Another week of Humboldt Crabs baseball came with something the team hasn’t had much of since the last pre-COVID season, a road trip. The Crabs started the week on the road traveling up to Oregon to take on the Medford Rogues for a two-game series on Tuesday and Wednesday that saw the Crabs take both games 7-2 and 11-5 respectively to continue a strong start to the season.
On Tuesday, the Crabs took the lead early, scoring two runs in the third inning to take a lead that wouldn't give up during the game. Starting pitcher Marcelo Saldana allowed only two hits through five innings of work and recorded two strikeouts with no runs allowed before handing the ball over to relief pitchers Merek Sears and Garrison Finck. The solid defense continued on Wednesday and was followed up with smart offense that saw the team generate runners with not only seven hits, but 12 walks as well.
Heading back to the familiar confines of Arcata Ballpark for the weekend, the Crabs faced the ever competitive San Luis Obispo Blues for a three-game series, which became two after rain canceled Sunday’s game. The Blues showed their offensive stride early, putting up three runs in the third inning following an early error in the inning which was only the first of six errors that the Crabs would commit that night. The Crabs managed to respond however, putting up three runs of their own immediately to keep the game close.
Unfortunately for the home fans, two leadoff walks followed by two errors would ultimately lead to a fifth inning where San Luis Obispo put up five runs, knocking out Crabs starting pitcher Ethan Brodsky to hand the ball over to Caleb Ruiz to pitch the remaining innings. Despite being down by a wide margin, the Crabs battled back late in the eighth inning, putting up three runs in response as fans cheered and players in the dugout urged the offense to put on a show. Even with the late surge, however, the Blues managed to shut the door and deliver the first loss of the season for the Crabs, taking the win 6-8.
Even with the loss, there was a positive message for the team from Manager Robin Guiver as he addressed the team following the loss, praising the fight they showed down the stretch. That fight would continue to show on Saturday with a back-and-forth thriller that saw Arcata’s favorite crustaceans walk off the field with a narrow 8-7 victory. The Crabs trailed in the eighth inning once again, but a leadoff double from Mario DeMera and a walk to Colby Lunsford opened the door for Cary Arbolida to hit a pinch-hit double that scored two and set the table for Nick Salas to knock in two more later in the inning, which gave the Crabs the lead. Pitcher Cameron Saso put the finishing touches on the win, retiring the final three Blues batters in order to put the bow on a well earned win.
The season continues this week with five more games as the Crabs take on the Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox for the Tuesday/Wednesday midweek series before a four game series with the Seattle Studs that starts on Thursday night.