By Ray Hamill — Two more local players have been added to the Humboldt Crabs roster, as the team gets set to open the 2022 season one week from today.
The longtime local club will field six former H-DNL players this summer, with the recent additions of Hayden Bode and Merek Sears joining Caleb Ruiz, Garrison Finck, Cameron Saso and Eureka High senior Jackson Giacone.
“We have six local players, which is a lot,” Crabs manager Robin Guiver said. “I’m excited about it. That’s representative of how the local guys are doing right now, and I’m excited about all of them.”
After seeing plenty of midweek action on the mound last summer, Ruiz is the only returning player of the group, which includes a pair of Division-I players — Giacone and Sears.
Sears, a left-handed pitcher who won an NCS title with the Arcata Tigers in 2019, is currently competing with Wabash Valley College at the NJCAA World Series in Colorado and will play at the University of Houston next year.
He will only be available to the Crabs for the first half of the season, but the opportunity to have him on the roster even for a few weeks was too good to pass up.
“We only get him for half of the season, but I’m happy to have him for half of the season,” Guiver said. “He’s had a really good year at his college and I think he’ll be a good addition.”
Bode, a 2021 Eureka High graduate, also is a late recruit after splitting his time between football and baseball at Butte College this past year.
According to Guiver, he has been on the team’s radar for a while and the opportunity to include him arose after the Humboldt B52s announced they would not be fielding a team this summer.
“He’s committed to baseball,” Guiver said of Bode, who had planned on playing for the B52s. “And the’s a young guy with a lot of upside.”
Giacone, meanwhile, will play at Cal State Fullerton after graduation and Guiver says he is excited to have him on the roster after seeing him take batting practice with the team last summer.
Giacone, whose uncle Eric is an assistant coach with the Crabs, is the only local player who won’t pitch for the team, although Saso will be a two-way player who will see time on the mound as well as on defense and at the plate.
Saso, a McKinleyville High graduate, will be busy this weekend playing for Lake Folsom College at the four-team California JC state championships
Both Ruiz and Finck are St. Bernard’s graduates, with the former playing this spring for the College of San Mateo and the latter pitching at the Division-II level for Cal Sate East Bay.
Interestingly, Finck, Saso, Sears, Ruiz and Bode all played together for the Humboldt Eagles American Legion squad, the same team the Crabs open the new season against next Friday.