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RiverDawgs get pinched by Crabs

ARCATA, Calif. — The fourth-seeded Southern Oregon RiverDawgs had the regular-season champion Humboldt Crabs on the ropes Thursday night but couldn't hold on in the opening round of play at the West Coast League Tri-State playoffs.

Southern Oregon held a 2-1 lead through seven innings but Humboldt rallied with five runs in the bottom of the eighth to score a 6-2 triumph in the four-team, round-robin tournament.

The RiverDawgs (17-20) face the Redding Colt .45s at 2 p.m. today in second-round action, while the Crabs take on the Folsom Pioneers at 7 p.m.

Humboldt managed a 1-0 lead after opening the scoring in the third inning against Southern Oregon starter Jon Flinn, and neither team could muster much offense until the Dawgs answered with a run in the fifth.

Consecutive one-out singles by Greg Vrooman and Chris Bradshaw set the stage for Nick Rodda, who singled home Vrooman in the fifth.

The RiverDawgs took the lead in the sixth when Travis Wolf doubled and scored on another double by Johnny Omahen.

Tiger Sorenson replaced Flinn in the eighth and struggled with a pair of walks and a bunt single to load the bases by Humboldt. Brad Morgan followed with a pinch-hit grounder to third baseman Steven Candelaria, but his throw home sailed over the head of catcher Jack Graham to plate the tying run.

The Crabs added a two-run pinch-hit single by Jeff Johnson and a two-run double by David Popkins before Shawn Freeman came on in relief to halt Humboldt in the eighth.

Rodda finished 3-for-4 for the Dawgs, while Bradshaw and Kyle Secciani each went 2-for-4.

S. Oregon RiverDawgs 000 011 000 — 2 11 2

Humboldt Crabs 001 000 05x — 6 8 0

Flinn, Sorenson (8), Freeman (8) and Graham; Capaul, Johnson (7), Dingman (9) and Lamb. W — Johnson. L — Sorenson (1-1). 2B — SO: Wolf, Omahen; H: Popkins.