ARCATA (June 2, 2013) — Despite having less than half the team here for opening weekend, the Crabs started their 69th consecutive season off well by winning two of three against the Fairfield Indians, who returned as the traditional opening opponent after a one-year hiatus.
"We basically had two pitchers per game this weekend, and it kind of showed at times," said Crabs manager Matt Nutter, "And we've got six position players and a bunch of old coaches, so to take two out of three, we'll take it."
The old coaches Nutter was referring to were Jeff Giacomini, Brad Morgan, and Spencer Duggan, who won't be eligible to play in league games, but pitched in to help fill out the roster as the team waits for the rest of its players to finish school, finish their college seasons, or both.
Despite the shortened bench, the Crabs nearly pulled off a sweep. In Sunday's series finale, the home team let 4-3 with two outs in the ninth, but couldn't get that crucial 27th out in time. Rupert Watson doubled to deep right-center to drive in the tying and go-ahead runs, and came around to score an insurance run shortly thereafter in a 6-4 Indians victory.
The Crabs had taken both games on Saturday, the first in a blowout, the second in a walkoff. In the opener, on a beautiful sunny afternoon, Drew Bradshaw made sure his return to Arcata got off on the right foot, as he cruised through seven innings before handing off to another returner, Ruben Rios for the final two.
The Crabs put up a run in the first, two in the third, and one in the fourth, before blowing the doors off with a six-run seventh. Clay Cederquist, Zack McCoy, Nick Minteer and Peter Miller each had two hits, and seven different Crabs drove in runs in the 10-0 win.
Anyone hoping that the evening game would be just as easy would have been disappointed by the nightcap, but those who wanted to see a tightly contested game with dramatics at the end were not. Each team scored twice in the first, the Crabs took a 3-2 lead in the third, and the Indians answered in the fourth to tie it at 3.
Things stayed that way for quite some time, as the Indians' Ben Monroe and the Crabs' combo of Connor Chick and Thomas Cortese held opposing offenses in check.
Finally, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and the crowd on its feet cheering him on like it was 2012 again, Duggan blooped a single to left, just out of the diving reach of left fielder Lamar Smith, to drive in Kyle Moses from second with the winning run.
The Crabs' next game is Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. against the local Humboldt Sluggers squad. Hope to see you there!