By Ray Hamill — Gabe Giosso is quickly becoming a fan of Humboldt County, and local baseball enthusiasts are quickly becoming fans of Giosso.
The Humboldt Crabs slugger has been on fire at the plate recently and is showing no signs of slowing down, hitting three home runs in a single game on Tuesday to lead his team to a 22-1 win over the Perth Heat at the Arcata Ball Park.
It was Giosso’s second multi-home-run game of the summer, but that’s just a part of what he has brought to the team.
“He shows up ready to work every day,” Crabs manager Robin Guiver said of Giosso, who recently graduated from Saint Mary’s with a business degree and will continue his playing career at the University of San Francisco while pursuing his masters. “He’s one of the older guys on the team and he’s more mature with the number of college games he’s played.”
That experience has shown.
In Tuesday’s win, Giosso finished 3-for-4 with three home runs, including two in the same inning, as well as eight RBIs.
For the season, Giosso is batting a team-high .433, including an incredible 17 hits in his last five games.
Halfway through the season, he is halfway to matching the Crabs’ single season home run record with a wood bat, which is 10, set by Damian Henderson two summers ago.
“He’s a big strong gifted kid and he’s got a bunch of power,” Guiver said. “He’s fun to be around, but he’s very serious about the game. He wants to get better and he wants his teammates to get better. He’s got a leadership way about him.”
For Giosso, a first trip to Humboldt County has been a memorable one.
“I love playing for the Crabs,” he said. “Between the fans and the area and my host family and getting to meet a lot of cool people on my team, I couldn’t have asked for better.”
Giosso now has five of the Crabs’ 17 home runs this season to go with nine doubles.
Earlier in the summer he hit two home runs in one game against the Redding Tigers.
And playing with the wood bats, instead of the aluminum bats used in college ball, is a challenge he has embraced and one that has not slowed him down at the plate.
“Personally I prefer playing with the wood bats,” he said. “Every summer team swings wood bats and that’s something I have always looked forward to.”
His teammates have also impressed the East Bay native, who grew up in Alamo, CA.
“I think (what’s impressed me is) mostly how everyone works so hard,” he said. “It seems like we all have a common goal and we’re all on the same page.”
Spending a summer in Humboldt has been different weather wise, but Giosso says he is getting used to it and is loving his time here.
“The people are fantastic,” he said. “They’re all so nice. I was working at Pierson’s lumber yard and everyone there is amazing.”
As for his recent remarkable run of form, Giosso is just taking it all in his stride.
“I’m just trying to do what I can to help us win,” he said. “I’m just trying to execute the game the correct way and do the little things.”
So far so good.