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Crabs Send Prune Packers Packing

ARCATA (June 10) — With their roster getting closer and closer to being fully here, the Humboldt Crabs took three-of-four from the visiting Healdsburg Prune Packers over the course of a beautiful June weekend at the Arcata Ball Park. They won the opener 4-2 on Friday, then dropped the first game of Saturday's doubleheader 5-4 before unleashing the offense in a pair of mercy-rule wins in Saturday's nightcap and Sunday's series final, 10-0 and 13-3.

"I liked it," said Crabs manager Matt Nutter. "We're starting to gel a little bit, starting to get guys in, and except for the one game we dropped I thought we played well."

Nutter was particularly please to see the Crabs' offense get untracked in the final two games.

"We were a little slow out of the box early, but came on there in the last two games and hit the ball really well," he said.

Game 1

The Crabs started off Friday's night game with a trio of errors, handing a pair of unearned runs to Healdsburg in the top of the 1st inning. The newly-arrived infielders booted some easy ground balls to open up the door to the visiting Prune Packers. All of the infielders with errors were in their first game in a Crabs uniform and seemed to feel the pressure a bit. The Crabs answered back with a run of their own in the bottom of the 1st inning.

The Crabs gathered their nerves and shutdown the Packers offense for the rest of the game. Humboldt added one run at a time in the 2nd, the 3rd, and the 7th innings to beat the Prune Packers 4-2 in the first game of the weekend series.

The winning pitcher for the Crabs, with a complete game victory, was Drew Bradshaw. Bradshaw went nine innings with three hits, two walks, and eight strikeouts.

The losing pitcher for the Prune Packers was Peter Thorson. Thorson went eight innings, allowing four runs on six hits with three walks and eight strikeouts.

Leading the offense for Humboldt was Chris Akmon, who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Healdsburg was led by Francis Griffin, who went 1-for-2 with a walk and a stolen base.  

Game 2

The opening of Saturday's doubleheader was scoreless thru the first three innings. In the top of the 4th inning Healdsburg plated a single run. Humboldt quickly responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning. The Crabs tacked on another run in the 7th inning, but allowed three runs to the Prune Packers in the top of the 8th and a single run in the top of the 9th. Humboldt was able to score a single run in the bottom of the 9th inning but fell a run short on the right-field scoreboard.

The losing pitcher for the Crabs was reliever Connor Chick, who gave up four runs on five hits with three walks and a strikeout. The Crabs starter, Brian Bynum, went seven innings allowing one run on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.

Winning pitcher for the Prune Packers was Devin Breining. He pitched one inning with one strikeout. The Packers starter, Cameron Mayville, went six innings giving up three runs on seven hits with a pair of walks and strikeouts.

Healdsburg's offense was led by Kevin Castillo who went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a walk. The Prune Packers defense was led by catcher, Elliot North. North gunned down three consecutive steal attempts in the game and none of the calls were even close.

Humboldt's offensive leaders were Caleb Wood and Zack McCoy. Wood went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and was caught stealing. McCoy went 3-for-4 and scored three out of the team's four runs in the ball game.  

Game 3

The nightcap of the double-header was not as exciting as the previous game had been, but it ended with a bang.

The Crabs jumped on the Prune Packers early by scuffing up starting pitcher Andre Holmes for six runs on five hits and four walks in two and a third innings. The Prune Packers continued to walk batters after Holmes' exit and soon found themselves sinking against the Crabs.

Crabs starting pitcher, Chad Hodges, went all five innings allowing no runs on two hits with nine strikeouts and one walk. The 2nd game of this double-header was only scheduled for seven innings, which is why the 10-run rule was called in the 5th inning.

The night was capped by the most exciting play of the four game series in the bottom of the 5th inning. Jeremie Fagnan came to the plate with a man on and blasted a ball well beyond the right-field fence on a night where the breeze was blowing straight in from right-center. The homer was the first of the Crabs 69th season.

Game 4

For the Prune Packers, the problems began before the ceremonial first pitch. Their slated starting pitcher was scratched due to rotator cuff issues when he was warming up. Healdsburg had to start the game with their already exhausted bullpen taking the mound. They quickly allowed three hits and six walks in the 1st inning which plated six runs for the Crabs. Humboldt only needed to hold steady to all but lock up the series with three wins and one loss.

Healdsburg fired back with runs in the 3rd and 4th innings but they were only able to muster three runs in those innings. Humboldt finished strong with two runs in the 6th, two runs in the 7th, and three runs in the eighth to seal a 10-run victory yet again.

Healdsburg was led on offense by lead-off man Marty Greinke, who went 2-for-4. Losing pitcher for the Prune Packers was Matt Wheeler with less then an inning under his belt.

Humboldt was led on offense by Pete Miller and Nick Minteer. They combined to go 5-for-8 with five runs, one RBI, and two walks. The winning pitcher for the Crabs was Johnny Melero with seven innings allowing seven hits resulting in three runs with two walks and two strikeouts.

The Crabs want to thank the Prune Packers for being such a class act on the field and in the stands. It was an honor for all involved to host a team with such great sportsmanship. Healdsburg even hung around post-game to high-five a couple hundred kids as they ran the bases at the conclusion of Sunday's game.

Do You Feel a Draft?

ARCATA (June 9, 2013) — The 2013 Major League Baseball draft was held this week, and, it was a good time to be a former Crab, as five players who spent at least one summer at the Arcata Ballpark got that coveted phone call.

Outfielder Justin Higley, a 2011 Crab who went to Sacramento State, was the first of the four to hear his name called, as the Oakland A's selected him in the 13th round, 401st overall.

Next up was pitcher Tyler Stirewalt of Fresno State, who was on the Crabs' 2012 team. He was picked in the 21st round, 620th overall by the Minnesota Twins.

Andrew Ayers, the loca boy who starred at St. Bernard's in high school and was named the Crabs' Best Offensive Player in 2010, was taken in the 30th round, 894th overall, by the Kansas City Royals.

2011 Crabs MVP and fan favorite Ivory Thomas will be joining Stirewalt in the Twins' system after they took him in the 34th round, No. 1010 overall.

And Ty Afenir, the Crabs 2012 starting Shortstop, was taken in the 39th round, No. 1184 overall, by the Washington Nationals.

Congrats to all of four of these outstanding players, and good luck to them all as they continue their baseball careers!

Off and Flying

ARCATA (June 2, 2013) — Despite having less than half the team here for opening weekend, the Crabs started their 69th consecutive season off well by winning two of three against the Fairfield Indians, who returned as the traditional opening opponent after a one-year hiatus.

Weekend photos on Facebook:

"We basically had two pitchers per game this weekend, and it kind of showed at times," said Crabs manager Matt Nutter, "And we've got six position players and a bunch of old coaches, so to take two out of three, we'll take it."

The old coaches Nutter was referring to were Jeff Giacomini, Brad Morgan, and Spencer Duggan, who won't be eligible to play in league games, but pitched in to help fill out the roster as the team waits for the rest of its players to finish school, finish their college seasons, or both.

Despite the shortened bench, the Crabs nearly pulled off a sweep. In Sunday's series finale, the home team let 4-3 with two outs in the ninth, but couldn't get that crucial 27th out in time. Rupert Watson doubled to deep right-center to drive in the tying and go-ahead runs, and came around to score an insurance run shortly thereafter in a 6-4 Indians victory.

The Crabs had taken both games on Saturday, the first in a blowout, the second in a walkoff. In the opener, on a beautiful sunny afternoon, Drew Bradshaw made sure his return to Arcata got off on the right foot, as he cruised through seven innings before handing off to another returner, Ruben Rios for the final two.

The Crabs put up a run in the first, two in the third, and one in the fourth, before blowing the doors off with a six-run seventh. Clay Cederquist, Zack McCoy, Nick Minteer and Peter Miller each had two hits, and seven different Crabs drove in runs in the 10-0 win.

Anyone hoping that the evening game would be just as easy would have been disappointed by the nightcap, but those who wanted to see a tightly contested game with dramatics at the end were not. Each team scored twice in the first, the Crabs took a 3-2 lead in the third, and the Indians answered in the fourth to tie it at 3.

Things stayed that way for quite some time, as the Indians' Ben Monroe and the Crabs' combo of Connor Chick and Thomas Cortese held opposing offenses in check.

Finally, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and the crowd on its feet cheering him on like it was 2012 again, Duggan blooped a single to left, just out of the diving reach of left fielder Lamar Smith, to drive in Kyle Moses from second with the winning run.

The Crabs' next game is Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. against the local Humboldt Sluggers squad. Hope to see you there!

Don't Get Caught Standing In Line

The line at the ballpark box office for tickets can be pretty long, but there's no reason to wait anymore. In addition to the online ticket sales option that we introduced last year, you can now buy single-game tickets at several local outlets.

These individual game tickets, which we must say look pretty sharp, are available at Wildberries, Big Pete’s Pizza, Solo Sports, Ray's Food Place locations in Arcata, Eureka, Fortuna and McKinleyville, and the Arcata and Eureka Chambers of Commerce. They are also available at the "Crabs Shack" at the Arcata Main Street office in the Jacoby Storehouse on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Just like at the box office, there are adult, child, and senior/student tickets. For more information on ticket prices and locations, check out our ticketing page.

There's only one caveat: Holding a ticket does not guarantee admission to the park, so on those few days a year like the Fourth of July when we may sell out, you'll still want to get there early. Because when the park's full, the park's full.

They're ready. Are you?

Matt Nutter and his coaching staff are so antsy to begin the season, they've taken to coaching pizza guys. Take a look at our latest ad:

And make sure you bookmark our YouTube Channel. We're asking fans to send us 30-second videos from this season and we'll post them throughout the season. Email your links or files to humboldtcrabs@gmail.com.

Should We Call it a Crab Pot?

Humboldt Crabs Baseball is building a batting cage at the Arcata Ballpark. The City of Arcata and the Crabs are partnering to build a  20' x 80' hitting practice area in left field parallel to the freeway.  After two years of planning and money saving the foundation was poured on Saturday.

Proceeds from the pre-season dinner for several years have been added to money from the City to finance the project.  A 15' x 70" enclosed “cage” with netting will house a state-of-the-art pitching machine the Crabs, Arcata High Tigers, HSU Club team and any other baseball teams playing there will use for batting practice.  The pitching machine holds 600 baseballs and pitches one ball every six seconds.

This cage will keep the Crabs current with  Division One College Standards at the Arcata Ball Park.  With the money raised and donations of labor from Ed Cook Concrete Construction and the help of the city employees it will be done prior to the season opener June 1.  The cage will change the left field “out of play” area, giving it a new modern looking dimension.  The bullpen is moved and the bleachers will be re-located.  This will give a new practice area for the team and new game viewing opportunities for the fans who support them and sit in left field.

Cook Concrete Construction, led by Ed Cook, two of his employees, Al Mullins and Cory Wilbur, have donated their labor to form and pour the concrete and the retaining wall.

The work has been shared with Arcata employees doing the excavation, the pole installation and cage erection. This effort has been led by Field Superintendent, Fred Lomeli, head carpenter Rob Johnson and employees Michael O'Dowell and Stan Shaeffer.  Parks and Recreation supervisor, Dan Diemer, has assisted in approving this project with Arcata's Engineering and the Building Department as well as approval of the components being purchased. We thank everyone who was involved for helping get the batting cage installed.
 

Work for the Crabs!

The Crabs are pleased to announce that we are now taking applications for our staff for the 2013 season. Many positions are available, including concessions, special events, and security. And of course, the biggest void we have to fill this year is in the 50/50 drawing. Who's going to step up to take over for Luisa?

If you are interested in working at the Ball Park this summer, fill out our online application today!

Going Global

If you've been following the World Baseball Classic this week, you just might have seen a former Crab or two out there representing their countries.

Two players from the 2004 Crabs team are playing in the tournament. Vinnie Pestano, who has established himself as one of the stalwarts of the Cleveland Indians bullpen, is wearing number 52 for the American red, white and blue, while Marco Grifantini is playing for the Italian squad, wearing number 21.

Both teams advanced to the second round out of Pool D in the tournament. Pestano hasn't allowed a run in two innings of work for the Americans. Grifantini was tagged with the loss when America beat Italy in the first round.

Keep an eye out for them if you happen to catch one of these teams on TV. The second round is going on now. Italy dropped a close one to the Dominican Republic on Tuesday, while USA crushed Puerto Rico 7-1. Italy faces Puerto Rico Wednesday at 4 p.m. Pacific time, while USA and the Dominican Republic square off Thursday at the same time. Either or both of our former Crabs could end up in the semifinals next week at AT&T Park!

100 Days Out — Start Making Your Plans!

ARCATA (Feb. 21) — The 2013 season of Humboldt Crabs baseball is just around the corner, and we're getting pretty excited about it here at Crabs HQ. To help build your excitement, here's a PDF of the season schedule you can download, print out, and put on your fridge, or whatever the 21st Century equivalent is.

Some highlights of this season's schedule include:

  • June 1-2: The return of the Fairfield Indians as our traditional opening-weekend opponent
  • June 5: Another matchup against the local Humboldt Sluggers
  • June 14-16: Far West League season opens against the Menlo Park Legends
  • June 25-26: The return of the vaunted Marysville Gold Sox to the Arcata Ball Park
  • July 17-21: The Crabs' only road trip of the season, first to Klamath Falls to take on the West Coast League's Klamath Falls Gems, and then on to Redding and the Colt .45s
  • July 30: The first-ever Far West League All-Star Team will take on the Gold Sox in Marysville
  • August 2-4: Far West League Tournament at the Arcata Ball Park

Hope to see you out at the park!

Give the Gift of Baseball!

What? You missed our little party at Arts! Arcata last week, and you think you're out of luck getting 2013 season passes in time for Christmas? WRONG!

The 2013 passes are hot off the presses and available at many local outlets, including most Ray's Food Place stores, Wildberries, Big Pete's Pizza, Solo Sports (note their new location), Mr. Fish, and the Eureka and Arcata chambers of commerce.

Check out our ticket information page for details and outlet addresses. Happy holidays!

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