Playing away from the Arcata Ball Park for the only time this season didn't seem to bother the Crabs much, as they took two out of three games from the Neptune Beach Pearl in Alameda over the weekend. The series victory gave the Crabs a 26-6 overall record and a 9-3 mark in the Far West League, good for a share of first place as they head into the home stretch of the season.
In Friday's contest, Tanner McIntyre improved to 4-1 on the season, allowing two runs in seven innings in a 4-2 win. Zach Reser came in for the last two innings and picked up the save. Spencer Duggan, Ryan Wiggins and Ryan Dettman each drove in a run.
The Pearl bounced back on Saturday to snap the Crabs' nine-game win streak 6-3. They did most of the damage in a five-run second inning, aided by two Crabs errors and a balk. Kyle Swannack took a tough-luck loss, as only half of the six runs he allowed were earned.
After an evening interlude taking in a San Francisco Giants game Saturday night, it was back to the ballpark bright and early on Sunday morning for the rubber match. The Crabs scored three runs early, as Will Soto doubled in Jared Deacon and then scored himself on a groundout in the first, and Ryan Dettman scored an unearned run in the second.
But the lead was quickly erased in the third, when Bob Cruikshank homered for the Pearl with two on off Johnny Melero. The Crabs retook the lead 5-3 in the fifth on RBI singles by Bradley Zimmer and Andrew Rodriguez.
The Pearl wouldn't go away, and still only trailed 6-5 heading to the eighth, but Zimmer drove in two more runs in a three-run rally to provide some decisive insurance as the Crabs prevailed 9-5. James Barragan, who had come in to relieve Melero in the fifth, got his third win of the season.
The Crabs, who have won ten of 11 and 18 of their last 20, are getting some attention across the country now, as even before they went 5-1 last week, they showed up at #24 in the Perfect Game summer collegiate rankings. They now return home for the last two weeks of the regular season. And aside from a doubleheader against the Redding Colt .45s on the 25th, every game left is against a league opponent, starting with the San Francisco Seals, who come to town on Tuesday for a three-game set. First pitch Tuesday is at 7 p.m., and Wednesday's doubleheader starts at 5:30.