The Humboldt Crabs will be hoping to put a disappointing opening weekend behind them when they travel for a pair of midweek games at the Redding Colt 45’s, beginning on Wednesday.
The Crabs are used to being shorthanded for the opening weekend as players begin to filter into town from their various college teams, but this season has been particularly tough on the team, which was missing almost half its roster for the opening series against the Corvallis Kights.
The team will, however, have some more players on hand for the trip to Redding, and will be close to full strength in time for the weekend series at home to the Seattle Studs.
The problem has been the success for the players on their respective college teams, with many of them still in action, something head team manager Robin Guiver can’t account for when when he is recruiting.
“We’ll have a few new guys in for Redding,” said Guiver, who had just 15 of 28 players on hand for opening weekend.
Having to play so many people out of position didn’t help matters, with the Crabs defense committing four errors in the top of the eighth inning of Sunday’s series finale, leading to both of the visitors’ runs in a 2-1 loss.
Sunday’s overall performance, however, was a lot more encouraging than either of the opening two games.
“Sunday was a lot better than the first two games,” Guiver said. “I feel like it was a game we should have won.”
The Crabs had the bases loaded with no outs in the bottom of the ninth and appeared on the brink of a walk-off win, but a double play took the sting out of the threat and the Knights were able to hold on.
One big bright spot for the team was the pitching of Devonte Butler, who allowed just three hits in six-plus innings on Sunday.
“Devonte Butler pitched outstanding,” Guiver said. “He shut them down and they’re a pretty good hitting team.”
Tyler Condie and Riley Cleary will each start on the mound in Redding.
The Crabs could have as many as 24 of their 28 players in the dugout this weekend.
Ray Hamill writes at humboldtsports.com, where you can read lots more about sports in Humboldt County.