Mad River Union
ARCATA – In the seventh inning Sunday at the Arcata Ball Park, Crabs infielder Kyle Knell took off from first base in an attempt to steal second.
Brady Hinkle, catcher for the visiting Seattle Studs tried to throw him out, but his throw sailed over the second baseman into center field. This ignited the Crabs faithful into cheers as Knell tore around second base and slid head first into third.
However ,the throw came in from center field and Knell was tagged out as his hand momentarily came off the bag. This sent the crowd in the bleachers into a fit of boos and jeers as they were eagerly watching for the Crabs, who were holding on to a 4-1 lead, to earn their first home win of the season.
The Crabs were 2-5 heading into Sunday with all 5 of their losses in front of their home fans and their two wins on the road against the Redding Colt 45’s. The stage was set for Friday night with Seattle in town for the weekend series.
A game tying two-run homer from left fielder Ubaldo Lopez in the series opener accounted for the Crabs complete run total. Starting pitcher Josh Mollerus lasted six innings and gave up only two runs, but a seventh inning melt-down leading to five runs and included three errors doomed the Crabs to defeat. Jordan Eglite took the loss for the crabs.
On Saturday, the Crabs were limited to just one run on four hits as they faced a committee of Seattle Pitchers who worked for three innings each. Crabs first baseman Bryce Kirk drove in the sole run in the ninth inning but that was all they could muster and lost by a score of 2-1. Davonte Butler had a nice outing for the Crabs lasting 7 innings and surrendering only a run.
And so the Sunday afternoon crowd was, let’s face it, not used to this sort of thing. Five losses in a row at the Arcata Ball Park? Unheard of! Especially after last year’s total loss count was only 10.
And so when Knell was called out at third in the seventh after beating the throw and the throwing error at second the fans were understandably upset. The Crabs were leading by a score of 4-1, and the win was palatable but not inked yet. A runner at third poised to score would really be something to cheer for.
Crabs Manager Robin Guiver said of the call, “He thought he got his hand back to the bag before the tag. Bang-bang play.”
The score would hold up though thanks to some great pitching by starter Evan Gibbons and reliever Dylan Campbell. Also, a notable stat for Humboldt, no errors! And the home town fans got to witness the first win of this young 2019 season.
Giuver would say later on,”I thought we pitched really well all weekend and if we continue to pitch like that and clean up the defense a little and improve our bats a little we should start to get on a roll.”
That roll could start this week as they host a two-game series against the Seals starting on Tuesday night and three games starting Friday night against the San Louis Obispo Blues whom they swept last year.