By Ray Hamill — The Humboldt Crabs will be left a little shorthanded for the remainder of the season after star pitcher Owen Stevenson was handed a golden opportunity this week.
But manager Robin Guiver said he was more than happy for Stevenson, who has been called up to play in the prestigious Cape Cod League.
“It was too good an opportunity to say no to,” Guiver said, describing Stevenson as “arguably our best pitcher.”
Stevenson’s recruitment means the Crabs are doing their job, bringing in the type of players capable of doing big things in baseball.
“I’m happy for him, as much as I’m bummed to see him leave,” Guiver said. “If you do well in the Cape Cod League, you can put yourself in a good job position. If it were me or my kid, I’d be gone. It’s the premier college league, nothing’s comparable.”
Stevenson has been the team’s regular Sunday starter and was 4-0 in seven starts with a minuscule ERA of 0.692, second best on the team behind standout closer Chad Wilson (0.429).
Stevenson, who plays collegiately at the University of San Francisco, finished his time with the Crabs with 49 strikeouts in 39 innings, while allowing 26 hits and walking 10.
The Crabs have seven games remaining, including a tough midweek series against the Alaska Goldpanners, a team Guiver expects to be as tough as any on their schedule this summer.
“Guys are going to have to step up and fill some different roles,” the manager said.
In Stevenson’s absence, Will Springer (3-1) will get the start in Sunday’s series finale against the Fresno A’s, with first pitch set for 12:30 p.m.
The Crabs opened their weekend series against the A’s with a 13-1 win on Friday night, their ninth straight victory as they improved to 34-6.
The two teams play again on Saturday night at 7.
The Crabs close out the season next weekend with three games against the Sacramento Yankees.