[updated with 11AM game results]
ARCATA (Aug. 6) — In a pitcher's duel, a defensive play made or missed usually determines the outcome, and that was exactly the case Friday night as the Crabs dropped their opening game in the Far West League Tournament 1-0 to the Fontanetti's Athletics.
Fontanetti's right fielder Scott Masik made an outstanding diving catch and turned it into a double play to squash the Crabs' best shot at a rally against starter Mike Manelo in the sixth inning.
Conversely, a less-than accurate throw by Crabs left fielder Casey Watkins allowed the A's Spencer Frazer to stretch a single into a double in the third (an accurate throw would likely have had him), and former Crab Jeff Johnson cashed in the opportunity, scoring Frazer with a solid single to right for the only run of the game.
The Crabs now fall into the loser's bracket, and will try to stave off elimination Saturday at 7 p.m. against the Atwater Aviators, who won the day's first game 3-0 over the Redding Colt .45s. If they can survive that, they'll be faced with the prospect of having to win three straight games on Sunday if they are to capture the FWL Championship.
Fontanetti's plays the second game of the day against the Neptune Beach Pearl, which advanced in the winner's bracket by beating Atwater 12-3 on Friday.
Saturday's complete schedule is:
11AM: Atwater Aviators 3, Redding Colt .45s 0 (Redding eliminated)
3 PM: Neptune Beach Pearl vs. Fontanetti's A's
7 PM: Humboldt Crabs vs. Atwater Aviators (loser eliminated)
Here are the brackets after Friday's games.