The Humboldt Crabs will welcome an old friend back to the ballpark on Wednesday night, as Merek Sears gets set for his season debut against his old club.
The University of Houston pitcher, who led the Arcata Tigers to a North Coast Section championship in 2019, is back with the Crabs for the second straight summer and is expected to play a big role with the team.
And Sears will make his season debut against his old American Legion club, the Humboldt Eagles, with first pitch set for 7 p.m.
They lost the season opener on Friday night 8-6, and lost again on Saturday 2-0, before avoiding the sweep with an 8-3 win on Sunday afternoon.
“It was a little frustrating, especially on Friday night,” manager Robin Guiver said. “We had a lot of opportunities to get on the right side of things, and we made some errors and just didn’t get the clutch hit.”
Caleb Ruiz got his third season with the Crabs off to a disappointing start and took the loss on the mound in the opener.
The former St. Bernard’s Crusader allowed five earned runs on 10 hits and no walks and struck out six.
Saso gave up three hits and three walks and struck out seven in six innings work.
“On Saturday we did a better job,” the manager added. “They limited our opportunities on Saturday, but I think we’re going to have a good team.”
Another St. Bernard’s graduate, Garrison Finck, also saw time on the mound in Sunday’s win and got the save.
Finck threw four shutout innings in relief of starter Gabe Tanner, who got the win, and allowed just three hits and no walks, while striking out four.
“We pitched pretty well all weekend,” Guiver said.
Michael McKernan also impressed at the plate in the opening series and had a pair of hits in two of the three games in the lead-off spot, while Colby Lunsford began his second summer in Arcata with some timely hits as well.
Guiver also was impressed with his three catchers — Kawana Soares of Nevada, Griffin Meyer of Washington State, and Chubby Cortez.
“I like our three catchers, and that was exciting to see,” Guiver said. “And we’ve got some good speed in the outfield. Some guys that can cover some ground.”