Morgan McCasland is mobbed by teammates after his inside-the-park not-home run on Friday against the Walnut Creek Crawdads.
A 2-1, 14-inning loss was the only blemish as Humboldt improved to 27-11
by Erik Fraser/Humboldt Crabs
ARCATA (July 20, 2014) — The chilly evening air at the Arcata Ball Park did nothing to cool off the Crabs last week. The team posted a 4-1 record against the San Mateo Rounders and Walnut Creek Crawdads, and their only loss came in a game that was scoreless through 13 innings.
Crabs manager Tyson Fisher was quick to praise his pitching staff, which allowed just seven runs in the five games.
“Our pitchers have been great all series, all year really,” he said. “I don’t know what our team ERA is but I know it’s under three (it’s 2.34). The performances we got all weekend were great. We’ve been really good out of the bullpen all year, and this weekend we were good from the starting roles all the way to the closer role.”
The best pitching performance of the week was that of the starter in the only game the Crabs lost – Jake Shull. Shull simply overpowered the Crawdads’ lineup, retiring the first nine batters he faced, and carrying a no-hitter into the seventh in a game that was zipping along.
But he was matched zero for zero on the scoreboard by Walnut Creek’s 6’ 5” right-hander Taylor Wright, who pitched into the ninth. Both bullpens continued the theme as the game stretched into extra frames, but not for lack of scoring chances, at least for the Crabs.
Morgan McCasland doubled deep to left-center with one out in the ninth, but was left there. In the 10th, the Crabs put runners on second and third with one out, but two grounders to second failed to produce the winning run.
Beau Bozett nearly won it in the 12th, laying a bunt down on the third base line with a man on third and two outs, but Crawdads third baseman Joey Lewis made fine play to pick up the ball and fire the ball to first just ahead of Bozett’s foot.
It was Lewis who finally broke the seal in the top of the 14th, knocking in two Crawdads when Bozett couldn’t quite make the play on his bases-loaded liner to right. The Crabs would get one back in the bottom of the inning, but a potential game-tying run never got past second base.
The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for the Crabs, and one might have wondered if it would be tough to rebound after falling in a marathon like that. But the Crabs showed no signs of a hangover, rebounding to take the final game of the series 6-1.
“We played 14 innings, but it’s not like the game time was that much longer,” said Fisher. “We still got out of here by 11 I think, so it was just a quick game that went an extra long time. You always kind of worry a little bit about how guys will respond after a tough loss like that, but our guys have bounced back all year long after tough losses.”
Alex Crosby, whose double keyed a four-run seventh on Sunday to put what Fisher called “the nail in the coffin” of what had been a one-run game, said the team knew what kind of mindset would be needed on Sunday.
“Don’t act tired the next day,” he said. “We had to come out prepared, ready. We needed the win and we got it.”
In the opener against the Crawdads, Andrew Nelson added to his team-leading wins total, improving to 7-0 with six solid innings in a 7-3 Crabs win. Kyle Moses and McCasland provided the spark on offense, Moses with a three-run double in the fourth, and McCasland with an inside-the-park home ru—er, triple-and-and-error-that-allowed-him-to-score in the second that rattled around against the fence by the “394” sign.
The series win gave the Crabs a measure of revenge against one of the teams that had beaten them when the team was on their road trip, and they’ll get a chance at more this weekend. After a three-game midweek set against the Pacific Union Capitalists that includes the only doubleheader on this year’s schedule on Wednesday, the Crabs will welcome their rivals from over Highway 299, the Redding Colt .45s. The .45s took two of three when the teams squared off in the Redding heat, and Crosby, for one, is ready for payback.
“We owe it to those guys to put it to ’em and sweep ’em,” he said.
• Watch Crabs Corner every Sunday at 6pm on KIEM News Ch. 3 Sports.
• Read up on all the Crabs games from the daily newspaper in town, the Times-Standard.
• View all our photos from the weekend our Facebook page.
• Each week we'll have a new player supplement inside the Crabs program for sale at the ball park with scorecards, new player photos, special events, social media info and a week wrap up story by Erik Fraser. There is also a Crabs Kid's program available that comes with crayons for your little crabbie.