Jason Hampton hit a walkoff single to win Sunday's rubber match 3-2 and give Humboldt a solid start in Far West League Play.
The Crabs hosted their first league opponent of the 2012 campaign this weekend, and after dropping Friday's opener, they took the last two games to take the series against the Menlo Park Legends two games to one.
In Friday's contest, the home team got off to a fast start when Will Soto smacked a two-run homer to right in the first inning, but that turned out to be all the Crabs' offense would produce. Meanwhile, the Legends pounded out 13 hits against Tanner McIntyre and Kurt Yinger in a 5-2 victory.
The Legends hoped to keep the momentum on their side on Saturday, and jumped out to an early 3-run lead. But everything came together for the Crabs in the fourth. In a sign of things to come, Bradley Zimmer led off the inning with a triple and quickly scored on a single by Jason Hampton.
With two outs and the bases loaded — after the Legends had failed to turn a potential inning-ending 5-2-3 double play — Soto singled in two runs to give the Crabs the lead. That turned out to be the first of four straight two-out hits, and by the time the Legends finally managed to record the third out, the score was 8-3 in favor of Humboldt. The Crabs would tack on three more the next inning and cruise to an 11-5 win.
For much of the day on Sunday, it looked as if the Crabs would sail to a neat and tidy shutout win on a perfect summer afternoon. They scored once in the first and once in the eighth, and that appeared to be enough for pitchers Johnny Melero, Hampton and Andrew Nelson. But with one on and one out in the top of the ninth, Mike Marcoux hammered a pitch from Nelson over the wall in right to tie the game and set up extra innings.
The Legends threatened in their half of the 11th, but Jimmy MacWilliam worked his way out of a jam to keep it tied at 2. Riley Drongensen then walked to lead off the home half of the inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Zimmer. Then with Drongensen in motion toward third, Hampton drove a ball into the left field gap for the walkoff winner.
Now 5-2 on the season and 2-1 in Far West League play. the Crabs return to non-league action for a while, as they welcome Top Speed into the Ball Park on Tuesday and Wednesday. Both games are at 7 p.m.