ARCATA ‑ A dramatic 11th-inning walkoff homer on opening night propelled the Humboldt Crabs to a three-game sweep of the Rockville RockHounds to start off the 2017 summer baseball season.
Fresno State’s Jeremiah Burks endeared himself to fans and teammates quickly when he sent a 3-1 pitch over the fence, rewarding the faithful who had stuck around till the end with a hard-fought 5-4 victory.
It was the kind of early season win that can really help a team find its identity.
“Going into extra innings and getting that win, we just met the day before and it already feels like we’ve been with each other for a while,” said Burks.
The Crabs carried the energy through the weekend, putting up double digits in runs the next two games, winning 10-3 on Saturday evening, and 18-8 on Sunday.
“We’re looking pretty good to start,” Burks said, “so we just have to stay with that – and we still have more good players coming.”
Burks had a bit of an idea what he was getting into, as he’s teammates at Fresno State with several recent former Crabs, including 2017 first team all-Mountain West Conference selection Jesse Medrano.
“It’s a great experience out here, lost of fans,” Burks said. “They def told me that it’s a great experience and I can already tell just from this first weekend.”
Burks was certainly not the sole reason the Crabs had a perfect first weekend. In fact, just about everyone got in on the action.
“It went as well as well as we could have hoped,” said first-year manager Robin Guiver, who took over after Tyson Fisher stepped aside after last season. “Everybody pitched except for Junior (Davis) who’s pitching Wednesday (against the B52s), all our batters got a lot of at-bats, and we got three wins.
First baseman Ryan Myers from Montana State hit two home runs on the weekend, the second of which was a towering shot on Sunday afternoon.
Gonzaga’s Patrick Chung also got in on the long ball action, homering to spark a nine-run eighth inning on Sunday.
“We played well up and down the lineup,” said Guiver. “There were times when the bottom of the lineup was getting it done, times when the top got it started. Ryan Myers showed some good power, we did some real good things.”
So was it weird for Guiver being the manager, after spending so many years assisting?
“ I don’t feel that much different at all,” Guiver said. “When I coached with Nutter before he allowed me to do a lot, so it feels pretty natural.”
Guiver did concede that it was a little weird not being in that third-base coach’s box, and did have remind himself once that he’s not the pitching coach either, but baseball’s all about adjustments, and it’s no different for coaches.
The season continues Wednesday night, with the first-ever meeting with the Humboldt B52s, followed by a weekend series with the California Expos.
• Check out Crabs Corner every Sunday at 6pm on KIEM News Ch. 3 under Sports.
• Listen to North Coast Game Night / ESPN raddio on KATA 1340 AM, 92.7 FM every Monday starting at 4pm. Live broadcast from Six Rivers Brewery. JB Mathers and Tag Wotherspoon interview the Crabs players all summer long.
• Watch all the Crabs games on the Humboldt Crabs You Tube Channel.
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