The back-to-back West Coast League champion Corvallis Knights and the independent Humboldt Crabs will be renewing a special rivalry that got started back in 2000, as Knights Baseball Club CEO Dan Segel announced this morning that the Knights have scheduled a road series at Arcata Ball Park this summer – their first visit since 2009.
Both clubs have rich histories and are excited to get their seasons started with a good old fashioned, wood-bat, turn-back-the-clock, three-game series set for June 1-3 in Arcata, California, located approximately 250 miles north of San Francisco.
“Our organization is thrilled about this opportunity,” said Segel. “Arcata Ball Park is a treasure, and the fan environment is like no other.”
“We think our players and coaches will thoroughly enjoy the Crabs’ experience. The crowd is eclectic and setting so unique. We are very pleased this all worked out.”
The Crabs and Knights last matched up in 2015 at Oregon State’s Goss Stadium at Coleman Field (pictured is former Knights catcher Ryan Matranga of USF poised to make a play at the plate vs. the Crabs). Humboldt visited Corvallis for the first time that summer for a two-game series that the Knights swept, with the finale featuring a 14-inning, 5-4 Corvallis victory as current senior right-handed pitcher Ryan Walker of Washington State earned the win in relief.
”When the Crabs came to Goss, they brought great energy and we played two very competitive games,” said Corvallis skipper Brooke Knight. “Not only will this series be a blast, it’s a great way to get the team ready for West Coast League play and have some early season bonding time.”
Back in 2000, the Knights, then called the Aloha Knights, won their inaugural game at the Crabs, 8-3, before Humboldt came roaring back winning the next three matches in convincing fashion.
The teams played again in 2001, this time the Knights cracked the Crabs; taking 3 of 4 games at Arcata Ball Park. In 2002, the Knights followed the same script, taking the first three games before dropping the series finale.
2003 saw the Crabs turn the tables, winning the first three contests at Arcata Ball Park before the Knights captured the finale. That summer, Humboldt visited Gresham, Oregon to participate in the Knights second annual All-American Invitational NBC World Series qualifying tournament at Mt. Hood CC’s Oslund Field. The two rivals would face-off, with the Crabs edging the Knights 5-4 much to the delight of the World Famous Crab Grass Band, who traveled all the way from Humboldt County to perform and root on their Crabs.
2004 featured the first split between the two clubs at Arcata Ball Park, with the Crabs recording the first two wins and the Knights earning victories in the last two contests.
In 2005, the Knights swept the Crabs for the first time, winning three games by scores of 12-3, 8-4 and 4-0. It was also the first time Humboldt had ever been swept at home in the club’s 61-year history. The following summer, the Knights took 3 of 4 at Humboldt scoring 36 runs over the 2006 series.
The Knights made their first visit to Arcata Ball Park in 2007 as the Corvallis Knights; and captured 2 of 3 games.
Corvallis and Humboldt spilt a two-game series in 2008, with the Knights taking the finale at Arcata Ball Park by outslugging the Crabbies 12-6 as current AA Hartford Yard Goats (Colorado) pitcher D.J. Johnson hit two homers and current San Francisco Giants reliever Josh Osich started the game for the Knights.
The summer of 2009 was the last time the Knights visited Arcata Ball Park, with Corvallis sweeping the two-game road series; winning their last game at Humboldt 3-2, as three future big leaguers made appearances for the Knights: Colorado’s Tyler Anderson in relief, San Diego’s Rocky Gale at third base and Baltimore’s Andrew Susac at catcher.
Over a rivalry that has nearly spanned 20 years, the Knights have posted a 22-13 mark versus the always tough Crabs.
Founded in 1945, the Humboldt Crabs are the oldest continuously-operated summer collegiate, wood-bat, baseball team in the country. 2018 will mark the 74th consecutive year of Crabs baseball.
When Jack Riley was head baseball coach at Oregon State, he sent many of his best players to play summer baseball for the Humboldt Crabs including Philomath native, ex-big league pitcher and Knights alum Mike Thurman.
Current Oregon State head baseball coach Pat Casey starred for Humboldt during his college playing days at University of Portland.
Former Knights and Oregon State sweet-swinging first baseman Joey Gerber was inducted into the Humboldt Crabs Hall of Fame in 2015. Gerber played for the Knights in 1999 and 2001, and with the Crabs in 1997 and 1998.
Ex-major league players Jeff Blauser, Bruce Bochte, Rich Dauer, Dane Iorg, Craig Lefferts, Steve Olin and Mike Redmond are alums of the Humboldt Crabs.