The defending NBC World Series champion Seattle Studs rolled into Arcata and took two of three from the Crabs

by Erik Fraser/Humboldt Crabs

ARCATA (June 15, 2014) — They may have been asking for it by bringing in the defending National Baseball Congress World Series champions, but the Crabs received a bit of a reality check this weekend, dropping two of three games against the Seattle Studs, ending the series with a disappointing one-hit performance as they were shut out for the first time this season, 9-0.

“They’re very, very good," Crabs manager Tyson Fisher said of the Studs. “They swing the bats well, they took advantage of every mistake that we made pitching, and they made us work for it. They’re not the national champion for no reason. …They find ways to put pressure on you and that’s exactly what they did (to us).”

Sunday’s game seemed doomed from the start as the visitors took a 2-0 lead without the benefit of a hit in the top of the first, thanks to a walk, an error on a sacrifice attempt, and an RBI-groundout. Then in the bottom of the inning, Alex Crosby hit a long fly ball to left that bounced off the top of the tall fence onto the freeway, but three feet foul.

That long strike would prove to be the best ball the Crabs hit all day against Studs starter Scott Kuzminsky and a trio of relievers. In fact, the only tally in the “H” column for the Crabs was an infield single that Crosby barely beat out in the fourth.

Meanwhile, the Studs just kept adding to their early lead, scoring in each of the first four frames. They added two more in the sixth, and cruised to an easy victory, taking the drama out of an otherwise splendid sunny Father’s Day afternoon before 1,547 at the Arcata Ball Park.

The weekend had started out well enough as the Crabs took the series opener 8-5. Andrew Nelson stifled the Studs over six innings on the mound. Morgan McCasland’s second homer of the year got the Crabs’ offense started, and a five-run third put the home team comfortably ahead. A four-run rally by the Studs in the eighth made things interesting, but the Crabs held on.

On Saturday, back-to-back homers by Brent Gillespie and Taylor Tempel gave the Crabs an early 2-1 lead, but they only seemed to jolt the Studs to life, as they racked up 11 runs on 16 hits. Gillespie hit another homer in the fourth, but that was all the Crabs would get until the ninth, when a four-run rally proved to be too little, too late.

Despite the disappointing result against Seattle, Fisher believes the weekend provided his team valuable early-season experience.

“We want to win the series, but playing three games against a team like this, I feel like it only makes us stronger for later on, and that’s going to be the message to the guys,” Fisher said. “We can handle this one of two ways: we can hang our heads about it, or we can bounce back on Tuesday and try to get better and learn from mistakes, and that way later on in the season we’re winning those games.”

They had better learn from those mistakes quickly, as their midweek opponents, the Marysville Gold Sox, with provide another tough test during what is probably the toughest portion of the 2014 schedule.

Healdsburg is quality, and then this weekend we had Seattle and they’re quality, and then youv’e got Marysville, and they’re quality,” said Fisher. “But we want to be one of those elite teams, so we’ve got to play those elite teams. We look forward to getting back to the ballpark on Tuesday and working hard.”

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