The Redwood Baseball community is mourning the loss of rising senior Myles Kawashima who passed away on July 5, 2021 following a tragic boat accident. Unanimously voted “Most Inspirational Player” by his varsity teammates this past spring, Myles was a valued member of our student community both on and off the football and baseball field. The Redwood community and, especially our senior class, are feeling his loss very deeply.
The Kawashima family is holding a Celebration of Life and Remembrance for Myles Kawashima at Redwood High School on Saturday, August 7th, 2021 at 2:00 pm at the outdoor amphitheater.
In lieu of flowers or other gifts, the Kawashima family kindly requests that donations be made to the Myles Kawashima Student Athlete Fund to support RHS senior athletes’ post high-school education.
Link for donations can be found here.
The Redwood Community and Class of 2022 will forever remember Myles’ spirit and kind soul.
5/17: A serious Tam series hangover appeared to linger over the Giants as they fell to Branson on Monday afternoon at College of Marin.
Tyler Blair took the start for the Giants, who led 3-2 after four innings on RBI singles from Sam Rice and Cole McGowan and a sacrifice fly from Ben Cohen. Blair did not appear to have his A stuff, as his velocity was a bit down, but he was using his curve and changeup more than usual and was keeping the Giants in the game.
With the score still 3-2 Giants in the bottom of the fifth, Branson had the bases loaded and two outs. In the at-bat of the game for Branson, Cade Cessna (the only senior on Branson’s team) lined a single to right to score one. Luca Bove charged aggressively to try to prevent the Branson runner on second from scoring, but the ball got under his glove and rolled past him, allowing three runs to score on the hit for a 5-3 Branson lead.
There was no quit in the Giants however, as they battled back in the top of the sixth. Colin Cunneen got things started with a one-out infield single to short. Cohen followed with a single to right and Charlie Ginsburg (pinch running for Cunneen) scored and Cohen advanced to third on a throwing error by Branson’s right fielder. After Charlie Welch hit into some bad luck with a line drive that was stabbed by Branson’s pitcher, Bove came through with a clutch two-out single up the middle to score Cohen. Sam Rice backed that up with a double up the left-center gap to score Bove and give Redwood the lead back at 6-5.
But Branson wasn’t done either, and with some timely hitting they turned errors from Blair and Mikey Bender into two more runs and a 7-6 Branson lead heading into the Giants’ last at-bat.
Bender got things started with a single to left, but he would advance no further as Sam McIntosh struck out and then, in a fitting tribute to this strange COVID baseball season, Rex Solle and Ginsburg were consecutively called out for batter’s interference when the home plate umpire ruled that they each made contact with bunted balls outside of the batter’s box.
Welch, Rice and Ginsburg led the Giants in hits on the day with two apiece. Rice paced the Giants with two RBIs and Welch scored twice on the day.
5/21: The Giants bounced back from a tough loss earlier in the week to close the door on the 2021 season with an 11-2 rout of Branson at Moody Field on Friday afternoon.
The Giants rolled out nine runs in the first two innings and never looked back, putting it in cruise control the rest of the way behind the combined pitching efforts of Mikey Bender, Kent Goodman, Grant Stoll and Myles Kawashima.
Charlie Welch, Luca Bove, Sam Rice and Ethan Crawford each had two hits for the Giants. Rice, Bender and Sam McIntosh led the team in RBIs with two, and Ben Cohen, Welch, Bove, Rice and Bender each scored twice.
That’s a wrap for the 2021 Redwood Varsity Baseball season. The Giants finished the season with a 14-6 record. It was a season with no shortage of ups and downs, highlighted by sweeps of Marin Catholic and San Marin, and lowlighted in turn by getting swept by a Tam team that was dominant this season.
Also coming to an end are the high school baseball careers of seniors Mikey Bender, Ben Cohen, Ethan Crawford, Charlie Ginsburg, Sam McIntosh and Sam Rice. Congratulations to each of them on their contributions to the program, and best of luck to those planning to continue to play baseball collegiately – Cohen (Pomona-Pitzer), Crawford (Grinnell) and Rice (St. Mary’s).
As they thankfully always are for Redwood baseball, expectations for next season are high, with Coach Firenzi and his staff having returning seniors Tyler Blair, Kent Goodman, Luca Bove, Charlie Welch and Cole McGowan primed to take over the leadership of the team. See you next year!
With the MCAL regular season crown on the line, Tamalpais came as advertised and put on a pitching, hitting and execution clinic in sweeping the Giants three games in a row to deal a death blow to Redwood’s 2021 MCAL title hopes.
5/11: In front of a packed house at Moody Field on Tuesday, Redwood and Tam squared off in the opener of their three game series. These two teams had been eyeing each other all season – Tam coming in with a 14-1 record and the Giants a single game behind at 13-2. All in attendance were expecting a terrific game and they got it. Unfortunately, Redwood came out on the short end by a count of 4-3.
The Giants got the scoring started in the bottom of the first off of Tam’s starter Grant Selig. With one out, Charlie Welch drew a walk. With two down and Welch still at first, Welch stole second and then scored on a Sam Rice line drive single to left. With Ben Cohen up, Rice stole second himself. Cohen then made it hurt by singling to right to drive in Rice for a 2-0 Redwood lead after one.
Tyler Blair took what has become his customary Tuesday start, and was looking strong but ran into a bit of trouble in the top of the second, when Tam tied the game 2-2 on a bases loaded safety squeeze followed by a run scoring passed ball.
A bit of umpiring weirdness descended on what was otherwise a great game in the middle innings. The first issue arose in the bottom of the third when with runners on first and third and two out, the home plate umpire appeared to lose track of the count and called Mikey Bender out on strikes on what seemed to be a called strike two, thinking the count was 1-2 instead of 2-1, ending the inning and depriving Bender of an RBI opportunity.
The second issue came in the top of the sixth. With Redwood holding a 3-2 lead after Tam’s second baseman Parker Falzone had booted a Sam McIntosh grounder in the bottom of the fifth, allowing Cole McGowan to score, Falzone came to the plate with one out and nobody aboard. Falzone cued a ground ball toward first, which Blair fielded himself and ran in front of Falzone, ready to apply the tag and record the out. Falzone started running backwards to evade the tag, and in the course of the play some verbal pleasantries were exchanged between Falzone and Blair. Hard to know what was said, but the home plate umpire determined it worthy of a mutual ejection.
This was a tough blow for the Giants, as Blair had been cruising through the middle innings and was only at 80 pitches total. Rice came in to relieve Blair and closed out the top of sixth, and the score was still 3-2 Giants when Tam came up for their final at bat in the top of the seventh.
Rice gave up a leadoff single to right and then walked Tam’s next hitter, who was ready to give the Giants an out via a sacrifice bunt, but Rice could not find the strike zone. Coach Firenzi then went to Kent Goodman in relief of Rice with runners on first and second and no outs.
Tam’s next hitter again squared to bunt, and the Giants employed the wheel play for their bunt defense, with Rex Solle and Bender each charging hard from the corners in an attempt to get the lead out at third, with shortstop Welch sprinting to cover third and second baseman Charlie Ginsburg doing the same at first base. This left the middle of the diamond fairly wide open, and Tam’s hitter took advantage, pulling the bat back and executing the slash play perfectly, grounding a ball toward the second baseman’s spot vacated by Ginsburg and into right center field. This tied the game and put runners on first and third. Tam’s Tucker Bougie followed with an RBI infield single that gave Tam a 4-3 lead.
It was still 4-3 Tam heading into the bottom of the seventh. Things were looking pretty grim for Redwood against Tam’s closer Tommy Flynn after Rice and Cohen were retired to start the inning. But after Bender singled, Ginsburg reached on an error and McIntosh singled to center, the Giants had the bases loaded. But Flynn buckled down and retired Solle on an infield pop up and Tam took Game 1 of the series.
Rice and Cohen lead the Giants with two hits each on the day.
5/13: The series headed over to Mill Valley on Thursday, but the bottom line was the same, as Tam’s pitching kept the Giants’ bats quiet and Tam prevailed by a score of 5-1, clinching the regular season MCAL title for Tam.
Mikey Bender got the start for the Giants against Alex Dargan for Tam. Bender and Dargan were both pitching great, matching zeroes for the first few innings, when Bender ran into some serious bad luck in the bottom of the third. With two down and no one on base, Tam’s Henry Basnight hit a pop up in front of home plate toward the first base side. It looked for all the world like the third out of the inning with a number of Giants having a shot at it, but the Mill Valley wind got involved and catcher Sam McIntosh was unable to make the play giving Basnight first base. After walks to Jake Ferguson and Tucker Bougie, Tam had the bases loaded.
It appeared that Bender had wiggled out of it though when he got Tam’s Matteo Bellisimo to hit a mile high pop up behind second base. However, second baseman Charlie Ginsburg lost it in the sun and never saw it, and the ball dropped for a two-run single. Dargan followed with a line drive single to right, and when the inning was over Tam had a 3-0 on three runs that even though they showed up as earned in the box score, never should have happened. It was a tough break for Bender, who deserved better.
Dargan made it hold up, limiting the Giants to a single run on a Sam Rice sacrifice fly over six innings. Bougie added a homer in the bottom of the fifth and also came on to close things out on the mound in the seventh, striking out Ginsburg, McIntosh and Rex Solle to end the game and clinch the MCAL regular season title with the 5-1 victory.
Charlie Welch led the Giants in hits on the day with two of the team’s total of five.
5/14: After Tam had clinched the MCAL title the preceding day, there was nothing but pride on the line on Friday in Mill Valley. Although the Giants showed more fight than they had the preceding day, Tam still prevailed by a 7-4 count to sweep the series.
Sam Rice got the took the starting assignment for the Giants but did not bring has good command with him. Although things proceeded somewhat similarly to the day before in that his defense could have helped him out a bit more, Rice was gone before the first inning was over, having surrendered three runs on only one base hit, with Tam the beneficiary of three hit batsmen, a wild pitch and a walk. Myles Kawashima came in to limit the damage, and after one inning it was 3-0 Tam.
With one out in the top of the third, Ben Cohen reached on an error. Charlie Welch followed with a ground ball single to right putting runners on first and second. Luca Bove then slammed a double up the gap in right center, sending Cohen and Welch home. Bove was called out on a bang-bang play trying to stretch his hit into a triple, but the game had been tightened up to 3-2 Tam.
The Giants briefly took the lead in the top of the fourth when Cohen came through with a two out, based loaded single up the middle to score Cole McGowan and Sam McIntosh. But Tam’s Charlie Boyle tied it up with a solo homer to left center off of Kawashima. A two run single by Jake Moore in the fifth and an RBI single from Alex Dargan in the sixth made it 7-4 Tam.
The Giants, meanwhile, were not making any progress against the middle of Tam’s bullpen and were still down 7-4 heading into the top of the seventh. Closer Tommy Flynn put the hammer down for Tam, setting the Giants down in order and completing the series sweep for Tam.
Bove led the Giants in hits and RBIs on the day with two apiece.
13-5 Redwood wraps up its season this week with two contests against Branson. Game 1 is Monday at College of Marin and Game 2 will be at Moody on Friday (both games 4:30pm).
5/4: Tyler Blair was strong again on the mound and the Giants jumped on San Marin early with a five run first inning on the way to a 7-3 victory on Tuesday afternoon at Moody.
In a beginning reminiscent of his start two weeks ago at Drake, Blair found himself in a bit of trouble in the top of the first. After a pair of walks sandwiched around a single, the Mustangs had the bases loaded with one out and were looking to put Redwood down early. But Blair got San Marin’s hitter to roll over on a grounder to short and the Charlies came through with a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat and keep the Mustangs off the board.
The Giants struck with a crooked number in the bottom half. Ben Cohen got things started with a walk and a steal of second. With one down and Luca Bove at the plate, Cohen took off for third when a pitch in the dirt kicked in front of San Marin’s catcher. The throw to third was high and late, but after leaping to catch the ball the Mustangs’ third baseman’s foot came down on the pinkie finger of Cohen’s right hand, breaking it in two places.
After Nick Gehrman came in to replace Cohen, Bove drove him home with a double to left center. Sam Rice then sent Bove to third with a line drive single to left. Cole McGowan singled to right to plate Bove and move Rice to second. Mikey Bender then laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Rice and McGowan to second and third. After a walk to Charlie Ginsburg loaded the bases with two outs, Sam McIntosh lifted a pop fly into the right center bermuda triangle behind second base. San Marin’s center fielder, right fielder and second baseman all had a chance at it, but the ball eluded them all. With two outs, the baserunners were moving on contact and Rice and McGowan scored easily and Ginsburg coasted into third and stopped there. But when the Mustangs were lackadaisical with their throw back into the infield and generally inattentive to his presence, Ginsburg took off from third and scored, with San Marin not even getting a throw off to the plate.
Rex Solle and Gehrman each added an RBI single in the third inning to put Redwood up by a touchdown, and Blair put it in cruise control from there, striking out five over his six innings and yielding only two unearned runs. Myles Kawashima put a wrap on things, striking out two in the seventh while yielding one unearned run.
McGowan led the Giants in hits and runs scored on the day with two.
5/6: The hit parade continued for the Giants on Thursday at Moody Field, as they smacked twenty hits in a 16-4 win over the Mustangs.
Sam Rice got the start for Redwood and a combination of some wildness from Rice and some misplays in the outfield yielded a quick two runs to San Marin in the top of the first. With the bases loaded and one out and two runs already in, Coach Firenzi pulled Rice after only 30 pitches (more on that below) and called in Kent Goodman from the bullpen for his earliest appearance in a game all season by far. Goodman did a great job limiting the damage, allowing only one more run to score, and although it was 3-0 Mustangs after their first at bat, it could have been much worse.
The Giants put a dent into that lead straight away, as Bove lead off the bottom of the first with a single and was doubled to third by Charlie Welch. Cole McGowan brought Bove home with a sac fly, and Mikey Bender plated Welch with a two-out single.
After Goodman put the Mustangs down quietly in the second and third, the Giants put up an 8 spot in the bottom of the third. Bove got things started again with a single to right. Welch followed with a terrific bunt that hugged the third base line and stayed fair, advancing Bove to second as Welch reached first without a throw. After a pickoff play gone array, Bove scored and Welch took third. Goodman then drove in Welch with a single up the middle to make it 4-3 Giants.
That brought up Mikey Bender, who hit a towering drive well over the fence in left-center for a two-run homer, his second of the season. Nick Gehrman followed with a single to center and Ethan Crawford hit a hard grounder that got through the Mustangs’ second baseman, sending Gehrman to third. After Crawford stole second, Charlie Ginsburg drew San Marin’s third baseman in by faking a bunt, but then pulled it back for the slash play and chopped it over him and into left field for a base hit, scoring Gehrman and Crawford. Welch and McGowan closed out the scoring with RBI singles, and after three it was 10-3 Giants and the rout was on.
The Giants added single runs in the fourth and fifth on an RBI double from Crawford and a sacrifice fly by Rice. In the Giants’ last at-bat, Bove drilled a two-run homer of his own, and Bender and Gehrman also had RBI hits.
Gehrman and Grant Stoll capped a great day for the Giants bullpen, with Gehrman striking out four in his two innings and Stoll striking out the side in the seventh to end it.
Gehrman was 4-5 at the plate on the day. Bender led the Giants in RBIs with four. Bove, Welch and Bender had three hits each and Bove and Welch paced the team with three runs scored apiece.
5/7: It took nine innings and a generous helping of Firenzi small ball, but the Giants overcame a very tough San Marin pitcher and defeated the Mustangs 6-2 in nine tense innings for the win of the season so far in Novato.
Mikey Bender got the start for Redwood and was terrific, striking out ten while allowing just two runs (one earned). But San Marin’s pitcher, Ernie Anderson, was just as effective, holding the Giants scoreless without a hit through five innings.
The Giants were down 1-0 heading into the top of the sixth when the offense finally came to life. Bove got things started with a one out single to right for the first Redwood hit of the game. Welch then hit a grounder just inside the third base line, and when it got under the left fielder’s glove, Bove came all the way around to score. The throw to the plate was wild, allowing Welch to advance to third.
The shaky defense from the Mustangs continued when Coach Firenzi called for the suicide squeeze with McGowan at the plate. With Welch coming down the line from third on first movement from the pitcher, McGowan popped his bunt in the air down the first base line. San Marin’s first baseman made a diving catch, and popped up looking to double up Welch, who was at least two-thirds of the way to home plate as the catch was made.
But the Mustangs third baseman had charged in from third on the bunt, so it became a race between Welch and San Marin’s third baseman to see who could get back to third base first, and it was looking neck and neck. San Marin’s first baseman tried to make the tough play, attempting to hit his third baseman on a full sprint back to the bag, but his throw was just a bit off and it went down the third base line, allowing Welch to re-touch third and scamper home with the go ahead run.
After the Mustangs tied things up at 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth, Coach Firenzi called on Sam Rice in relief of Bender, as Rice was still eligible to pitch due to the quick hook from Firenzi in Thursday’s game. Rice was looking for redemption, and he delivered, holding the Mustangs scoreless in the seventh and eighth innings.
Coach Firenzi rolled out the ground attack in the top of the ninth, and the Mustangs defense finally gave way. Rice led the inning off with a grounder to second that was bobbled for an error allowing Rice to reach first. After a Bender fly out, Nick Gehrman hit a grounder to short that was also briefly bobbled, allowing Gehrman to just barely beat the throw to first. Tyler Blair then laid down a sacrifice bunt to Anderson, but the Mustangs botched their bunt defense rotation, as the first baseman charged on the play but the second baseman failed to cover first. So Anderson had to take a bite out of the ball as Blair took an uncovered first base to load the bases with one down.
With the infield playing in, Charlie Ginsburg brought them in even further by squaring to bunt, but then brought the bat back on the slash play and sent a soft liner over the infield and into center for a two-run single. Rex Solle followed with yet another bunt, this one so perfectly placed down the third base line that San Marin’s third baseman didn’t even bother throwing to first. The Giants finished their scoring on a Bove sacrifice fly and a Welch grounder to short that was booted by the Mustangs. That ended the day for Anderson, who pitched great for the Mustangs and deserved a better fate.
But no one on the Giants cared much about that, and they needed Rice to put it away for them in the bottom of the ninth. And Rice did just that, setting the Mustangs down in order to secure the win and a series sweep. Rice recorded five strikeouts in his three innings, and as seems to be the case in just about every one of his pitching appearances, picked a runner off of first.
The regular season MCAL title will be on the line next week as the 13-2 Giants will square off against 14-1 Tamalpais. Game 1 is Tuesday at Moody and Games 2 and 3 will be at Tam Thursday and Friday (all games 4:30pm).
4/20: Luca Bove provided the RBIs and Tyler Blair and Kent Goodman made it hold up in a tightly contested 3-1 Giants’ victory in the series opener on a cold and windy day in San Anselmo.
Charlie Welch got things started for the Giants with a one-out pop fly double into the right-center field Bermuda Triangle. Bove then drove in Welch with a single to center and the Giants took a 1-0 lead.
Blair got the starting assignment for the Giants and ran into a bit of trouble in the bottom of the first. After a walk sandwiched by two singles, Drake had the bases loaded and only one out. After bringing home a run on a safety squeeze to tie the game, Drake re-loaded the bases with two outs on a base on balls. Blair was one ball or one hit away from Drake taking the lead when he fell behind Drake’s next hitter to run the count to 3-1. But Blair buckled down and limited the damage, coming back to strike out the Drake batter and hold the line at 1-1 after one inning.
From there Blair settled down and Drake did not seriously threaten again. Blair finished the day with only one run allowed and nine strikeouts over his five innings. With Blair just below 100 pitches after five, Kent Goodman came in to relieve Blair and retired Drake without incident in the bottom of the sixth. But while Blair and Goodman were keeping Drake off the board, Drake’s starting pitcher was doing the same to the Giants, and heading into the top of the seventh the game was still tied 1-1.
Ethan Crawford, replacing Connor Yang at catcher after he was hit by a pitch earlier in the game (which unfortunately was later revealed to have fractured Yang’s hand), led off the top of the seventh with an infield single to short. After Charlie Ginsburg sacrificed Crawford to second, pinch hitter Nick Gehrman lined a shot down the first base line that was speared by Drake’s first baseman for the second out of the inning. Cole McGowan followed and was hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second.
Welch was next and he hit a grounder into the 5.5 hole at short. Drake’s shortstop fielded the ball but in doing so went down to the ground, and his throw to second was weak and too late to force out McGowan, leaving the bases loaded for Bove, who came up big with a liner to center that plated two and gave Redwood a 3-1 lead.
Goodman set Drake down in order in the bottom of the seventh to preserve the win for the Giants. Bove led the offense in hits with two and RBIs with three, and Welch added two hits as well.
4/22: Was it a baseball game or a quick visit to the ninth circle of hell? Unclear but what is known is that the Giants lost their first game of the season to Drake as the Pirates rallied for five runs in the sixth and seventh innings to take the win at Moody Field.
The day started with the news that Connor Yang would be out for the foreseeable future with a broken hand suffered in Tuesday’s game. In addition, Mikey Bender was reporting a bit of arm soreness and was bumped out of the starting assignment in favor of Sam Rice.
Rice was greeted rudely by Drake’s star player Jonas Salk, who tripled on a deep drive to right-center to lead off the game and later scored on a groundout. The Pirates were threatening again in the top half of the third with the bases loaded and one out when the day’s weirdness officially kicked in.
Drake’s hitter hit a fly ball to center that was deep enough the bring the runner home from third and Cole McGowan, knowing he had no chance to throw out the runner tagging up to come home, correctly threw to third in an attempt to get the Drake runner advancing from second. But the throw was too late and the Drake baserunner was safe at third.
Or was he? Redwood tagged second base, claiming that the Drake baserunner had left too early, and the umpire agreed, calling him out and ending the inning. The debate then moved to whether or not the run represented by the runner coming home from third on the play should or should not count. After a fair amount of discussion amongst the umpires, Coach Firenzi and Drake’s coach Taber Watson, it was determined to be a “time play” where the run counts if the runner touches home plate before the third out is made on the bases, and Drake’s lead stood at 2-0 heading into the bottom of the third.
It looked like Redwood was going to go quietly in their half of the third, but with two outs and nobody on Charlie Welch singled to center. Luca Bove then drove a hard liner into the right field corner to score Welch and give himself a triple. After Ben Cohen walked, Bove scored on a wild pitch. Rice finished the scoring with a double to right center to score Cohen, and what looked like an inning that was going nowhere ended with the Giants putting three runs up for a 3-2 lead. The Giants worked the two-out magic again in the following inning, when Rex Solle reached on a two-out, bases empty error and McGowan made it hurt, tripling to center for a 4-2 Redwood lead through four innings.
Drake scored one more off of Rice in the top of the sixth and were threatening with the bases loaded and two outs. With Rice into the nineties in his pitch count, Coach Firenzi brought in Miles Kawashima in relief, and Kawashima retired Drake’s next hitter on a groundout to preserve the Giants’ lead at 4-3.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Giants missed an opportunity to add on that hurt both figuratively and literally, with Charlie Ginsburg getting thrown out at third on a steal attempt to end the inning. To add injury to insult, Ginsburg suffered a broken nose on the play after taking a hard (but non-malicious) swipe tag to the face from Drake’s third baseman.
So with the Giants up 4-3 heading into Drake’s last at-bat, the Giants were hoping to find their way through to yet another victory. But this time it wasn’t to be, as bases on balls and timely hitting from Drake yielded them four runs off of three Redwood relievers. The Giants went quietly in the bottom of the seventh, and Redwood lost for the first time this season by a final count of 7-4.
One would think that a broken hand, a broken nose and the first loss of the year was quite enough thanks, but at least twenty minutes after the game ended Ethan Crawford, who was minding his own business in the dugout, took a direct shot above the eye from a stray ball from the bullpen that somehow managed to find its way over the bullpen fence and through a very narrow opening into the dugout. It was a one in a million shot, but it resulted in some ugly swelling for Crawford and required a hospital visit, although thankfully neither Crawford’s eye nor eye socket suffered any damage.
Bove led the offensive charge again with three hits, and Welch added a pair of his own.
4/23: The black cloud that hung over the Giants’ in the late innings on Thursday afternoon remained there Friday – at least over the offense – as the Giants’ bats went strangely quiet and Redwood lost the game and series to Drake by 2-1 counts.
The Giants took the lead 1-0 in the bottom of the second when Sam Rice was wild pitched from first all the way home.
Mikey Bender had been questionable to start this game with arm soreness, but with Redwood looking to bounce back from their first loss of the year he took the mound in any event and overall pitched very effectively. However, after striking out the first two Pirates in the top of the third, Bender walked the bases loaded, and Drake paid it off with a two-run single to center and a 2-1 lead.
And strangely enough, that’s where it finished, as neither team mounted much in the way of scoring opportunities for the rest of the game. The Giants’ best chance came in the bottom of the sixth, when with runners on first and third with one out, Sam Rice scorched a liner that had the misfortune of flying directly into the glove of Drake’s second baseman. The ball almost took the glove with it, but it was not to be. Jonas Salk came in to close the game for Drake in the seventh and struck out the side to cap the series victory for the Pirates.
There were some bright spots in the loss, including a very solid start from Bender and three innings of shutout relief from Kent Goodman. Sam McIntosh also performed admirably at catcher with Connor Yang and Ethan Crawford unavailable, throwing out two Drake would be base stealers.
After a week off the Giants will look to rebound against San Marin next week – Tuesday and Thursday at Moody and Friday at San Marin (all games 4:30pm).
4/13: The Giants cruised to a 16-1 victory at Novato behind another strong start from junior Tyler Blair and eighteen base hits from the offense.
Redwood put up crooked numbers in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings to blow open a game that was scoreless through the first two innings. Mikey Bender had the big blow for the Giants, cranking a high fastball deep down the left field line for a three-run homer, the Giants’ first of the year.
Bender led the offensive attack in all categories, with threes across the board in hits, runs and RBIs. Charlie Welch, Luca Bove, Ben Cohen, Sam Rice, Josh Marrero and Ethan Crawford each added two hits for the Giants. Bove tallied three RBIs as well.
Blair was in command again on the mound, striking out six over his four innings while yielding only one unearned run. Blair showed solid command of his fastball, curve and changeup and had the Hornets off balance all afternoon. Miles Kawashima, Grant Stoll and Nick Gehrman finished it off with one scoreless inning apiece.
4/16: Mikey Bender and Sam Rice combined to shut down the Hornets and the offense again put up big numbers in the middle innings en route to a 13-1 victory at Moody Field on Friday afternoon.
Charlie Welch, looking like he could roll out of bed and get base hits, went 4-4 to lift his season average to .545. Cole McGowan and Sam Rice also added two hits each.
Bender took the start on the mound and largely silenced Novato over his four and a third innings for the win. Bender had the fastball and big overhand curve working, finishing with four strikeouts against a single base on balls. Rice came in to finish it off, striking out four in the final two and two-thirds innings. Rice’s season-long abuse of opposing baserunners continued, as he picked off two Hornets at first base with his extremely deceptive pickoff move.
Ben Cohen, playing the field for the first time this season after DH-ing for the first eight games as his recovery from offseason elbow surgery progresses, tied for the team lead in RBIs with two, along with Welch, Rice and Ethan Crawford.
The Giants face off against Drake for three games next week – Tuesday in San Anselmo and Thursday and Friday at Moody (all games 4:30pm).
The Giants got strong outings from starting pitchers Tyler Blair, Mikey Bender and Sam Rice and paired it with strong defense to sweep Marin Catholic in a three game series.
4/6: Tyler Blair got the call as the Giants starting pitcher to open the three-game set against MC at Moody Field and he did not disappoint, going six strong shutout innings in a 10-0 drubbing of the Wildcats.
After Blair retired the Wildcats in order in the top of the first, the Giants served notice against MC’s tough lefty starting pitcher Van Larson of the kind of series that it was going to be. Cole McGowan got things started with a walk and Charlie Welch followed with a line drive single to center. After a double steal from McGowan and Welch, Luca Bove followed with a deep sac fly to center on which McGowan scored and Welch advanced to third. Ben Cohen followed with a sharp single to left to drive in Welch for a 2-0 lead. Sam Rice then reached on an error by MC’s shortstop. After another double steal by the Giants, Charlie Ginsburg singled through a drawn in MC infield to plate Cohen and Rice and after one inning the Giants were up 4-0.
Blair took that great start for the Giants and made it stick, surrendering only three hits in six innings of work, striking out three and walking only one batter. Blair’s was locating well with a plus fastball all day and mixing in a healthy dose of curves and changeups to keep the MC hitters off balance.
Four runs would have been plenty for Blair, but the Giants added two runs in each of the third, fifth and sixth innings, aided by some suboptimal defense from the Wildcats.
Cohen paced the offense with three hits, two RBIs and two runs scored. Welch and Bender each notched two hits.
4/8: After cruising in the series opener against MC, the Giants won a nail biter in the second game of the series, winning by a 3-2 count in Kentfield.
The Giants scored single runs in the first and second innings, with Sam Rice absorbing a painful RBI on a bases loaded hit by pitch in the first and line drive machine Welch singling in Bender in the second.
Bender got the starting assignment for the Giants, and although his command was not there at times, he showed a lot of grit in working out of trouble on several occasions over the course of his six and two-thirds innings and 104 pitches. On the day Bender tallied eight strikeouts, and many of them were key with MC runners on base as Bender also walked three and hit three MC batters.
The Giants were leading 3-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh. After MC put runners on first and second with one out, Bender induced a grounder to shortstop that had the look of a game ender. Welch whipped it to Ginsburg for the force at second, but the MC baserunner came in hard at second and Ginsburg’s throw to first was wild and bounced into the MC dugout, allowing a run to score and the MC runner to advance to second. So instead of game over it was MC with a runner on second and two out.
After MC’s next hitter was hit by a pitch to put the winning run on first, Coach Firenzi summoned Kent Goodman in relief of Bender. With the game on the line, Goodman coolly induced a grounder to Welch at short for the force out to Ginsburg at second for the final out.
Welch and Bove led the Giants in base hits on the day with two each and Rice had two RBIs.
4/9: The Giants finished off the three game sweep of MC with a 4-1 victory behind another strong start from Rice and some great work on defense.
Continuing a trend established in the first two games of the series, the Giants again jumped on MC early with two runs in the top of the first. McGowan got things started nicely by cracking a line drive double over the head of MC’s right fielder. Charlie Welch then reached on an error by MC’s third baseman and Bove followed with a base on balls. Cohen drove in one with a forceout and Rice followed with an RBI single to right to complete the inning’s scoring.
Rice was looking good on the mound and also had MC totally befuddled on the base paths. The lefty picked two runners off of first base with a very deceptive move that caught MC’s baserunners flat footed and thrown out by plenty. And in the bottom of the third with MC runners on first and third and two outs and the score 3-1 in favor of the Giants, MC’s runner at first took off for second before Rice even began his windup in an attempt to get in a rundown and give the runner on third a window to score before being tagged out. But Rice had it sniffed out all the way, and calmly stepped off the rubber, took a step toward the runner between first and second and faked a throw. The MC base runner on third bit hard on the fake and broke for home, but Rice threw him out by ten feet to end the inning.
The Giants came up with another game changing defensive play in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs and a runner on first, MC hit a long double over Blair’s head and off the fence in left. With two outs and the MC runner moving on contact, it seemed like a no brainer that MC would score to cut the Giants’ lead in half. Blair’s throw back to the infield sailed over cut off man Welch, but Ginsburg had him backed up and unleashed a one-hop strike to the plate to cut down the MC runner and preserve the two run lead.
The Giants added an insurance run in the top of the seventh on a Bove double to score Welch. Goodman relieved Rice and cruised through the final two innings, striking out two and consistently freezing MC’s hitters with a big over the top curve that he was featuring in any count.
Welch and Bove again led the Giants in hits for the day with two each. Welch scored three times and Bove had two RBIs.
Next week the Giants play a pair against Novato – Tuesday at Novato and at Moody on Friday (both games 4:30pm).
3/30: The Giants took advantage of some dicey San Rafael defense and prevailed over the Bulldogs for a 6-3 road victory.
Cole McGowan drew a walk to lead off the game for Redwood. After Charlie Welch hit into a force out and Luca Bove grounded out to third, Ben Cohen reached on an error by San Rafael’s first baseman, with Welch coming home on the play. After a walk to Charlie Ginsburg, Sam Rice belted a line drive directly at San Rafael’s center fielder, who took two hard steps in before belatedly breaking back. But it was too late and the ball sailed over his head for a two-RBI triple for Rice, and the Giants led 3-0 after their first at bat.
Mikey Bender got the start for Redwood and unlike his pitching counterpart Jake Verweil for San Rafael, Bender enjoyed some solid defense behind him. Catcher Ethan Crawford stood out in this regard, twice cutting down San Rafael baserunners on attempted steals. Bender finished hit outing with five strikeouts and two earned runs allowed over five innings.
The Giants added single runs in the second and third but Verweil largely kept the Giants at bay, and heading into the sixth inning Redwood’s lead stood at 5-3 and it was anyone’s ballgame. But Tyler Blair took the mound for the final two innings and squelched any hope of a Bulldog comeback, overpowering San Rafael’s hitters with his fastball and recording four strikeouts over the final two innings.
Redwood added an important insurance run in the top of the seventh, as Welch came through with a clutch single to plate pinch runner Josh Marrero for the Giants sixth and final tally. On the day, only one of the Giants six runs was earned. Unfortunately for Verweil and the Bulldogs, even if unearned they all count.
Rice led the offense on the day with two hits and three RBIs.
4/1: After a collective struggle on offense against San Rafael in the series opener on Tuesday, Redwood broke out the bats on Thursday and rolled to a 13-2 win over the Bulldogs at Moody Field.
Leading 1-0 heading into the bottom of the third, the Giants broke things open in a big way. Charlie Welch got things started with a single to left. After Welch stole second, Luca Bove followed with a bunt so perfectly placed down the third base line that San Rafael’s third baseman, playing deep in respect of Bove’s power, didn’t even bother attempting a throw to first. Once the table was set, the Giants went on to score six runs in the inning, with key RBI hits coming from Sam Rice and Cole McGowan.
Rice got the start on the mound for the Giants and cruised through the first three innings, allowing a single run and striking out four. However, in the top of the fourth, Rice lost his command and issued three consecutive walks to start the inning, and the Giants 7-0 lead was not looking quite as large.
Coach Firenzi called on Kent Goodman in relief of Rice to calm things down and he did just that – allowing only a single inherited runner to score and striking out a pair to end the inning. Goodman went on to complete three shutout innings, posting four strikeouts along the way.
Redwood blew it open in the bottom of the fourth with four more runs, highlighted by RBI hits from Rice and Connor Yang. Myles Kawashima took the last inning on the mound to close out the game. Along the way Redwood got standout defensive plays late from Colin Cunneen on a diving stop at first base and from Nick Gehrman in right field on an over the shoulder running catch in right to end the game.
Welch was an on-base machine for the Giants, reaching five times on the day with three hits and two walks. Ben Cohen was not far behind, reaching four times. Each scored twice. Rice added three hits of his own to go with two RBIs, and McGowan had two hits and two RBIs.
Next week the Giants have a three game set with Marin Catholic – Tuesday at Moody and followed by games at MC on Thursday and Friday (all games 4:30pm).
It was one year and two weeks ago that Redwood’s varsity baseball season was shut down by the coronavirus global pandemic after its MCAL home opener versus Terra Linda.
The Giants were finally back on the field for games this week with Terra Linda again the opponent. But before relaying some of the details of those games, we would like to acknowledge the contributions to the Redwood Baseball program made by last year’s seniors. The pandemic has taken many things big and small from many people in the last year, and for these seniors it took away their final season, which for many of them was their last in organized baseball.
These seniors – Isaak Irmini-Kreft, Drake Goodman, Jesse Gassman, Alex Hagen, Jackson Reed, Nick Welch, Lucas Roy, Matt Smalbach, Satoshi Miki, Matt Birchenough and Jake Gassman – comprised a deep and talented class. We’ll never know where together with Coach Firenzi and his staff these seniors could have led last year’s team, but it surely would have been fun to watch.
3/23: The Giants opened the 2021 campaign at Terra Linda. It looked a bit different, what with the Terra Linda parking lot serving as a COVID-19 vaccination site and all the players, coaches and umpires wearing masks or gaiters, but when it was time to play ball, the Giants set it all aside and rolled to 10-1 victory.
The Giants jumped out to the lead with three runs over the first two innings, the first on a Luca Bove bolt that hit halfway up the fence in right center to plate leadoff man Cole McGowan. McGowan singled in Rex Solle in the second.
Mikey Bender took the opening day start for the Giants. After striking out the side in the first, Bender ran into a bit of trouble in the second, but escaped by inducing a bases loaded 6-4-3 double play from the middle infield Charlies (Welch and Ginsburg) to end the inning.
After two consecutive hit TL batsmen with one out in the bottom of the third and the Giants up 3-1, Kent Goodman relieved Bender and worked out of the jam, again with a big assist from the defense. With runners on first and third and two out, TL attempted a double steal but Welch cut it front of the bag at second to take catcher Ethan Crawford’s throw and return it home to Crawford to nab the TL runner attempting to steal home.
From there the Giants piled up the runs with three more in the fourth and another four in the sixth for the 10-1 victory. McGowan led the offense across the board with two hits, three RBIs and two runs scored. Tyler Blair took the last two innings and did so in style, striking out five of six batters faced.
3/26: One of the many ways that this 2021 season will differ from seasons past is that as a COVID protocol, MCAL teams will face each other in two or three game series in the same week. So after their season-opening win at Terra Linda on Tuesday, the Trojans were back to face the Giants in their home opener at Moody Field on Friday.
Sam Rice got the call on the mound for the Giants and dominated, striking out twelve over five and two-thirds innings of no-hit ball. He did it for three innings with a fastball and a changeup, as he didn’t have good feel with his breaking ball early. About halfway through his start he found the curve, and after that it was lights out for TL and the Giants cruised to a 13-0 win.
The Giants struck for three in the bottom of the first on a lot of loud contact. Cole McGowan got it started with a long triple to right, and after a walk to Charlie Welch, Luca Bove banged one up the gap in left center to plate McGowan and Welch. Ben Cohen then singled sharply to left to score Bove and complete the scoring for the inning.
The Giants again added on late, scoring six runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth. Bove led the charge with three hits, four RBIs and two runs scored, and was a homer short of hitting for the cycle. Charlie Ginsburg added two hits and three RBIs, and Cohen had two hits and two RBIs.
Kent Goodman closed it out on the mound, striking out three over the final one and one-third innings.
Next week the Giants will take on the San Rafael Bulldogs – Tuesday at San Rafael and Thursday at Moody (both games 4:30pm).
3/23: After more than one year of MCAL competition, the Redwood Junior Varsity Giants opened the season at home with a commanding 19-2 victory over San Marin today at Endriss Field. The season opener that could be considered unusual to players as they, coaches and umpires wore masks, was equally unusual to fans as they socially distanced while following ‘COVID Protocols’ in the stands.
Despite the abnormality of the ‘New Normal’, the Giants represented Redwood Baseball between the lines from the jump as starting pitcher Max Funk needed only ten pitches in the first inning to send the game to the bottom of the first. Merritt Brinckerhoff took one for the team for a hit by pitcher to start the Giants offense. After stealing second, Merritt would score on a grounder hit by Nick Scott that the third baseman airmailed over the first baseman’s head. Rory Minty sent Scott to third on a grounder to the right side and Ben Resnick tallied his first RBI of the season on a deep fly to center, putting the Giants up 2-0 after one inning.
Funk was again effective in the second and third, putting up a zeros for San Marin. In the bottom of the third after a few errors and a single by Danil Wells to load the bases, pinch runner Ezekial Stone scored on a walk to Jasper Nadel to put the Giants up 3-0. With the bases loaded, Bodhi Bartle sent a 1-2 pitch deep over the centerfield wall for a grand slam, creating a commanding 7-0 lead for the Giants after three innings of play.
The Giants would continue their onslaught, tallying thirteen hits with only one error in the field while striking out only four times at the plate. San Marin helped the Giants efforts with seven errors in the field. Offensively, Nick Scott added a homer, Funk helped his own cause with a double, Minty had a double and a triple, and Sam Sumski ripped a double as well. Brinckerhoff, Resnick, Wyatt Turkington, and Harrison Lapic also had singles, and Wells had two hits on the day. Bartle was the RBI leader with four, and Resnsick and Scott scored three times each for the Giants.
Funk earned the win, pitching five complete innings, walking one and giving up one run. Jasper Nadel pitched the last two innings, giving up one run while striking out two and walking none.
The Giants are on the road on Friday at San Marin at 4:30.
Congratulations to the Varsity and JV players for the Spring 2021 Season. Please stay tuned to this website for news about the season and follow the teams on Gamechanger!
VARSITY TEAM JV TEAM
Michael Bender Bodhi Bartles
Tyler Blair Jonathan Bayler
Luca Bove Merritt Brinckerhoff
Ben Cohen Jack Corvi
Ethan Crawford Rory Coughlin
Colin Cunneen Max Funk
Nick Gehrman Jordan Kimball
Charlie Ginsburg Harrison Lapic
Kent Goodman Tony Metaxas
Myles Kawashima Rory Minty
Josh Marrero Jasper Nadel
Cole McGowan Dominic Orlando
Sam McIntosh Ben Resnick
Sam Rice Nick Scott
Rex Solle Gavin Soper
Grant Stoll Brian Sternberger
Charlie Welch Ezekiel Stone
Connor Yang Sam Sumski
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ATTENDING GAMES
3/10: Senior ace Nick Welch got it done on the mound and at the plate in Redwood’s MCAL opener, leading the Giants to a 9-0 victory over Terra Linda. Welch breezed through five innings, striking out nine Trojans while yielding only two hits and no walks. Welch pounded the zone all day, throwing 48 strikes in his 62 pitches on the afternoon. In his spare time on offense, Welch also banged out three line drive singles.
The Giants got on the board in the bottom of the first when Ben Cohen reached on a two-out error from the Trojans. After a Cohen steal of second and a subsequent walk to Alex Hagen, Welch delivered his first base hit to score Cohen.
The game stayed 1-0 through three innings, but the Giants broke things open in the bottom of the fourth. Welch led off the inning by reaching on a Trojan misplay. Cole McGowan, pinch-running for Welch, then stole second. Charlie Ginsburg sought to advance McGowan to third and wound up getting a base hit out of it when his bunt down the third base line hugged the chalk and came to rest in fair territory. After a Ginsburg steal of second, Sam Rice drove McGowan and Ginsburg home with a bloop single to left. Rice then stole second and advanced to third when Charlie Welch reached on another Trojan error, with Welch taking second on the errant throw.
Jackson Reed made it hurt with a sharp line drive to center to score Rice and Welch. After Reed was caught attempting to steal second, Lucas Roy and Cohen drew consecutive two out walks and advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. Hagen then closed out the scoring by grounding a single up the middle to score Roy and Cohen. After four innings, the Giants were up 7-0.
The Giants added on in the bottom of the fifth with a pair of runs scored by Drake Goodman and Isaak Irmini-Kreft driven in by Reed and Roy.
Jesse Gassman relieved Welch and cruised through his two innings, striking out a pair of Trojans along the way – final score 9-0 Giants.
The Giants’ statistical leaders at the plate were Nick Welch (three hits), Reed (three RBIs) and Cohen (two runs scored).
The Giants are back at it this Friday versus San Rafael. First pitch 4:30 pm at Moody Field.
3/03/20: Vintage and Redwood were both undefeated coming into this game and Redwood ran away with a 5-1 victory.Miles Kawashima was amazing on the mound, pitching a complete game, striking out three while only allowing four hits and a run.
He was backed up by his fielders who made some great plays, the most outstanding being Brian Sternberger laying out to knock down a grounder and throwing the hitter out at first. Colin Cuneen made some great picks at first and Nick Scott and Tyler Blair made all the plays in the outfield. While Will Davis, Dylan Jensen, Brian Sternberger, and Colin Cuneen kept the infield tight, Connor Yang was behind the plate and didn’t allow a single stolen base.
The offense was very strong led by Will Davis who went 3-3 and Zack Johnson who went 2-3 scoring twice with 1 RBI. Connor Yang smoked a double near the left field wall in the first to score Zack Johnson who got on base with a single and moved on to second with a sac fly by Nick Scott. Redwood took the lead in the second by scoring four runs.
It started when Brian Sternberger crushed a triple to left field and scored Colin Cuneen and Josh Morerro who was pinch running for Will Davis. Then Zack Johnson singled to score Brian Sternberger, and Nick Scott doubled to score Zack Johnson. Overall, Redwood tallied ten hits and five runs with 3 stolen bases by Dillon Jensen, Josh Marerro and Zack Johnson.
They head into the MCAL season undefeated and plan to continue the streak as they head out on the road against San Rafael on Friday, March 13.
3/03/20: Redwood JV pulled away from Rancho Cotate in the third inning and won by a score of 4-1 on the road today at Rancho Cotate.
Zach Johnson led the Giants at the plate, going 2-4 while scoring two runs, and stealing two bases. Connor Yang picked up the first RBI with a sacrifice fly to score Zach in the first inning. Tyler Blair scored Zach in the third inning and again in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Will Davis. Connor Yang scored the Giants final run on an error by the catcher. Redwood stole three bases on day with Dillon Jensen, Tyler Blair and Connor Yang recording the thefts.
The pitching was solid behind Aidan Gossett who started for the Giants and pitched five innings, struck out five, yielding just one hit and a run.
Grant Stoll again closed out the game strong striking out one while giving up no runs.