By Ray Hamill — Baseball has yet to return to the North Coast, but that doesn’t mean some North Coast players haven’t returned to baseball.
In addition to Fortuna’s Kokko Figueiredo, who made his Division-I debut with North Carolina Central University last weekend, three other local Humboldt Crabs are also back playing the game they love.
McKinleyville’s Dylan Campbell, who has played with the Crabs for the past two seasons, is back playing at Mount Mercy University, an NAIA program in Iowa.
The Mustangs are off to a 4-0 start, with Campbell featuring out of the bullpen in a 7-2 win over Morningside on Monday, tossing a scoreless inning in relief.
Also back playing after overcoming some big injuries in 2020 is 2017 Eureka High graduate Aidan Morris.
Morris recently transferred to Bethel University in Tennessee (NAIA) after two seasons at Santa Rosa JC, where he suffered through an injury-plagued campaign last spring, including taking a pitch to the face that broke six bones.
And the 2019 Humboldt Crab is off to a good start with his new team, with a base hit in each of his last two games.
The Wildcats are 1-3 and have had a number of cancelations already, going 17 days between games before returning to action on Tuesday in a 12-5 loss to Blue Mountain.
Morris has started the past two games in the outfield and was 1-for-2 against Blue Mountain.
Another former Eureka Logger, Ethan Fischel, is also returning to action this weekend, when D-III Willamette University opens the season in a four-game stand against Whitman.
Fischel was supposed to debut with the Crabs last summer but the season was canceled because of the pandemic.
He will, however, join the local club this summer.
The junior infielder started all 16 games for the Bearcats in a shortened 2020 season, hitting .254 with three doubles and three home runs.