The 80th season of Humboldt Crabs baseball is off and running, and quite an opening weekend it was. In front of a packed house on a beautiful Friday evening the series opener, the Crabs narrowly defeated visiting Seals Baseball 2-1.

McKinleyville High alum Cameron Saso, returning for his third season with the Crabbies, earned the win with five innings of shutout ball, allowing five hits and striking out five before giving way to the bullpen. Sean Carey threw two innings, and Andrew Overland threw the 8th and 9th to pick up the save.

Another returner, Billy Ham, drove in both Crabs runs and went 4-for-4 on the day. The Seals would put up a run in the sixth, but a rare attempted straight steal of home was foiled by an alert play by the Crabs’ catcher.

As much of a pitcher’s duel as Friday night’s game was, Saturday’s game was…not. When the dust settled after a wild, back-and-forth battle that featured 29 hits and 15 walks, the Seals came out with a 17-13, 10-inning victory.

The Seals jumped out to a 4-0 lead after just half an inning, thanks to the first of Blake King’s two home runs and a 15-foot “double” that fell with a thud on the infield grass. The Crabs would rally to tie it at 5 in the third, only to see the Seals come right back with six runs in the fourth and two in the fifth to take a 13-5 lead.

But again, the Crabbies clawed their way back into it. Troy Harding’s double keyed a six-run sixth, and the added a run in the 8th but were still trailing 13-12 with one out in the ninth when Javier Felix came to the plate. Felix put a charge into a ball, and the crowd, blasting one to center that just cleared the fence for a game-tying home run.

But the celebration was short-lived, as a series of Crabs miscues led to four Seals runs. The 17-13 deficit was too much for the home team to overcome.

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