by Kevin Wyart
July 2, 2016
ARCATA—After being out of town for the past 10 days, the Crabs put an exclamation point on their triumphant return to Humboldt County as they bludgeoned Top Speed Baseball 16-2 Friday evening at the Arcata Ball Park.
The Crabs (12-8) have won their past five games after dropping the first three games of their road trip last week. For Top Speed (22-2), it was only their second loss of the season.
The scoring got started in the second inning, with Top Speed taking the first lead of the game. Nick Rao led off with a single and was doubled home by Grant St. Martin. A couple of batters later, catcher Rob Berning laced a single to left-center, giving Top Speed a 2-0 advantage.
That lead wouldn’t last however, as Humboldt responded in a huge way in the bottom of the second. Logan Denholm led off with a single, followed by another single by Nick Warren.
The Crabs would get their first run on a fielding error by Top Speed second baseman Nick Rao on a groundball by Michael Perri. After another single by Logan Busch, David Hamilton hit a scoring fly ball to right field to tie the game.
Brian Pozos would add an RBI single of his own and the next batter, James Outman would land the game’s biggest blow, launching a missile over the right field scoreboard to make it a 6-2 game.
“I don’t even want to know what my [batting] average is,” Outman said. “I just go up to the plate hoping I can help us strike first in the game, then wanting to make the last strike at the end.”
The Crabs would add two more runs in the third and would really put the game out of reach in the sixth. They would send nine batters to the plate, including a two run home run by Pozos and score nine times. Denholm hit an RBI double and Perri would add a two RBI single. The Crabs would get three more in the eighth including a 2 RBI triple by Nick Warren. In all, the Crabs would score 16 runs on 14 hits.
For Crabs starting pitcher Jason Alexander, the second inning was a bit of a struggle, but the righty would go on to pitch 6 full innings, allowing only the two second inning runs (one earned) to score. He struck out five, walked one, and only surrendered five hits.
The Crabs bullpen would contribute three scoreless innings of their own. For Top Speed starter Chrit Rudkin, the night didn’t go according to plan, as he was charged with 11 runs, (six earned) on 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked three. The Crabs would score additional runs off Top Speed relievers Stan Wolpuk and Tucker Pullium.
Both these team will be in action again on Saturday for game 2 of the three game series. For the Crabs, this will be day two of a stretch of nine games in 10 days.
“I’m not even thinking about [the amount of games]” Outman said. “I just get to show up and play baseball every day without even having to worry about school. I’m excited.”
Saturday’s game begins at 7pm at the Arcata Ballpark.
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