Before Sunday's game, Kyle Moses sat in the Crabs dugout as a couple of teammates helped fit him with a pair of bright red suspenders. Not your typical fashion for today's young ballplayers, but this was not a typical day, this was Suspenders Day, to honor the birthday of late Crabs President and Boardmember Jerry Nutter.
Those suspenders seemed to give Moses superpowers. He flew threw the air to make a diving catch to end the top of the first, threw out a runner at home in the fifth, scored three runs, and capped off a thrilling Father's Day at the Arcata Ballpark by driving in the winning run in the ninth inning, lifting the Crabs over the Menlo Park Legends 6-5.
"I think the suspenders were there for us," said Matt Nutter, Jerry's son and manager of the Crabs. "Kyle threw the guy out at the plate — almost two — and was all over the place in the outfield as usual, and then he came up big in the last 'AB' there."
The victory gave the Crabs a 3-1 series win in their first Far West League action of the year, following a 4-2 loss on Friday night and a pair of 7-2 victories on Saturday.
"I think this weekend was a wakeup call for these guys," said Nutter, suggesting that his team hadn't brought the same intensity as their opponents in the series opener. "Maybe Friday night was the game we needed. These guys came back out and answered the bell, three in a row against a good ball club, so I'm proud of them, and hopefully they'll keep it rolling."
In the Far West League opener for the Crabs, the fans were treated to a back-and-forth battle with two dominant pitchers on the mound. Both Andrew Herrera of Menlo Park and Drew Bradshaw of Humboldt kept opposing batters off-balance for the entirety of their starts, with Herrera and the Legends winning the duel 4-2
Bradshaw stayed in the game into the 8th inning, but was unable to leave with a lead. Bradshaw allowed four runs on 11 hits with seven strikeouts and no walks. Herrera went eight innings allowing two runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks.
For the first game of the day's double-header the Crabs sent Brian Bynum to the mound in hopes of a dominating performance. They got what they wanted with Bynum, as he went seven innings, allowing only one run on four hits with four strikeouts and a walk in a 7-2 Crabs win.
The offensive leaders for the Crabs were Clay Cederquist, Cameron Olson, and Trent Goodrich. They all went 2-for-4 in the game. Olson dropped his first bomb of the summer into the City Hall parking lot, the second homer by the Crabs this season.
A short game was on the schedule for the back end of the day's double-header. The Crabs were finally able to score men in scoring position regularly and walked away with a second straight 7-2 win. Only two members of the Crabs starting lineup went hitless in the game.
The winning pitcher was Chad Hodges, who went six innings allowing two runs on five hits with five walks and three strikeouts. The save went to the Crabs closer Thomas Cortese.
Our Father's Day game was a series-ender for the ages. It was a nail-biter throughout with plenty of late game drama.
The Legends and Crabs both got a run in the first and scored in the 3rd inning. Menlo Park put up one in the third while the Crabs hung a crooked number, with three runs. The Crabs took that lead into the sixth inning when they allowed the Legends to score two runs and tie the game. The Crabs regained the lead in the 7th inning with a solo run to go up 5-4. Legend hitter, Danny Miller, brought his team back with a single swing of the bat which sent a no-doubter over the right-center wall. Tied at fives, the Crabs had a lot of pressure heading into the home half of the 9th
The first batter of the inning, Goodrich, got on base with a nifty single into the shallow outfield. During Caleb Wood's at-bat Goodrich stole second, even though the Legends had gone for a pitch-out to catch the runner. Wood did his duty to move over the runner with a sac bunt, putting the win within 90 feet of home plate. Next up was Moses, who slapped a line drive past the drawn-in infielders for the RBI and the walk-off victory.