleheader on Saturday by scores of 8-0 and 3-0. None of the games counted in the Far West League standings, which find the Crabs holding onto the top spot in the Northern Division at 14-4 (26-10 overall), three games ahead of the Redding Colt .45s.

The Cardinals are in fifth place in the FWL South, with an 8-13 league record after falling to the RiverDawgs 6-5 on Monday, and they surely know time is running out if they hope to qualify for the league tournament.

Tonight is Veterans Night, with all current and former servicemembers getting in for $2. Wednesday's doubleheader is Hawaiian Shirt Night. Anyone with a Hawaiian shirt on gets $1 off admission, and there will be prizes for the best shirts.

Looking further down the schedule, the Nevada Bullets come to town this Friday and Saturday, and Sunday afternoon's game will be against the Steelheads.

SCHEDULE NOTE: Pirates Series is at Home Tue & Wed

Please note that this week's Far West League series against the NorCal Pirates has been moved up a day and will now be played at the Arcata Ball Park. Printed schedules were made before this change.

Tuesday will be a doubleheader beginning at 5:30 p.m. and Wednesday will be a single game. For the complete Crabs schedule, click here.

Crabs Take All the Glory

ARCATA (July 10) — The Humboldt Crabs offense broke out in a big way over the weekend, scoring 32 runs in three games as they swept the California Glory in Far West League action, surging to the top of the Northern Division at 11-4 (21-9 overall), a game in front of Redding.

On Friday, the Crabs prevailed 7-3. Austin Prott and Kyle Cerrudo both went 3-for-3, and Ivory Thomas drove in three runs without a hit — with a sac. fly, a walk and a hit-by-pitch. They were supported by seven strong innings from Chris DeBoo, who gave up three runs, but none of them was earned.

Saturday evening, the Crabs routed the Glory 14-3. The big blows were struck in the middle innings as the Crabs hung out a five-spot in the fourth followed by a four-spot in the fifth. Each inning was highlighted by a two-run triple, first from Justin Higley, then from Nick Latta. Kyle Crawford picked up the win.

Sunday's sunny finale saw the Crabs strike for seven runs in a wild second inning, paving the way for an 11-4 win. The craziness started right away in the inning. After Cody Gappa doubled to lead off, Latta singled him in, took second on the throw, then came all the way around to score himself when Glory catcher Trent Woodward's throw to second sailed all the way past center fielder Dustin Lauglin.

The Crabs continue FWL play at home on Tuesday and Wednesday against the NorCal Pirates. Tuesday's doubeheader starts at 5:30 p.m., and Wednesday's game is at 7 p.m. (Please note: printed schedules that have this series being played on the road are incorrect.)

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.

No-Hitter Helps Crabs Snap Brief Skid

Things hadn't been going well lately for the Humboldt Crabs. They'd lost to their local rivals the Steelheads on Friday. They'd dropped both games in a doubleheader on Saturday. Sunday's opponent backed out, leaving the team and its fans hanging. The team needed a pick-me-up.

How about a no-hitter before a packed house on a beautiful sunny Fourth of July to get things back on track?

That's exactly what college teammates Kyle Crawford and Peter Miller combined to give the Crabs on Monday as they beat the Santa Rosa Gnats 8-1 to snap a three-game skid and send the crowd of 1,446 home happy on this holiday.

Check out photos from Monday's game on our Facebook page!

"It's kind of funny, it was kind of a UOP win day," said Crawford. "(Miller's) my teammate at University of Pacific, and we're kind of the same pitching. We both throw a lot of off-speed, throw strikes. It was kind of a fun thing."

Crabs Corner: Get to Know Robin Guiver

This story originally appeared in the Arcata Eye:

 

Q- What is your main role with the Crabs?

A- I’m the head coach and recruiter. I put the team together on the off-season and get all the guys signed up to play for the Crabs. I go to a lot of college games on the off-season to scout guys and figure out the guys we want on the team. I also work closely with the college coaches to get them signed up and get them up here.

Q- Any changes to your role this year?

A- I’ve been the third base coach for the past 7 or 8 years and I turned it over to coach Jordt so he can get some experience over there and I’m going to be working more with the pitchers this year than I have in the past. That’s my specialty; I was a pitcher so that’s where my specialty is.

Q. When do you start recruiting?

A- We start recruiting as soon as our season ends for the summer. The guys we want to come back that are on the team we ask them before they even leave if they are interested in coming back. Then I start calling college coaches and identifying the guys we want to get. Really end of August early September it’s off and running. We start recruiting and we’re still dealing with recruiting stuff today, all the way up until were going. There’s a lot of different factors that play into it: injuries, the draft, grades, summer school, it’s always changing. The roster changes the whole year. The 12 months I’m recruiting it’s changing the whole time.  And then the guys we get here were lucky to have them and were happy to have them.

Q. What’s your opinion of the 2011 Crabs Team?

A- So far so good. Were waiting for 10 or 11 more players to get here that aren’t here yet. We’ve got guys at Cal State Fullerton and University of San Francisco that are playing in the NCAA regionals and guys at UC Davis, University of Oregon, University of Washington, Seattle University and Bakersfield that are on the quarter system so they have another week of school. They have finals this week and then we’ll get them hopefully next weekend. The guys we have here though have been doing a great job this weekend and I think it’s going to be good. We’re going to pitch well and were going to score some runs so it should be a good summer.

Q. What’s your favorite part about coaching the Crabs?

A- Getting to know the guys and getting to spend time with them and the relationships you build that last a long time. There are a lot of guys I coached that I get calls from. I got calls from 4 or 5 of them this weekend that are like good luck coach and good luck starting the summer. Just getting to know these guys and being lifelong friends after they spend a couple summers in Humboldt. It’s really cool to see how they doing and how their lives are going as they get older and move on in life whether it’s in baseball or family and a job. So that’s the coolest part, just seeing them grow up and become men.

Opening Weekend is a Smashing Success

In the end, the ever-present threat of rain on Saturday only served to make the Sunday afternooon sun all the more glorious, and the shortened bench of opening weekend proved to be no problem at all.

Yes, the opening weekend of the 67th season of Crabs baseball was an unqualified success, with the home team clobbering the Fairfield Indians 10-2, 13-1 and 9-2 to start the season off on the right foot before crowds that blew away the numbers of the past two seasons.

"The offense came out fired up and looked good," said Crabs manager Matt Nutter. "It was good to see the local guys out there hammering the ball."

Indeed, the homegrown players on the Crabs' roster had themselves quite a weekend. David Del Grande, a St. Bernard's grad now playing at Sacramento State, led the way with seven hits in 11 at-bats, good for a .636 average, to go with six RBIs. Andrew Ayers, a returning Crab from last year who also played with Del Grande at St. B's and Sac. State, is hitting .455.

Brad Morgan, filling in until more of the players arrive next week, seems to be trying to make a case to stay on the team with five hits in nine at-bats. Jordan Davis hit a huge double on Sunday, and also showed off his arm behind the plate in picking off an Indian at second with the bases loaded and no outs. Garth Bonomini turned a couple of nifty double plays in the field, and Zach O'Hanen pitched two innings on Sunday, yielding only an unearned run.

Of course, it wasn't just the locals making noise. Cody Gappa hit .500 and leads the team with an .875 slugging percentage. Justin Higley is already endearing himself to fans, thanks in part to a grand slam that ended Saturday's second game.

Nutter acknowledged there was a bit of rustiness — John Austin struggled at times but danced out of trouble several times on Sunday — but noted that Austin had had some time off since his last outing. "You expect that this time of year," Nutter said, "but once everyone gets in I think we'll be fine. We've got some big boys coming in so the lineup will be solid. I'm excited to put these guys all out there and see what they can do."

The Crabs play their local rivals, the Steelheads, Wednesday at 7 p.m. in their last tune-up before starting play in the new Far West League when Fontanetti's Athletics roll into town starting Friday night.

Crabs Honored by Board of Supervisors

EUREKA (May 25) — The Humboldt Crabs were honored Tuesday by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors for 67 consecutive years as a valued member of the local community.

The proclamation was given by District 3 Supervisor Mark Lovelace, who spoke of his own love for Crabs baseball.

"It's realy one of the things that I enjoy most about living here in Humboldt County," said Lovelace. "Every game is always a great event. You get so caught up in how much fun it is that you almost forget the fact that it's really great baseball too."

Anyone thinking Tuesday was going to be just another Board of Supervisors meeting was surely jarred out of their early morning haze as the World Famous Crab Grass Band opened the day's proceedings with the Star Spangled Banner. The band also finished up the Crabs' presentation with their classic rendition of Elvira.

Crabs President Matt Filar read a statement to the Board, and then presented the board with a signed bat and some Crabs hats. Lovelace joked that "I guess that's one of the advantages of being a wood-bat league is that you can get that (bat) through security," prompting laughs from those in attendance.

Below is a video of the WFCGB's National Anthem. More videos are available on our brand-new YouTube channel.

Wanna Work For the Crabs?

How does getting paid to watch the Crabs sound?

Of course, you'll have to actually do some work too, but what better way to spend the summer in Arcata than hanging out at the ballpark, and getting paid to do it?

If you're interested, show up at the Arcata Community Center from 4 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 12. The Community Center is located near HealthSport, at 321 Community Park Way.

For further information, call Randy Robertson at (707) 268-3046.

A Great Time For a Great Cause!

 

ARCATA – Humboldt Crabs Baseball and The City of Arcata announce the season opening dinner on Friday, June 3 at 6 p.m. at the Arcata Community Center, 321 Community Park Way.  Tickets for this event are presale only.

The Crabs invite fans to attend the festivities celebrating their 67th season and meet the 2011 team.

“The season opening dinner is always a memorable community event,” said Crabs President Matt Filar. “Everyone looks forward to this fun evening with their family and friends.”

Fans can purchase dinner tickets at the video counter in all Ray’s Food Place stores and at the Arcata City Hall. A mail order ticket purchase forms can be downloaded as either a Word file or a PDF.

Proceeds from the opening dinner, co-sponsored by the Crabs and the City of Arcata, will go to toward improvements at the Arcata Ball Park. During the evening, the Crabs will sponsor a silent auction to help raise additional funds to support the team.

The doors open with a no-host social hour at 6 p.m., and dinner begins at 7 p.m.  

Special Early Bird Pricing for tickets is available until May 29:  $20 per person for adults, $15 for fans 12 and under. Fans must purchase tickets prior to the dinner; tickets will not be sold at the door.

“The dinner sells out every year,” Filar said, “and every year we have to turn away disappointed fans at the door. So I urge fans, take advantage of the Early Bird Pricing and get those tickets now. They won’t last.”

Crabs fans will meet the new 2011 team at the dinner on Friday night. First pitch of the 2011 season will come the following day, Saturday, June 4, 12:30 p.m., when the Crabs take the field against their traditional opening day rivals, the Fairfield Indians.

If you or your organization would like to donate an auction item for the dinner, contact us at info@humboldtcrabs.com.

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