Humboldt Crabs’ six-game winning streak snapped with 6-3 loss to the Seattle Studs

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Arcata >> Over the years, the Seattle Studs usually don’t completely find their footing with the bats until their second day in Arcata following their 11-hour trip down from the Pacific Northwest.

They bucked that trend on Friday night.

Pounding out 14 hits and using a four-run fifth inning to grab the lead in what was previously a seesaw game, the Studs claimed a 6-3 victory and snapped the Humboldt Crabs’ six-game winning streak in front of nearly 900 spectators at the Arcata Ball Park.

“We were down 3-1 and I was looking around for somebody to answer the call, and we ended up with 14 hits,” Studs manager Barry Aden said. “The second time through, we were able to get to the next guy. Our players showed a lot of character and I’m really excited about the best opponent we’ve had so far this year.”

For the Crabs, who claimed a walk-off win on Thursday night to keep their winning streak alive, they weren’t able to repeat things for the second time in just over 24 hours.

Humboldt — which fell to 9-2 on the season with the loss — had runners on the corners with the potential game-tying run at the plate. However, nothing materialized after Alejandro Lara’s two-out single to bring the would-be tying run up.

Those two runners were the final total in what was a tough night with situational hitting for the Crabs, who left 13 runners on base.

“If we can score with runners in scoring position earlier in the game, I think it changes the whole feeling of the game,” Humboldt manager Robin Guiver said. “That four spot doesn’t mean as much if we can keep it closer and it’s a one-run game at that point.”

And while the Crabs’ situational hitting wasn’t up to snuff Friday night, the Studs’ bullpen also came out firing bullets.

That’s especially true for left-hander Eric Crispell, who struck out seven batters in the final three innings of Friday night’s game to pick up the save.

“Crispell was just lights out. Seven, eight, nine … that was fun to watch,” Aden said. “He’s a senior guy, passed over for everything, strikes out seven in three innings. That’s outstanding.”

The Studs were able to pitch with the lead and close things out late thanks to their big fifth inning.

Scoring four runs on five hits against Crabs starting pitcher Andrew Najeeb-Brush, the Studs kept the line moving quickly once they were able to get runners on base.

Seattle cut the deficit in half when Garrett Breda scored from third on Najeeb-Brush’s failed pickoff attempt that got past Ryan Myers at first base. The Studs tied the game shortly thereafter when birthday boy Connor Savage hit an RBI single up the middle.

Studs DH Lorin Archibald followed up Savage’s RBI single with a run-scoring hit of his own, as his chopper up the middle brought in a pair of runs that proved to be the eventual game-winning swing of the bat.

“That was tough. I think we could have put a little more pressure on them early when we had chances to score,” Guiver said. “They can score, for sure, and they just strung some hits together. Andrew was pretty good, but it seemed like he got a little tired earlier than we thought he would. He did a pretty good job and then ran into some trouble in the fifth.”

Exactly like Thursday night’s game, the Crabs were able to give their starting pitcher a 1-0 lead after the top of the first.

And just like the previous game, it was Jeremiah Burks providing the big hit, as he smoked an RBI double off the wall in center field to bring in Alex Aguiar, who reached on an error to open the inning.

Burks, who entered the game with a team-high eight extra-base hits, only extended that figure with his first-inning hit.

“He’s a stud and he’s always one of the first guys here at the yard,” Guiver said. “He’s always here for whatever extra batting practice we have, getting extra work done. He’s one of those guys who is always putting in extra work. That was what I was told by the guys at Fresno State is that he works his tail off and that’s what we’re seeing. He’s a tremendous athlete and we’re really happy to have him. It’s nice to know we can plug him into the three hole and let him roll.”

The Studs tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the third on an opposite-field RBI single to right by leadoff man Landon Riker.

But, just like the night before, the Crabs were quick to answer.

Burks scored from third on a wild pitch to put Humboldt back in front at 2-1. Moments later, Lara — who had three of the Crabs’ 10 hits in the game — drove in Myers with a two-out RBI single to center field.

That proved to be the final jolt of offense the Crabs had in the game, as they managed just three hits in the final five innings.

“They made good pitches and I think our swings got a little too big in situations where you get a ground ball to short you get a run with a runner on third and less than two outs. They had strikeouts in those situations,” Guiver said. “We left guys on base. It is what it is.”

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