Dillon Houser dominated the Seals on Sunday, helping the Crabs bounce back from their first loss to improve to 5-1 on the season

By Erik Fraser/Humboldt Crabs

ARCATA (June 8, 2014) — The game of baseball being what it is, there’s no chance whatsoever the Crabs were going to go undefeated this season. That said, it’s always a little bit of a letdown when that first loss comes.

That loss came on Saturday, June 7, as the Humboldt came out flat against Seals Baseball, and after a game-tying ninth-inning rally, they ultimately fell 6-4 in 10 innings, ending the team’s four-game season-opening win streak.

But not wanting the taste of losing to linger in their mouths, the Crabs came storming back on Sunday, June 8, topping the Seals 10-1 in the rubber match of the series to improve to 5-1 on the young season.

“I talked to the guys last night, I kind of challenged them,” manager Tyson Fisher said after Sunday’s game. “We weren’t very good (Saturday) night. To win (Sunday) was pretty important to us. The guys were excited to get back out there.”

After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, the Crabs scored three in a wild second inning to jump-start their offense. With the bases loaded and two outs, Matthew Sinatro came to the plate. On a two-strike count, he started to offer at a ball in the dirt, but held up. The Seals appealed, then protested when the appeal was denied.

Given new life and with the runners in motion on a full count, Sinatro chopped a ball toward the hole between first and second base and busted down the line. Three defenders converged on the ball, and Sinatro beat them all to first. Manny Ramirez, Jr., scored easily from third, and Trent Goodrich never stopped running, scoring from second. Then when the throw home got away, EJ Stanton, who had started the play on first, scampered home for a 3-1 lead.

“It was pretty weird, there was a lot of stuff going on right there,” said Fisher. “At that point we were kind of struggling a little offensively, so I was just happy to get three runs any way we could.”

The play had to be deflating for a Seals team that thought it had the third out of the inning recorded. They never recovered, managing only one hit against Crabs starter Dillon Houser.

“We were a little short on pitching today so that performance Houser did was tremendous,” said Fisher. “He was very, very efficient, pounded the zone and was able to go seven strong (innings), with not very many pitches.”

While Houser cruised, the Crabs added to their lead, scoring three times in the sixth and four in the eighth, the last two on a home run by pitcher-turned-pinch hitter Brian Bynum.

“Bynum comes to the yard every day, he always wants to hit,” said Fisher. “He takes (batting practice) every day. I talked to him, and told him ‘You’re a pitcher first, but I’ll find a way to get you some at-bats,’ and this was that spot.”

The Crabs had taken the series opener 7-2, powered by a strong pitching performance by Andrew Nelson, who improved to 2-0 on the season, and Alex Crosby, whose three-run homer in the third gave the Crabs a lead they would not relinquish.

They almost managed to pull off the comeback Saturday despite a lackluster performance. Taylor Tempel and Ramirez drove in runs in the ninth to knot things up at 4, but they couldn’t get another runner home from third. Then the first two Seals batters of the 10th walked, and both ultimately scored.

Earlier in the week, the Crabs beat the Valley Bears 5-2 in a single game on Wednesday. Crosby and Morgan McCasland doubled home runs in the first for an early lead, and Eureka’s Justin Hatch threw five innings of one-hit ball.

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