Kyle Callahan, Ryan Myers lead Humboldt Crabs to 18-7 rout of the Seattle Studs

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By Danny Penza, Eureka Times-Standard
Arcata >> There’s just something about the summer sun in Arcata that seems to bring out the best in the Humboldt Crabs’ offense this season.

That was on display once again Saturday afternoon.

Continuing the trend from their first two Sunday games, the Crabs’ bats had one of their best showings of the season, scoring early and often en route to an impressive 18-7 win over the Seattle Studs in front of 745 spectators at the Arcata Ball Park.

“Everybody did a great job today,” said Crabs designated hitter Kyle Callahan, who homered and drove in six runs in the game. “We did well in the counts dealing with pitches, placing the ball into holes and not giving the pitchers any kind of advantage.”

In their three afternoon games this season, the Crabs have scored 18, 15 and now 18 runs again, respectively.

There seems to be a trend brewing here…

“I think just coming out here early in the morning, we have a lot of energy,” Crabs first baseman Ryan Myers said. “I think being in the sunshine just gives us more energy.”

Whether they were solar-charged or not, Humboldt again put on a show with the bats against quality opposition on a picturesque day in Arcata.

The Studs might have outhit the Crabs 17-13 in the game, but it was Humboldt’s early offense that truly set the tone.

Myers, the Crabs’ RBI leader entering Saturday’s contest, crushed a two-run home run to the opposite field in right-center to put his team up 2-0.

It was the start of a four-run bottom of the first for the Crabs, as Kyle Callahan doubled the lead with a single to right that brought in Devin Lehman and Kyle Blakeman.

Callahan’s hit not only snapped an 0-for-9 skid he had to open the summer, but was the start of a huge day at the plate.

The Myers-Callahan connection continued to drive the Crabs’ offense an inning later as they stretched their lead to 7-0. This time, Myers drew a bases-loaded walk to score leadoff man Alex Aguiar from third before Callahan hit his second two-run single in as many innings.

Seattle scored a pair of runs in the top of the third against starting pitcher Jeffrey Kersten, but the Crabs responded right away.

They answered with two-run innings in both the third and fourth, with Callahan’s booming solo home run to right field capping the early offensive outburst.

In less than four innings, the Crabs were already into double digits and leading 10-2.

“Today I felt really good because it was the first time I’ve had a hit in four games,” said Callahan, who finished 3-for-3 at the plate. “A little blooper over first base and that’s what broke it open for me. Everybody else on the team was just hitting the ball, getting on base and just helping out the pitchers.”

In total, in each of the first six innings, the Crabs scored at least one run.

Three different Crabs players — Callahan, Kyler Murphy and Kyle Blakeman — had multi-hit games. On top of Callahan’s big day at the plate, the trio of Myers, Chase Fernlund and Devin Lehman all drove in three runs apiece in the win.

“It was good to get out there and score some runs early,” Crabs manager Robin Guiver said. “Myers’ home run started it and Callahan’s hit to get those extra runs in the first was big. We had a chance to get more than one run in the first [on Friday night] and we didn’t get it done, so it was good to get a good crooked number up there in the first inning and continue to score after.”

Kersten, coming off an eight-inning gem last Saturday night, wasn’t as crisp as he was seven days ago, but he still was solid in his six innings of work against the Studs.

He allowed three runs, didn’t walk a batter and struck out six to pick up his third win in as many starts this summer.

“Kersten didn’t have the best stuff we’ve seen this summer so far, but he did a good job, ate some innings for us, pitched well with a lead, kept pitching in the strike zone,” Guiver said. “He’s going to be a guy for us all summer. We’ve got to keep an eye on his innings this summer, so we’ll have to keep those within reason. But he’s going to get out there and do a very good job. When he has the ball, I feel like we’re going to have a very good chance of winning that game.”

The Studs, who have 31 hits in the first two games of the series, had five different players record at least two hits on Saturday. Seattle leadoff man Landon Riker (4-for-5) and first baseman Loren Archibald (3-for-5) both hit home runs in a losing effort.

The Crabs and Studs conclude their three-game weekend series today on Father’s Day, with the customary 12:30 p.m. Sunday start time.

“After coming off a sweep of the [San Luis Obispo] Blues, the Studs are known nationally and probably one of the best collegiate or amateur teams in the country,” Myers said. “That’s why a series win is huge and lets people take notice. That shows everyone that we’re the real deal.”

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