It's a rare feat when a team manages more runs than hits over a three-game series. But thanks to consistently poor defense by the San Francisco Seals, that's exactly what the Humboldt Crabs did this week, scoring 17 runs on 14 hits in sweeping a three-game midweek series.
The Crabs won Tuesday's game 2-0, despite managing only two hits. The Seals' Xavier Garcia was the tough-luck loser in the game — the only run he allowed came on a bases-loaded walk in the fourth the forced in Bradley Zimmer.
Zimmer would single in Jared Deacon in the fifth for the game's only other run. Drew Bradshaw threw eight shutout innings to improve to 4-1 and Jason Hampton pitched the ninth for his third save.
In the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader, a 4-1 win, Chad Bunting — a late addition to the Crabs' roster due to some injuries — introduced himself to the fans in fine fashion. In his first at-bat, he banged a double off the left field wall to plate both Spencer Duggan and Ty Afenir for an early 2-0 lead.
Seals errors in the third and fourth directly led to the Crabs' other two runs. The Seals finally got on the board in the seventh against Kurt Yinger. But with two on and two outs, Juan Carrillo tried to catch the Crabs napping and bolted for home when the catcher Bunting threw the ball back to Yinger after a pitch. The ploy failed, and Carrillo was out at home to end the threat.
The series finale was quite a contrast to the first two games. The Crabs led 5-0 after two innings and 9-0 after the fourth. They added two more runs in the eighth to hit double digits in an 11-0 rout. They must have been feeling good after the between-games tri-tip from Myrtle Avenue Market.
Duggan and Bunting each drove in three runs. Duggan was 2-for-2 while Bunting managed to do it without a hit. Kenny Smith got the win, scattering three hits over six innings. Evan Ewing, Tyler Stirewalt and Zach Reser each threw an inning in relief.
The Crabs now sit at 29-6 overall, and their 12-3 Far West League record gives them a 1 1/2-game lead over the second place Neptune Beach Pearl. They welcome another FWL opponent, the Walnut Creek Crawdads, to town this weekend, for what is amazingly the next-to-last weekend of regular season games this year. The Crawdads are 6-11 in league, and will be desperate for wins if they hope to make the league tournament, which will be held at the Arcata Ball Park from Aug. 3-5.