By Ray Hamill — Two former H-DNL pitchers will start for the Humboldt Crabs this weekend as they get set to welcome the Seattle Studs to the Arcata Ball Park for a four-game series.
The Studs are always one of the first teams penciled in on the Crabs schedule and the two clubs have developed a good rivalry over the past few years.
“They’re always good,” Crabs manager Robin Guiver said. “We like playing them, they’re well-coached and we’ve had some great games with them. They love coming down here.”
Former St. Bernard’s pitcher Caleb Ruiz will get the start for the series opener on Thursday night, with former Arcata Tiger Merek Sears set to start on Saturday night.
“They’ve all been doing well,” Guiver said of the locals. “They’ve all been doing their part.”
Ruiz, in his second summer with the team, has pitched a co-team-high 10 innings so far and has yet to allow a run.
He is 1-0 and has given up six hits and no walks, while striking out 11.
Thursday will be his second start of the summer.
Sears, who will play at the University of Houston next year, has also been one of the Crabs’ most reliable arms through the opening two weeks and has appeared in six innings.
He has yet to allow an earned run and has struck out eight batters.
Cameron Saso has made two appearances in relief and got the save against the San Luis Obispo Blues on Saturday night, while also playing some shortstop.
Hayden Bode, meanwhile, has made three appearances in relief and is coming off his most impressive outing of the summer against the Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox on Tuesday night.
St. Bernard’s Garrison Finck also has made a couple of appearances in relief and has been equally effective, while Eureka senior Jackson Giacone has appeared in five games and is batting .273 with five walks, which is third best on the team.
Three early rainouts haven’t helped the team’s early-season rhythm, but games on six consecutive days this week should help.
“We’re just figuring things out, but what I’m impressed about is the way they’re going about their business,” Guiver said of his players. “They’re all excited to be with the Crabs.”
Thursday’s and Friday’s games are set for 7 p.m., with Saturday’s first pitch at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday’s series finale starting at 12:30 p.m.
The Crabs (5-2) will play five road games next week, two at Yuba-Sutter and three against the Lincoln Potters.