Redwood Alumni Help Lead Chapman University to National Title

6/10:  Tyler Peck and Henry (Hank) Zeisler have won their share of championships in their careers and added a College National Championship to their lists as they helped Chapman University win the 2019 DIII title in Cedar Rapids, Iowa this week.

Senior Tyler Peck and Sophomore Henry Zeisler display their DIII National Championship trophies

Tyler ended his senior campaign as an All-American and earned the win in the critical first game of the final series, pitching seven strong innings while yielding just three runs while striking out five.  Tamalpais graduate Mason Collins pitched a complete-game shut-out in the second game, earning title for Chapman in a  11-0 blowout.

Henry was named to the All-Tournament Team along with eight other Chapman players and was named the Most Outstanding Player at the Division III World Series. When asked how it felt to be a National Champion Hank said, “Literally the greatest feeling in the world.” Zeisler led the Panthers with a .538 batting average in their seven games, including 14 hits, three doubles, five RBIs and 10 runs scored.  “I never felt more comfortable at the plate.  Starting a few weeks ago everything just started clicking and confidence took it from there.”

Tyler told the Independent Journal that the Chapman team was close-knit and compared the chemistry to the Redwood team that won the NCS title in 2015.  “The two teams were very similar with chemistry. In my previous seasons at Chapman and Redwood and baseball altogether, the closer knit you are, the better you’re going to do,” Peck told the IJ. “Both that 2015 Redwood team and Chapman in 2019, you’re going to go to war for those guys and that’s what we did. That was the difference.” Tyler celebrated the National Championship he received news that he was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals and will report to the Cardinals’ Spring Training facility in Jupiter, Florida on Monday, where he’ll eventually get his first minor league assignment.

Giants Battle Into 8th Ends Magical Championship 2019 Season

5/20: With a packed house at Moody Field, the Giants hosted Casa Grande High School from Santa Rosa in the second round of the NCS Varsity Baseball tournament. The spectators would be treated to some great baseball, as both teams were well staffed and ready to play ball.

Junior Nick Welch drops the hammer on one of his 11 strikeouts on the day

Redwood’s Ace, Nick Welch, started for the Giants, wowing the crowd through each intense inning. Welch collected a resounding 11 strikeouts through five and a third innings of work but left the contest with the score still sitting at no runs apiece.

Redwoods first opportunity to score came in the second inning. Ben Cohen poked one to right field to start the inning. Jack Morken pulled one to left field, leaving the two sluggers on first and second with no outs. Cohen went on to steal third base, giving the Giants a first and third situation with nobody out.

Call it what you want, but the inning that was promising, soon became clouded with umpire interference. Morken would break toward second as Alex Hagen squared up to lay down a bunt and Morken landed safely at second base.  While the catcher made no contact with Hagen and didn’t alter his throw with Hagen squared up in the box, the home-plate umpire called “interference”, subsequently calling him out, and sending Morken back to first base. Instead of runners at second and third, with nobody out, the Giants were given one out and returned Morken to first base. The inning ended without any Giant runs.  “That was a turning point in the game, it’s a judgement call that took away the momentum in the inning.” Coach Firenzi said after the game.

Player of the Year Genki LeClair gets under one for one of the Giants 11 fly-outs

The Game continued through 8 innings of very intense and exciting Varsity baseball. Ultimately, the Gauchos plated two runs in the top of the 8th inning. In the bottom of the eighth, Jackson Reed lead off with a single. Lucas Roy induced a walk, putting the winning run at Home. The Giants had two accomplished hitters on deck and in the hole but came up short. Final Score: 0-2

 

“Our pitching was excellent today, we didn’t execute in the areas that got us here.  We didn’t get out bunts down, we didn’t move runners over when we needed to, and we gave them 17 outs by way of strike out or fly out.  Hard to win when you don’t score and give them easy outs in the NCS” Firenzi said.  “We had a great year, I’m proud of what these kids did.  In all my years this was one of the best group of kids that I have coached.”

It goes without saying, the 2019 Giants Varsity Baseball Team were tremendous, winning the MCAL Championship and competing into the second round of the North Coast Section tournament. For the past two years, the players on this team have performed like champions – accomplishing what no other program has, back to back MCAL Championships for all levels – Freshman, JV, and Varsity! Moving forward, the Redwood Giants are in the capable hands of head coach, Mike Firenzi. The parents of the departing players truly salute the program and will stay involved. Go Giants!

Redwood Advances with Win Over Bethel

5/17:  The NCS DII Championship Committee seeded all four MCAL DII teams in the tournament this year, giving the MCAL a 25% chance to win.  Those odds didn’t improve after the first round, as Drake and Tamalpias both exited early, with Marin Catholic and Redwood advancing to the next round.

The Redwood Giants, the number one seed, made quick work of their visitors from Bethel High School, Vallejo. Kyle Felder started for the Giants and was used sparingly by Coach Firenzi, throwing just under three innings, striking out one. The game started with three successive defensive infield gems by Jack Morken, Jackson Reed, and Jackson Barry – which undoubtedly sent a message to the statistically high-powered Jaguar offense.

In the bottom of the first inning, the Giants second baseman, MCAL Player of The Year, Genki LeClair, induced a seven-pitch walk. Jackson Barry followed with a hard-hit ball to first, landing safely on base after a Bethel error. LeClair advanced to third base on the play. Ben Cohen was walked to load the bases. Alex Hagen drove the ball to right field, scoring LeClair from third and advancing both Barry and Cohen. Jack Morken then ripped the ball into left field, scoring Barry and Cohen (3-0).

In the bottom of the second inning, Jackson Reed singled to left. Lucas Roy applied some pressure to the third baseman with a well-placed bunt, forcing the defender to make a difficult play. The result would allow Reed to advance to third base and then home on the error (4-0). The Jaguars picked up a run in the top of the third (4-1).

In the bottom of the third inning, Jack Morken doubled to right center field and would wisely take third after the center fielder mishandled the ball. Sam Warren would easily score Morken with a line drive to left field (5-1).

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Drake Goodman would hit for Nordstrom and reach base after the shortstop’s error. Lucas Roy singled, advancing Goodman to third base. On what appeared to be a suicide squeeze play, Goodman broke toward home plate, but the pitch was wild, easily scoring Goodman without committing suicide or any such effort by Genki LeClair (6-1). LeClair would eventually send a high troublemaker to shallow left field, allowing Roy to tag up and score after the defender caught the ball (7-1). Bethel would threaten in the top of the sixth inning, scoring two runs to make the score 7 to 3.

Jackson Bender threw two and a third innings of relief, striking out three and allowing no runs. Ben Cohen and Jesse Gassman combined for two innings of relief as well. Lucas Roy tallied two hits and a run on the day. Jack Morken added two hits, two RBI’s, and a run to lead the Giants. Barry, Warren, and Reed also contributed a hit a piece.

Final Score: 7 to 3

The Giant’s will face Casa Grande in the second round of the tournament.  Redwood took an early season loss to the Gauchos in the beginning of the year and hope to even the score on Monday, May 20th at 5 p.m. Moody Field.

Genki LeClair Named MCAL Player of the Year-Four more make All-MCAL

5/18: In his third year as a varsity player, second baseman Genki LeClair capped off his senior campaign by being named ‘Player of the Year’, the highest honor awarded to position players by the MCAL.  LeClair has been a catalyst to the Giants offense that took sole possession of third place in the MCAL round robin and then went on to sweep the playoffs, ending their MCAL season as co-champions.  LeClair’s .475 overall batting average ranked #28 in the North Coast Section and his .471 league batting average ranked #1 in the MCAL.  Genki also led the league with 24 hits and ranked #2 in with two triples (behind Jack Morken with three), #2 in the league with 17 runs scored, #2 in the league with ten stolen bases, #2 with 17 runs scored, and was #1 in the league with a .571 on base percentage.  To date, LeClair has proven to be tough on pitchers as in 107 plate appearances, Genki has only been struck out seven times.

 

Three year varsity veteran Jackson Barry took All-MCAL second team honors as an infielder.  The smooth fielding third baseman ended the MCAL campaign with a .347 batting average, ranking fifteenth in the league.  Barry ranked #3 in the league with six doubles and had a homer to his tally.

Junior Lucas Roy took his well-deserved place on the second team as an outfielder.  Roy contributed at the plate, in center field and on the mound.  Roy may be most remembered for closing out the MCAL Championship game with a four-pitch strike-out, but it was likely his offensive numbers that earned his spot.  Roy ended the MCAL season ranked #16 with a .333 average.

Sophomore Ben Cohen also made the second team as a designated hitter/utility player.  Cohen played games in the outfield, as a designated hitter and pitched.  He ranked #18 in the league with a 3.15 ERA.  Ben ended the MCAL season with a .371 batting average, ranking #9 in the MCAL.  He also had a homer to the Giants total.

Senior Kyle Felder took Honorable Mention honors.  Felder ended the season with the best winning percentage in the MCAL, going 6-0 in league play.  His six wins ranked #2 in the MCAL.  His .74 ERA ranked #3 in the league.  His 19 strikeouts in 28 innings ranked #16 in the league.

Giants Win the Pennant!!!

5/10: For the second year in a row, the Giants beat Drake High School at Albert Field under the lights to capture the MCAL Varsity Baseball Championship, capping off a championship sweep of the MCAL as all three programs (Freshman, Junior Varsity and Varsity) will raise MCAL Championship banners in the gym for the second year in a row.  A feat that has unlikely ever been accomplished in MCAL history.

The Giants rush the mound in celebration of their back-to-back MCAL Championship

Entering the tournament as the three seed, Redwood advanced to the final by beating Marin Catholic on a stellar pitching performance by Nick Welch on Tuesday.  Tonight, Kyle Felder was given the honors to start on the hill and was exceptional through six and a third innings. Felder struck out eight, allowing just five hits for two runs.

Felder was nails, giving up just two runs in six innings of work

Playing as the home team, Redwood took an early lead in the bottom of the first inning. Jarod Robinow singled with a hard ground ball toward second base. Genki LeClair followed with a single to right field, advancing Robinow to second base. Jackson Barry loaded the bases with a single to right. Ben Cohen came up big with a line drive single to left center field, scoring Robinow and LeClair (2-0). Jack Morken was hit by a pitch, advancing Barry to third and Cohen to second, but the Giants could not add to their early lead.

The Giants picked up another run in the bottom of the second inning.

Rabinow and LeClair combined to draw first blood

Jarod Robinow landed safely at first with a fielder’s choice to shortstop. Robinow advanced to second after a Pirate error. Genki LeClair then belted his second hit of the evening, scoring Robinow from second base (3-0). Drake would get on the scoreboard with a solo homerun in the top of the third inning (3-1). In response, the Giants plated two runs in the bottom of the third. Ben Cohen lead off with a double to left field. Alex Hagen laid down a crowd-pleasing bunt along the third base foul line, advancing Cohen to third. With two outs, Jackson Reed singled up the middle, scoring Cohen (4-1). Lucas Roy then singled to center field, scoring Hagen from second base (5-1).

Alex Hagen is mobbed after scoring

In the bottom of the fifth, Alex Hagen lead off with a hard-hit single to center field. Jack Morken then sacrificed himself with a bunt, advancing Hagen to second. Sam Warren hit the ball to the right side of the infield, advancing Hagen to third. Nick Welch entered the game and induced a nine-pitch walk. Lucas Roy then collected his second hit of the contest with a double to left field, easily scoring Hagen (6-1).

In the top of the sixth inning, the Pirates might have caught a break after an underthrown ball to first base, sending the ball toward the Drake dugout and the runner on his way to second base. However, an alert Jake Nordstrom tracked down the live ball and fired a seed to second, throwing the runner out.

Reed made a dazzling backhand in the sixth

Shortstop Jackson Reed backhanded a sure hit deep in the hole, fired a bullet across the diamond and Jack Morken handled a difficult short hop at first to secure the third out and end the threat.

In the top of the seventh inning, Drake mounted a gut-wrenching comeback, scoring three runs. With the tying run at the plate, Jesse Gassman induced a troublemaker pop up to shallow center field. Lucas Roy would help his pitcher with a diving catch for the second out. Roy was then given the ball and ended the game by striking out the Drake batter for the final out.

Lucas Roy celebrates strike three

Final Score – 6 to 4.

The Giants had timely hitting throughout the tournament up and down their potent lineup. In the championship game, Roy, LeClair, and Cohen each had two hits. Robinow, Barry, and Reed contributed one hit each and Alex Hagen stayed hot with three hits. The Giants out hit their opponent 12 to 7 in route to winning back to back MCAL Pennants.

 

The Giants are on a roll, a roll that was acknowledged by the NCS seeding committee.  Redwood is #1 seed in the Division 2 bracket.  They are slated to face off against the Bethel Jaguars out of Vallejo, at Moody Field Wednesday May 15th, at 5pm.  Bethel ended their season with a 13-2 overall record, a 10-2 conference record and won the Tri-County-Stone League Championship.

The Varsity Giants flash their hard-earned MCAL Pennant

Firenzi gets some last-minute advice from mentor and Redwood legend, Al Endriss

It was standing room only at Albert Park Friday night

Giants Victorious over Marin Catholic in MCAL Semi-Final for Firenzi’s 450th Win

5/7: The Varsity baseball team did an about-face on Tuesday night, beating Marin Catholic by a score of 4-1, earning Head Coach Mike Firenzi his 450th victory. After losing handily to their main rival four days before, Head Coach, Mike Firenzi, had his squad ready to play before tonight’s match, with the main attraction being junior pitcher – Nick Welch. Welch rebounded from last Thursday’s loss with a convincing six inning two hit performance, carrying a no hitter into the fifth inning against a talented MC offense. Welch struck out four during his impressive outing.

Offensively, the Giant’s struck first in the top of the second inning. Lucas Roy got on base with a single to second base – beating out the throw. Roy stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Jack Morken then drove the ball to left field, scoring Roy (1-0).

In the top of the third inning, the Giants were in good shape after both Genki LeClair and Jarod Robinow put the ball in play and reached base on MC errors. With one out, Redwood was poised to strike but were dumfounded by two pick-off outs on the base paths, clearly frustrating Firenzi.

Hagen stands tall at second after a clutch double

Welch would stymie MC through five, giving the Giant’s more opportunities to score. With only a one run lead, Redwood started the top of the sixth with a Ben Cohen single. Lucas Roy laid down a bunt and reached on an error.

Alex Hagen then doubled down the third base line, scoring Cohen from second and Roy from first base (3-0). Jack Morken then stroked an ill-advised fastball to left center field, scoring Hagen from second base (4-0). The strength of MC’s batting order would plate one run in the bottom of the sixth.

Jesse Gassman returned to the show from the IR to relieve Welch in the bottom of the seventh. Gassman struck out the first batter and induced ground balls for the final two outs of the game. Lucas Roy, Alex Hagen, and Jack Morken each had two hits on the day with Ben Cohen adding the seventh. The Giant’s committed two errors in the field and had some base running hiccups but all of that went away with an exciting playoff win at Marin Catholic.

Final Score: 4 to 1.

In a rematch of last year’s final, The Giants will face Drake at Albert field on Friday night at 7pm to determine who will share the 2019 Pennant with the round-robin champion, Tamalpias. Go Giants!

The Giants take a team picture after the game with the Pirates on their mind

Giants to Face MC in MCAL Semi-Final

5/2: The Varsity baseball team finished regular season play on Thursday with a 6-0 loss to Marin Catholic. At 11-5 (15-9 overall), the Giants secured the third seed going into their rematch with the Wildcats on Tuesday May 7th.

Redwood only had four hits on the day, with Genki LeClair providing the lion’s share with two. Lucas Roy and Jackson Reed were the only other Giant’s with hits. In order to be successful in the playoffs, the Giants will need to find a way to get on base and hit the ball come Tuesday.

The Giants play at Marin Catholic on Tuesday May 7th at 4:30 p.m. Drake will face number one seed Tamalpais in the other semifinal.

JV Giants Shut Out Terra Linda, San Rafael and Marin Catholic to Claim Share of MCAL Title

4/26: The JV Giants defeated Terra Linda at Moody Field on Tuesday by a score of 4-0 to run the record to 10-2 in MCAL play (14-6 overall).

Charlie Ginsburg took the start on the mound for the Giants and was sharp throughout, throwing a fastball, slider and curve for strikes and keeping TL’s hitters off balance. Ginsburg went 6 and 2/3 innings, yielding just three hits and striking out six against a single base on balls.

The Giants plated two in the bottom of the second one run scoring singles by Ethan Crawford and Thomas Johnson. The Giants added single runs in fifth (Luca Bove sac fly) and sixth (Sam Rice triple followed by Charlie Welch infield single to score Rice).

Rice led the Giants in hits and runs scored on the day with two of each.

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4/30: The JV Giants discovered that baseball under the lights agrees with them, as they rolled San Rafael by a count of 10-0 in their first night contest of the year at Albert Park. With the victory, the Giants improved their record to 11-2 in MCALs (15-6 overall).

Tommy Quanstrom started for the Giants and fought through some command issues to shut out San Rafael over 5 and 2/3 innings. Charlie Ginsburg struck out three in his 1 and 1/3 innings to wrap it up.

The Giants opened this one up with a five-run third inning, highlighted by RBI singles from Isaak Irmini-Kreft and Mikey Bender and an RBI double from Luca Bove.

The Giants got two hits apiece from Ginsburg, Sam Rice and Bender to lead the team. Bove and Charlie Welch paced the team with two RBIs each.

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5/2: In their final game of the season, and with a share of the MCAL regular season title on the line, the JV Giants defeated Marin Catholic 4-0 on a combined no-hitter by Mikey Bender and Charlie Ginsburg.

In a rematch from earlier this year, Bender started on the mound for the Giants, with MC countering with lefty Riley Schon. Bender looked sharp early, overpowering MC with his fastball and mixing in some nice breaking pitches as well.

Redwood loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the second on walks to Bender, Luca Bove and Ethan Crawford. Charlie Welch made it hurt with a well placed pop fly down the right field line that dropped in for a two-RBI single.

The Giants added on in the fifth. Ginsburg led off the inning with an infield single to third and then stole second. Isaak Irmini-Kreft followed with a sacrifice bunt so well placed that he beat it out for a single. After Irmini-Kreft stole second, Sam Rice scorched a liner to right to score Ginsburg and Irmini-Kreft.

Bender, who had been on cruise control through the first five innings, ran into some trouble in the sixth. After an error and two walks, MC had the bases loaded with one out and the top of the order coming up. With Bender approaching his pitch count limit, Ginsburg came into the game and put out the fire by inducing a shallow pop fly to center and a swinging strikeout on a sweeping curveball in the dirt. Ginsburg closed it out in the seventh – final score 4-0 Giants.

Rice led the Giants in hits and RBIs on the day with two of each. With the win, the Giants finished the season 12-2 in MCALs (16-6 overall), good for a tie and MCAL co-championship with MC.

Congrats to the JV Giants and coaches Jim Brown, Chris Corsiglia, Tim Amyx and J.D. Pomilia on a terrific season.

Giants Secure Playoff Spot with win over San Rafael

4/30: The Varsity baseball team beat San Rafael 11-2 on Tuesday night. At the same time, Tam beat Drake, assuring the Giant’s a spot in the (final four) MCAL playoffs to determine the 2019 league champion. There are still a few variables to be determined on Thursday night, but a clean sweep of MC most likely lands Redwood in the two-spot at 12-4, with an opportunity to knock out probable three seed, San Marin, in the semifinals. The 2019 Giants are playing their best baseball right now but will need to play like champions come Thursday night.

At San Rafael, the Giants got their first run in the top of the second. Jack Morken was hit by the first of two on the night. Lucas Roy advanced Morken to second with a ground ball to short. Jake Nordstrom was subsequently hit by a pitch. Jackson Reed stayed hot with a single, scoring Morken from second base (1-0).

In the top of the third inning, Jarod Robinow lead off with a single to center field. Genki LeClair then smoked one up the middle, scoring the speedy outfielder from first base (2-0).

In the top of the fourth, Jake Nordstrom reached first base on an error by the San Rafael third baseman. Jackson Reed advanced Nordstrom with a sacrifice bunt. Matt Birchenough reached base on another Bulldog error, advancing Nordstrom to third base. Jarod Robinow laid down a spectacular RBI bunt along the first base foul line, scoring Nordstrom and advancing Birchenough to second base (3-0). Genki LeClair hit a sacrifice fly to center field, and both runners would advance their position after tagging up. Jackson Barry was walked, loading the bases. Ben Cohen was hit by a pitch, scoring Birchenough and advancing Robinow to third and Barry to second. Jack Morken hit a hard ground ball to short, scoring Robinow after the San Rafael error and advancing Barry to third base. Lucas Roy finished the scoring outburst with a single to left, scoring Barry (6-0). The Giants would allow two runs to score in the bottom half of the fourth inning.

In the top of the fifth inning, the Giants busted the game wide open. Jackson Reed was hit by a pitch and Sam Warren walked. Jarod Robinow laid down another perfect bunt, sacrificing himself to advance Reed and Warren. Genki LeClair then blasted a double to center field, scoring Reed and Warren (8-2). Jackson Barry put the ball in play, scoring LeClair after he stole third base (9-2). Ben Cohen sliced one down the third base line, advancing Barry to third base. Zack Gordon would enter the game after Jackson Barry tweeked his hamstring. Lucas Roy added two more runs with a single to right field, scoring Gordon and Cohen (11-2).

Kyle Felder earned the win for the Giants with four innings of two hit pitching, striking out three during his outing – which was a crowd pleaser. Ben Cohen and Lucas Roy relieved Redwood’s work-horse with three innings of no-hit pitching, striking out four batters. The Giant’s offense tallied ten hits, producing nine RBI’s in route to the victory. Final Score: 11-2.

The boys finish regular season play at Marin Catholic on Thursday May 2nd. First pitch – 4:30 p.m.

Giants Beat Terra Linda Going into Final week of MCAL Play

4/27: Sitting in the second position after Friday’s convincing win over Terra Linda, the Giants have worked their way into a probable playoff spot in the final four. After Marin Catholic came from behind to defeat Drake on the same night, Redwood sits at second place in the MCAL standings, above MC and below Tam in the hard-fought pennant race going into the final week of play. At 10 and 4, the boys are responsible for their own fate.

On Friday night, the Giants made quick work of the Trojans, plating three runs in the top of the first inning. Matt Birchenough lead off with a single. Jarod Robinow, again, laid down a perfect bunt, advancing Birchenough to second base. Genki LeClair then singled to left field, scoring Birch (1-0). Jackson Barry scorched one over the left field fence, just foul. The gloveman then singled to left, advancing LeClair to third base. Ben Cohen put the ball in play and with the fielder’s choice, scoring LeClair. Barry would be called out advancing to second. Jack Morken was hit by a pitch, putting Cohen at second base. Lucas Roy stroked one to left field, scoring Ben Cohen to finish the offensive start (3-0).

In the top of the second, Jackson Reed crushed a ball to deep left field, landing on second base. Jarod Robinow would get walked and Genki LeClair got hit by a pitch, leaving Reed at third and Jarod at second base. After some malfeasance, Ben Cohen would drive a ball to center field, scoring Robinow and LeClair (5-0). Terra Linda would make the game close with three runs in the bottom half of the second (5-3).

The Giants recaptured a run in the third, after a Jake Nordstrom walk and Matt Birchenough timely hit to left, scoring Jake Nordstrom (6-3). In the top of the fourth, Jackson Barry sent a ball to left field. Zack Gordon would enter the game as a courtesy runner for Barry. Ben Cohen then drove the ball to left field, scoring Zee Gordon from second base (7-3) after four.

The Giants forced a lopsided score in the top of the seventh. Lucas Roy was walked. Jake Nordstrom advanced Roy with a bunt. Satoshi Miki hit a hard grounder to second, scoring Roy after the Trojan error. Matt Birchenough and Sam Warren lured walks. LeClair then singled to left, scoring Miki and Birchenough, leaving Warren at third base and LeClair at second base. Jackson Barry put his stamp on the game with a no doubter over the left field fence with a three-run homerun to finish the game. Final score: 13-3.

The Giants tallied fifteen hits on the day, committing no errors. The pitchers, Jackson Bender, Ben Cohen, and Matt Smalbach combined for a convincing five hit, five strikeout win on the hill. The Giants face the San Rafael Bulldogs on Tuesday, April 30th, at San Rafael High School and finish regular season play against cross-creek rivals, Marin Catholic, on Thursday May 2nd at Marin Catholic High School – first pitch: 4:30 p.m.  Go Giants!

JV Giants Top Drake

4/23:  Fresh off wins over Novato (13-3) and Casa Grande (7-2), the JV Giants headed to toasty San Anselmo looking to defeat Drake and stay in the hunt for first place in MCALs.  The Giants did just that, defeating Drake 9-4 and running their record to 13-5 on the season (9-2 in MCAL play).

Mikey Bender took the start on the mound for the Giants, and he was staked to a big lead early.  Charlie Ginsburg led off the game with a walk, and after stealing second and third, was driven home on an RBI groundout by Tommy Quanstrom.  The Giants struck for four runs in the second, highlighted by a two-RBI double by Asher Jacobs, whose long drive to left-center missed a home run over Drake’s short fence by only ten feet or so.  Thomas Johnson followed with another two-RBI double, and the Giants led 5-0 after two innings.  Not to be left out, Isaak Irmini-Kreft added a two-RBI double of his own in the top of the fourth.

Bender, who had been on cruise control for the first four innings, ran into trouble in the bottom of the fifth and gave up four runs, due largely to a spate of hit batsmen and a questionable call from the home plate umpire that turned a line drive down the left field line that appeared to land foul into a fair ball and a two-run double.  When Bender reached his pitch limit, Ginsburg relieved him on the mound and limited the damage by recording the last two outs of bottom of the fifth, and after five full it was 7-4 Giants.

The Giants came through with a couple of insurance runs in the top of the seventh, although it was hardly necessary, as Ginsburg dispatched the Drake hitters with relative ease over his eight outs and closed out a 9-4 Giants win.

Johnson led the Giants in base hits on the day with three, and Ginsburg, Sam Rice and Ethan Crawford added two apiece.  Johnson also led in RBI with three, with Irmini-Kreft and Jacobs totaling two each.  Ginsburg, Sam McIntosh and Jacobs each scored two runs.

The JV Giants will look to finish the week strong when they host Terra Linda on Friday (first pitch 4:30 PM) and Dublin on Saturday (first pitch 2:00 PM).

Giants stay Hot with Critical Win Over Drake

4/23: On a hot Tuesday night, the Varsity Baseball Team continued to play like defending MCAL Champions, beating offensive powerhouse, Drake High School, 3-1. The Giants’ got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning. Matt Birchenough lead off with a single up the middle. Matt would go on to steal second base. Genki LeClair then hit a line drive single to left field, advancing Birchenough to third base.

Jackson Barry drives in the first Redwood run

Next, Jackson Barry was able to drive the ball to deep center field, allowing Birchenough to tag up and easily score.

Kyle Felder started on the hill for Redwood, keeping the Pirates scoreless until the third inning, when Drake tied the game 1 to 1. The winning pitcher, Kyle Felder, pitched five innings, allowing only five hits while striking out two.

Kyle Felder was solid on the mound, earning another victory

The Giants got rolling again in the bottom of the third inning. Jarod Robinow laid down a beautiful bunt along the third base foul line, rolling casually in play by inches as he sprinted safely to first base. Genki LeClair followed with a line drive single to left field, advancing Robinow to second base. Jackson Barry then singled to left field, scoring Robinow from second base and advancing LeClair to second. Jack Morken followed Barry with a line drive to center field, scoring LeClair from second (3-1, after three).

Nick Welch entered the game in the sixth inning, relieving the steady Felder. Welch walked a batter and hit the next to give Drake two men on with only one out. Welch would rely on his defense to get out of the jam. Center fielder, Lucas Roy, caught a line drive and alertly threw the ball to second baseman,

Morken drops the tag to end the inning on a close play at first

Genki LeClair, who was able to catch the runner on first base in a pickle and the eventual third out at first base. Welch settled down in the bottom of the seventh, striking out successive Pirate batters for the final three outs. Jake Nordstrom tallied two hits on the day and Jackson Reed had one, as the Giants out-hit their opponents with eleven hits. Final Score: 3-1.

 

The Giants resume MCAL play on Friday, April 26th, when they take on the Trojans from Terra Linda at Terra Linda High School. First pitch – 4:30 p.m. The Giants are currently battling for a playoff spot with three games left to determine the top four MCAL teams. Five teams are all within one game of each other. Go Giants!

Varsity Stay in the Hunt with Exciting 13 Inning Win over Tam

Jesse Gassman pitched four scoreless innings before leaving after getting hit in the eye by a foul tip off his bat in the top of the 11th.

4/16: The Giants Varsity Baseball Team started their critical MCAL game versus Tamalpais on Tuesday, played nine innings, and needed three more to decide the winner on Saturday. Facing Tam’s ace, the boys scored two runs in the top of the first inning. Matt Birchenough lead off with a hard-hit single to right field. Lucas Roy followed with a single to left field. Genki LeClair was then hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Birchenough and Roy would each score on wild pitches (2-0). Tam, however, would respond with four runs in the bottom half of the inning (2-4).

Jackson Reed tries to turn a double play and the 11th inning ends on offensive interference call.

The Giants cut the lead in the top of the third inning with a Ben Cohen homerun over the left field fence. Tam, however, would add to their lead in the bottom of the fourth and fifth with three more runs (3-7).

In the top of the sixth inning, Alex Hagen lead off with a single to right field. Jarod Robinow followed with a single to right, advancing Hagen. Jake Nordstrom then bunted the runners into scoring position. Lucas Roy came up big with a double to left center field, scoring Hagen and Robinow (5-7). In what ordinarily would have been a game losing dagger, Tam plated three runs in the bottom half of the sixth, leaving the Giants with a five-run deficit to overcome in the seventh – no problem.

Ben Cohen lead off with a line drive single to right field. Jarod Robinow hit a hard ground ball to Short and safely reached base on the error, advancing Cohen to third. Jake Nordstrom would get walked, loading the bases with one out. Matt Birchenough then put the ball in play, leading to a fielder’s choice, forcing Nordstrom out at second base and scoring Cohen – (6-10) with two outs. Lucas Roy then drove the ball to deep left center field, scoring Robinow and Birchenough (8-10). Genki LeClair kept the line moving with a single to left field, advancing Roy to third base. Jackson Barry brought the house down with a double to right field, scoring both Roy and LeClair and tying the game at ten apiece. Jesse Gassman would enter the game in the bottom of the seventh and bravely throw the 7th, 8th and 9th, keeping the Hawks scoreless. The game would eventually be called due to darkness. 10 to 10 after nine innings.

Lucas Roy relieves Gassman and pitches 3 scoreless innings to get the victory.

On Saturday morning a large crowd gathered at 10 a.m. to watch the conclusion of the exciting match. Tam would once again get their ace on the hill and Redwood would continue to rely on Jesse Gassman. Jesse would strike out two and force a pop up to keep the Giants hopes alive. Unfortunately, Gassman would foul a pitch off his bat into his face in the top of the eleventh, suffering a fracture and game ending injury. Redwood would turn a controversial double play in the bottom half and get out of the inning.

Lucas Roy was handed the ball in the 12th and carried the Giants the remainder of the game. In the bottom of the 13th inning, the Man of the Match, Lucas Roy, singled down the third base line. Genki LeClair hit one to right field, advancing Roy to second base. Jackson Barry then got hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Jack Morken. After a missed squeeze play attempt, Roy was called out. With two outs, Morken put the ball in play to short and reached first base safely on the throwing error by Tam, scoring LeClair.

Jack Morken drives in the go ahead run in the top of the 13th with runners on 2nd and 3rd and 2 outs on a hard hit ball that gets through the drawn in infield.

The Giants kept everyone’s hearts pounding by allowing Tam to load the bases in the bottom half of the 13th, but the final out was secured by shortstop, Jackson Reed, after tracking down a shallow popfly to left. Final Score: 11 to 10, after 13 innings of play.

The Giants resume play on Tuesday April 23rd against Drake at Moody Field. First Pitch – 4:30 pm

Varsity Giants Blank Novato on Senior Day

4/18: The Giants sprayed nine hits between nine different players, scoring six runs, to shutout Novato High School at Moody field on Senior Day. Nine seniors were recognized with their parents before the Giants put up six runs with nine hits, blanking the Hornets 6-0.

Senior, Kyle Felder, started for Redwood and would throw five innings of shutout baseball, striking out one while conceding only four hits. In the bottom of the second inning, Jackson Barry lead off with a walk. Jack Morken got hit by a pitch, setting up Ben Cohen, who doubled to center field, scoring Barry and advancing Morken to third base. Shortstop, Jackson Reed, then singled to center field, scoring Morken and advancing Cohen to third base. Ben would go on to score on a wild pitch (3-0).

In the third inning, Lucas Roy lead off with a bunt down the third base line. Roy would steal second and take third on a wild pitch. Jackson Barry then drove the ball to deep center, allowing Roy to score after tagging up. Jack Morken then hit a double to left field. Alex Hagen followed with a single toward the shortstop, leaving runners at first and third but the Giants were unable to blow the game wide open (4-0).

The Giants were able to plate two more runs in the sixth inning. Drake Goodman singled to right field. Sam Warren then hit a high chopper to the third baseman, advancing Goodman to second base. Catcher, Jake Nordstrom, safely bunted down the third base line, scoring Goodman after an ill-advised over-throw to first base by the Novato pitcher. Haiden Jones then singled to center field, scoring Warren. Nick Welch returned to the hill after being sidelined with injury to make quick work of the visitors and securing the shutout. Final score: 6-0

The Giants resume MCAL play on Saturday, April 20th, when they continue play in the top of the 10th inning against Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley. That game was halted due to darkness with the score tied at 10 -10.  First pitch – 10 a.m

JV Giants Defeat Tam; Bender Throws Shutout

4/17:  Coming off of three narrow contests in a row (3-2 win over San Rafael, 6-5 loss to Monte Vista, 4-3 win over Terra Linda), the JV Giants came into Wednesday’s game against Tamalpais looking to avoid another nailbiter.  Thanks in large part to a dominant effort from Mikey Bender on the mound, they were able to do just that, defeating Tam by a score of 4-0.  With the win, the Giants ran their record to 10-5 (7-2 in MCALs).

Bender was in total command from the first pitch, although that first pitch was a doozy, in that it got by catcher Ethan Crawford and hit the home plate umpire squarely in his left hand, ending his day and rendering the base umpire a soloist for the afternoon.

In a rarity of late, the Giants put runs on the board early in this one. Charlie Ginsburg led off the bottom of the first with a walk.  After stealing second, Ginsburg advanced to third on an infield single by Isaak Irmini-Kreft.  Irmini-Kreft then also stole second, and Tommy Quanstrom drove them both home with a single to left.  Three batters into the game the Giants led 2-0.

The Giants tacked on with single runs in the second and fourth innings.  A pair of errors by Tam’s first baseman led to a Giants run in the second, and Thomas Johnson drove in Asher Jacobs with a double to left-center in the fourth.

Four runs was more than enough for Bender, who went the distance, yielding only two hits and striking out ten against a single walk.  Bender threw only 84 pitches in the game (56 for strikes), and Tam never got a runner past second base.

For their next two games, the JV Giants travel to Novato on Thursday (first pitch 4:30 PM) and Casa Grande on Saturday (first pitch 2:30 PM).