A busy week for the Humboldt Crabs wrapped with the team winning their 10th game in a row against the Menlo Park Legends. The Crabs have been perfect since returning from their five game road trip in late June.
After game two of the Crabs’ series against the Solano Mudcats was rained out, the final game was played on Wednesday where the Crabs took a narrow 5-2 victory. Before the players even stopped on the field, however, State Sen. Mike McGuire announced to the gathered crowd the state of California is set to invest $1 million into Arcata Ballpark. The funds are set to go toward improved disability access at the ballpark, a rebuilt front facade for the stadium and an all new plaza at the front gates.
“It’s almost been 80 years that the Crabs have been playing here in Humboldt County,” McGuire said after making the announcement. “And the stadium needs a little bit of love. So last year we started conversations with the Humboldt Crabs organization as well as the city of Arcata … on what type of enhancements are needed."
After the announcement, the Crabs took to the field and delivered a dominant defensive performance behind starting pitcher Marcelo Saldana, who pitched six complete innings and allowed only one hit while striking out three batters and only giving up one walk. Saldana, who has the third best ERA on the team with 2.66, held the game at 0-0 until the bottom of the fourth inning where a leadoff walk to Cary Arbolida and a double from Tyler Davis set the table for Javier Felix to drive two runs with a double of his own. Felix’s double gave the Crabs a 2-0 lead that they extended to 5-0 before the Mudcats scratched two across in the eighth inning but couldn’t continue their rally.
Following the sweep of the Mudcats, the Crabs put on another dominant performance against the Menlo Park Legends highlighted by offensive prowess. The first game, like much of the series, was a highlight for Crabs infielder Kevin Fitzer, who put up a three RBI night on Friday. The Legends battled early on in the game but ultimately would trail off as the game wore on and the Crabs continued their pressure turning a 3-0 deficit into a 9-3 win. It was the Ethans on the mound that did the bulk of the pitching for the Crabs with Ethan Brodsky starting before handing the ball over to Ethan Brown who struck out seven batters in three innings without surrendering a hit.
Saturday’s game played out much the same with Menlo striking early in the first inning this time with three runs but the Crabs utilizing timely hitting and savvy base running to score four runs of their own in the bottom of the first. As they have for the entire season, the Crabs have been diligent in applying pressure to their opponents and taking advantage of any mistakes they make. The game was another impressive display in the batter’s box for Fitzer as he went 4-4 and knocked in another two runs on the night and Eureka local Jackson Giacone led the team in RBI’s with five in the game.
The Crabs closed out the series and the week in yet another game that was close through the opening stages with both teams trading runs in the early innings before an offensive explosion in the eighth saw the Crabs rocket ahead. Aaron Perez and Arbolida led the way for the offensive charge, putting up three and two RBI’s respectively while Caleb Ruiz and Kelan Scanlan worked their way through the Legends lineup while striking out a combined seven batters. And it was Giacone who scored two runs but had the unfortunate luck of getting hit by three pitches in the game and now leads the team in the hit by pitch category. The final score was 13-5 in favor of the hometown crustaceans and closed out a very successful week for the Crabs who will now look ahead to Redding Tigers and the West Coast Kings who make the trip up to Arcata Ballpark this week.