ARCATA (Aug. 6) — Faced with the prospect of being bounced early from the inaugural Far West League Tournament, the Humboldt Crabs pulled their ace from their sleeve, and he paid off in spades.
Aaron West improved his perfect record to 7-0 with a complete-game, 12-strikeout gem as the Crabs topped the Atwater Aviators 2-0 in the final game of an action-packed day at the Arcata Ball Park on Saturday.
Thanks in part to a pair of key wild pitches and a passed ball, the Crabs offense did just enough to make sure West's performance didn't go to waste. In the third, Nick Latta singled to lead off, took second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a groundout, and scored on an Ivory Thomas single.
Insurance came in the fifth, when Brett Morgan singled, stole second, advanced to third when strike 3 on Thomas skipped to the backstop, then came home on another wild pitch.
The win extends the Crabs' season another day, and sets up a rematch on Sunday at 10 AM with the Fontanetti's A's, who beat the Crabs on Friday but lost to the Neptune Beach Pearl 8-2 on Saturday.
The Crabs-A's winner earns the right to face the Pearl at 2 PM. If the Pearl win that game, they are the champions; if not, they'll reset and do it again in a winnner-take-all battle at 6 PM.
Sunday's complete schedule is:
10 AM: Humboldt Crabs vs. Fontanetti's A's (loser eliminated)
2 PM: Neptune Beach Pearl vs. Winner of 10 AM game
6 PM: Repeat of 2 PM game, if Pearl lose
Here are the brackets after Friday's games.