Freshman Giants Top Petaluma

The freshman Giants ran their record to 3-0 with an 8-2 victory over a game Petaluma squad at Endriss Field on Tuesday afternoon.

Nathan Hirsch started on the bump for the Giants and pitched well, striking out five while walking only one and giving up just a pair of runs in his four innings of work.

The Giants opened the scoring with a single run in the bottom of the first on a Tommy Quanstrom single to score Asher Jacobs.

In the bottom of the second, Ethan Crawford led off with a single to left and came in to score on a line drive triple down the right field line by Thomas Johnson. Charlie Ginsburg then drove Johnson home with a hard ground out to third. After a Bodie Jehling walk and a line drive single up the middle by Jacobs, Sam McIntosh drove Jehling in with a single up the middle. With two innings in the book, the Giants were up 4-0.

Petaluma put two runs on the board in the top of the fourth, but Hirsch worked out of a jam to strand two runners and keep the lead at 4-2. Jake Zesiger relieved Hirsch and threw two scoreless innings.

The Giants opened things up in the bottom of the sixth. Johnson led off with a line single to right for his third hit of the day. Ginsburg advanced him to second with a sacrifice bunt and Johnson took third on a wild pitch. Jacobs walked and then stole second. With runners on second and third and two outs, McIntosh grounded a single up the middle to plate Johnson and Jacobs for a 6-2 lead. J.T. Dyer followed with a booming double over the Petaluma left fielder to score McIntosh. Quanstrom then singled home Dyer and what had been a tight game heading into the bottom of the sixth stood at 8-2 when the inning ended.

Dyer came in to close the game for the Giants and looked strong, striking out two in the top of the seventh to end it.

Next game for the frosh is Monte Vista on Thursday, March 8 at 3:30 PM at Endriss Field.

Redwood Ties Petaluma in a Tight Extra Inning Slug-fest

In a never say die game, Giant bats kept the team competitive against a hard hitting Petaluma team.  Jack Morken had another multiple hit game with three hits and three RBIs.  Morken was followed by Anthony Pomilia, two hits and one RBI, and two RBIs by Luke Zlatunich.  The rest of the Giants followed with aggressive base running making plenty of opportunities.

The last score of a back and forth battle was driven in by Morken in the top of the 7th putting the Giants in a position for a come from behind win.  Sadly, the game was interrupted by the setting of the sun.

The bump was given to Nick Welch who lead a strong defensive effort against the out-sized Petaluma offense.  Robbie Wilson finished the night keeping the Giants within striking distance.


Giants White Hot Bats Heat Up the Cold Oakland Night

Redwood bats erupted during the cold, windswept night under the lights at Bishop O’Dowd Monday night.  First at bat, Anthony Pomilia set the mark with a solo dinger over the left field fence to put the Giants up 1-0.

In the bottom of the 1st, Blake Cusick took the bump for the Giants.  Cusick masterfully demonstrated his 38 different arm slots as he mowed through the O’Dowd batters for the next five innings.  A steady diet of curves, fastballs and spot placement stymied Bishop O’Dowd batters as Cusick painted the plate.

In support of their pitcher, the Giants piled on runs.  Top of the second, timely RBI’s by Sam Warren and Pomilia capitalized on two hit by pitch mistakes putting the Giants up 4-0.  In the top of the forth, backstop Mackie Skall asked for a helping of what Pomilia served by helping himself to the second solo dinger of the night.  Giants up 5-0.  A Jack Morken double and a Michael Connors single added another run in the 5th.  Pascal Brassey and Connors combined to plate three more runs in top of the 6th.

Ollie Pearson pitched a solid 6th inning, with new varsity player Jackson Bender closing the night with a strong 7th inning.  Solid Giant defense aided the team effort.

Notibles from the night where solo home runs from A. Pomilia and M. Skall, plus J Morken was hit by what should be a record 3 pitches.  What to take three for the team.  Brassey and Pomilia each had three hits, Connors had two and Skall, Morken and Warren each had one.

Freshman Giants Shut Out Bishop O’Dowd

Behind strong pitching from Mikey Bender, Tommy Quanstrom and Ben Cohen, the freshman Giants shut out Bishop O’Dowd 7-0 on Monday afternoon at Endriss Field. The Giants are now 2-0 on the year.

Bender started and was dominant in his five innings, striking out seven while walking only one. Bender located well with his fastball and curveball for his entire outing and had O’Dowd’s hitters continually off balance. Not to be outdone, Quanstrom relieved Bender in the sixth inning and struck out the side. Cohen worked a quiet seventh inning to finish it off.

O’Dowd countered with a tough starter of their own, lefty Tristan Perri. The Giants broke through with an unearned run in the bottom of the second, with Jake Zesiger scoring on Quanstrom’s well placed popup single into no man’s land out of reach of O’Dowd’s converging shortstop, center fielder and left fielder.

In the bottom of the fourth, Zesiger led off with a walk. Thomas Johnson pinch-ran for Zesiger and stole second. After a walk to Bender, Johnson and Nathan Hirsch, who had run for Bender, advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. Quanstrom then lined a single up the middle to score Johnson, with Hirsch holding at third. Hirsch then scored on a well executed squeeze play with Charlie Ginsburg getting the bunt down. At the end of four, it was 3-0 Giants.

The Giants broke it open in the bottom the sixth. Parker McMillan led off the inning and was hit by the pitch. Following a walk to Bender and a single to right by Asher Jacobs, with two outs Cohen came up with a clutch double into the left-center gap to clear the bases. Pinch hitter Dillon Jensen concluded the day’s scoring with a grounder that was misplayed by O’Dowd’s shortstop, allowing Cohen to cross the plate for the Giants’ seventh run.

Next up for the Giants is Petaluma on Tuesday, March 6, followed by Monte Vista on Thursday, March 8. Both games are at 3:30 PM at Endriss Field.

Freshman Victorious in Season Opener

The freshman Giants fell behind early but rallied for a rain-shortened 8-4 win against Casa Grande in their home opener at Endriss Field. Ben Cohen and Tommy Quanstrom combined to no hit the Gauchos through five innings.

A steady drizzle throughout the game made playing conditions difficult, and wet baseballs and a deteriorating pitching mound contributed to some uncharacteristic wildness from the Giants pitchers, with all of Casa Grande’s runs scoring on walks in the second inning before Quanstrom settled things down, throwing three and two-thirds innings of scoreless ball.

With the Giants down 4-0 after two innings, the Giants notched two runs in the third on RBI singles by Cohen and Sam McIntosh. The decisive inning was the bottom of the fourth, when the Giants scored six runs, highlighted by RBI singles from Ethan Crawford and Jake Zesiger. Crawford and Zesiger lead the Giants in hits with two apiece. Nathan Hirsch and Bodie Jehling also had hits for the Giants. Cohen, McIntosh and Zesiger each had two RBIs.

For the week of March 5-9, the Giants will play Bishop O’Dowd on Monday, March 5 (this game is the rescheduled date for the game that was rained out on March 2), Petaluma on Tuesday, March 6 and Monte Vista on Thursday, March 8. All games are at 3:30 PM at Endriss Field.

Varsity Giants Win Big in Preseason Opener

2/27:  There was no traditional bunting lining the fences, the sun shined bright but it was unusually frigid, and there were fireworks of a different kind as the Giants exploded for eleven runs while shutting out the Montgomery Vikings at their home opener at Moody Field.

Sophomore Nick Welch earned his first Varsity win, pitching four innings, scattering two hits and striking out three.

Josh Cohen fires a 1-2 fastball for strike three

Senior Josh Cohen pitched a scoreless inning, striking out one and Senior Blake Cusick pitched the final two innings, giving up just one hit while striking out two.

The Giants pitching staff combined for a shut out, giving up three hits, walking one, while striking out seven.  All told, only three Vikings players reached base.  “They did a great job,” Head Coach Mike Firenzi said about Welch, Cohen, and Cusick, “I like our chances to win a game when we hold the other team to no runs.  It was also great to see Welch get his first Varsity win.”

While the Giants pitching staff stood tall on the mound, at the plate they provided run support from the jump, scoring six runs in the bottom of the first inning.  Anthony Pomilia started the rally by launching a double to left.  Genki LeClair advanced Pomilia to third and reached first on a swinging strike three, setting the table for Mackie Skall.  Skall drove in Pomilia on a single to left, putting the Giants up 1-0.  Luke Zlatunich singled to left.  After a strike out, Michael Connors singled to center, scoring LeClair and Skall.  With one out, Dane Goodman blasted a triple to the center-field gap, plating Zlatunich, putting the Giants up 5-0.  Dio Cornet sent Goodman home by hitting a hot smash to the shortstop that he couldn’t handle.  After the dust settled, the Giants finished the frame leading the Vikings by a score of 6-0.

Michael Connors led off the bottom of the third with a single.  Dane Goodman would send Connors home on his second extra base hit, a double to left and advanced to third when the relay throw was bobbled by the shortstop.  Sam Warren drove in Goodman on a single to center, putting the Giants up 8-0.  With two outs, Genkie LeClair singled to right, driving in Warren.  Mackie Skall tripled to left scoring LeClair.  Luke Zlatunich and Jack Morkin were both plunked by pitches, and after the two bean-balls loaded the bases, Michael Connors earned his third RBI the easy way, taking a bases loaded walk, plating Skall.  The Giants went into the top of the fourth leading 11-0, which would be the final score of the game.

Third Baseman Jackson Barry and Shortstop Anthony Pomilia get set in the late innings

The Giants also played flawless defense, committing no errors in the field.

Jackson Barry, Sam Warren, Jack Morkin, Luke Zlatunich and Genki LeClair all had hits for the Giants with LeClair and Warren both knocking in runs.  Anthony Pomilia, Michael Connors and Dane Goodman contributed two hits each with Connors and Goodman combining for six RBI’s, knocking in three runs apiece.  Mackie Skall led all Giants hitters with three hits, knocking in two runs.  “Everyone contributed today, we pitched well, we hit, we played defense.  Tomorrow we will have a bit of a tougher test, but we are ready”, Firenzi said.

Redwood will face off against the Casa Grande Gauchos on Wednesday on the road at 3:30.

Giants Final Tune-Up – A Success For All Three

2/24:  Redwood Baseball has been on the field since February 5th and wrapped up their practice schedule with a scrimmage against Riordan in the bitter cold on Saturday.

Coach Firenzi gets the ground rules at Riordan on a sunny but bitter cold day

All three clubs walked away with wins, with the Freshman squad claiming the largest margin of victory in their respective un-scored, non-league, unofficial final tune-up shutting out Riordan 16-0.  “I think we are going to see a lot of scores like that this year from our younger guys, both the Freshman and the Junior Varsity teams are going to be very good this year”, Head Coach Mike Firenzi said.

The Varsity Team will also be strong in 2018 with fifteen returning players and six new additions filling out their twenty-one man roster.  Returning starting catcher Mackie Skall along with Juniors Jake Nordstrom and Sam Warren will drop the signs to a strong pitching staff.  Seniors Oliver Pearson, Josh Cohen, Blake Cusick, Andreas Gleckman along with Juniors Kyle Felder, Robbie Wilson, Jackson Bender and Sophomore Nick Welch round out a very deep pitching core.

2017 First Team All-MCAL Dane Goodman adjusts to a ball to center at Riordan

Returning players Michael Connors, Genki LeClair, Pascal Brassey, Jackson Barry, two-time All-MCAL Anthony Pomilia, and Dio Cornet (who transferred from the Dominican Republic to Redwood for his senior year), along with Wilson will represent the Giants in the infield. Returners Jack Morkin, Drew Jacks, and 2017 First Team All-MCAL Dane Goodman, along with Warren, Wilson and Cohen will patrol the expanses of the outfield.

When asked about how he felt about how the Varsity team played on Saturday and his outlook for the season Firenzi’s face lit up with excitement.  “I think we gave up just one hit and threatened on offense just about every inning today.  We played defense and only made a few mistakes.  We are deep in all positions.  We have all the pieces to the puzzle, we are still figuring out where everything fit…but we are close.  As long as we stay healthy, we will compete this year.

The Varsity Giants open their pre-season campaign at Moody on Tuesday, 2/27 at 3:30.  They will turn-around and face off against Casa Grande on Wednesday, 2/28 at 3:30 and round out the week with game against Bishop O’Dowd at Moody on Friday, 3/2 at 3:30.  The Junior Varsity will face off against Casa Grande on Wednesday, 2/28 at 3:30 at Casa Grande and finish the week on the road against Bishop O’Dowd on Friday 3/2, at 3:30.  The Freshman play Casa Grande at Endriss Field on Wednesday, 2/28 at 3:30 and close out the week at Endriss Field on Friday, 3/2 against Bishop O’Dowd at 3:30.

Come out and support your Redwood Giants!

Varsity Season Ended By Rival Marin Catholic

5/23:  After knocking the Giants out of the MCAL Championship, the Marin Catholic Wildcats completed the ‘One-Two Punch’ and knocked Redwood out of the NCS Baseball Championship with a 5-1 victory in Kentfield.

All-League Honorable Mention pitchers Jack Harris and Michael Benz squared off on the mound with Harris atoning for his early season loss against the Giants, earning the complete game victory while Benz took the loss for Redwood.  Harris gave up just one run, scattering seven hits while striking out two.  Benz was lifted in the second inning for sophomore Kyle Felder who gave up just one run in four and two-thirds innings of work.

Redwood threatened in the top of the first after Josh Cohen and Nicolas Belgum both singled to set the table for the heart of the order with one out.  Cohen was erased at the plate on a grounder to third on a contact play and the inning ended on another ground out to third.  “The same dog that’s bitten us for two months, bit us again today.  We get runners on second base and we stop hitting, that’s been our problem for about two months.  It’s not a lack of hits or a lack of baserunners, we just can’t drive guys in, and that happens sometimes.” Head Coach Mike Firenzi said after the game.

MC scored in the bottom of the first on a balk with a runner on third, and the Giants answered with a run of their own in the top of the second after Aubrey Sine led off the inning with a single to right and later scored when sophomore Jack Morkin ‘bit that dog back’ and singled with a runner in scoring position.  The hot hitting Wildcats unleashed in the bottom of the second, scoring three runs on three hits.  Benz was lifted for Felder who induced a double play to shortstop Anthony Pomilia who tossed to second baseman Genki LeClair who fired a strike to first to end the inning with the Wildcats up 4-1.

MC scored another run in the bottom of the fifth, but as it turned out they would just need two runs to end the Giants season.

Josh Cohen, Nicolas Belgum, Anthony Pomilia, Aubrey Sine and Genki LeClair all had hits with Jack Morkin adding two to the Giants total.  The Giants ended the year with a 16-11 season record and a 12-6 MCAL record, ranking 9th in the NCS Division II Rankings.

Post Script:  MC lost to Casa Grande in the next round of the DII Championship.  Drake won the DIII Championship.  Monte Vista and Casa Grande both lost their DI and DII Championship games.  Of the six teams competing in the DI-DIII Championship games, the Giants played three teams and had a 3-1 record against them, beating Monte Vista and losing to Casa Grande in the pre-season while defeating Drake twice during conference play.  “We were a legitimate NCS Championship team when we were at full strength, I’m proud of our team and what we accomplished this year,” Firenzi said in conclusion of the year.

Redwood Freshmen secure outright MCAL title with 5-3 win over Drake

The win gives Redwood sole possession of the MCAL title as they finished with an 11-1 mark in league play and 19-4 overall.  The team finished the season on a 13 game winning streak.

The Giants got on the board first with two runs in the second. With two outs Jack Van Hooser hit an infield single and advanced to second on an error by the shortstop that allowed Aaron Kim to reach base.  Jackson Reed then drove the first pitch he saw for a double scoring both Van Hooser and Kim and giving Redwood the 2-0 lead.

In the fourth inning the Giants added to their lead.  With two down and the bases empty Jonathan Yu hit a first pitch line drive single to right.  Nick Welch then also singled on a first pitch offering and both runners advanced on the throw leaving Yu at third and Welch at second for Jake Gassman.  Gassman did not waste the opportunity as he took a 2-2 pitch to right for a two-run single making it 4-0 Redwood.

It would stay that way until Drake pushed a run across in the top of the fifth to make it 4-1.

Redwood got the run back in the sixth. Sander Leszczynski led off the inning and was hit by a pitch.  Ben Rafner followed and was also plunked putting runners at first and second.  Van Hooser then grounded into a fielder’s choice with Rafner erased at second but Leszczynski advancing to third.  Willie Sine was next and drove a pitch to center for a sacrifice fly to make it 5-1 Giants.

Drake would not go easily as they mounted a rally in the top of the seventh that led to two runs but that was the extent of the damage with Redwood holding on for the 5-3 win and the MCAL crown.

Jesse Gassman started and went six innings giving up just one run on three hits while striking out three. Matthew Smallbach came on in relief in the seventh and finished the game by inducing a groundout to second with two runners on and Redwood clinging to a two run lead.

Giants Earn NCS Bid-Five Players Earn MCAL All-League Honors

5/21:  The Giants earned their third straight NCS bid today with the #9 seed in the DII NCS Championship Playoffs and will face off against Marin Catholic on Tuesday at 5pm at MC.  Redwood will likely face Jack Harris again who has a 1-1 record against the Giants, losing earlier in the year and winning in the MCAL Playoff game on Thursday night.

Redwood had five players who achieved All-League Honors

Dane Goodman was the only Giant this year to earn First Team All-League honors.  Goodman ended the season with a .406 batting average which led the team and ranked #3 in the MCAL.  He ranked #7 in the MCAL, boasting a .515 slugging percentage and his 18 runs scored ranked 5th in the league. He ranked 3rd in the league for On-Base-Percentage (.494) while knocking in 18 runs during the MCAL season.

Captain Nicolas Belgum earned Second Team honors for the second year in a row.  In 2016 Belgum was a honoree as an outfielder and this year he earned the honor as an infielder, playing the majority of the season at first base and moving to second base later in the year.  Belgum boasted a .321 batting average and ranked eleventh in the league with ten RBI’s.  He tied for seventh in the league with twelve runs scored and was tenth in the league with a .448 on-base-percentage.

Anthony Pomilia also earned his second All-League award by earning Honorable Mention.  Despite a shortened season, Pomilia ended the year with a .375 batting average which ranked ninth in the league.  His twelve RBI’s ranked sixth in the MCAL.

Michael Benz earned Honorable Mention as a pitcher.  His 1.39 ERA ranked seventh in the league and his two wins ranked twelfth.  His thirty-seven strike-outs ranked sixth in the MCAL.  He also had a 1.000 fielding percentage.

Trevor Foehr also earned Honorable Mention.  Foehr played in the outfield, as a catcher and a pitcher placing him in the ‘Utility’ category.  Foehr’s .385 batting average ranked seventh in the league and second on the team.  He also boasted a .979 fielding percentage.


Giants Fall to MC

5/18:  The Giants fell to the Marin Catholic Wildcats in the second round of the MCAL playoffs tonight at Albert Park.  Marin Catholic moves on the face round-robin champion Drake on Friday night.  The Giants will wait until the completion of the NCS seeding meeting to see if their season will continue or end with this bitter loss.

Blake Cusick took the mound for the Giants and held the Wildcats scoreless through three innings but after a base hit and a walk, he was relieved by Michael Benz.  Benz induced a pop-out to Nicolas Belgum to record the first out of the inning.  Marin Catholic advanced both runners into scoring position on a passed ball.  With the infield drawn in, MC’s pinch-hitter roped a hard grounder to the right side that got through scoring the runner from third.  Another run scored on the same play when the batter attempted to advance to second and the relay man sent the ball into centerfield, putting the Wildcats up 2-0.  Benz struck out the next batter and the inning ended on a fly out to Belgum.

MC starting pitcher, Jack Harris, and Benz would both face the minimum batters for the next three innings with Harris striking out a total of seven while giving up just four hits in his complete game shut-out of the Giants.

Dane Goodman and Trevor Foehr had hits for Redwood and Anthony Pomilia accounted for half of the Giants hits, banging out two hits under the lights.   Marin Catholic recorded five hits and had no errors, Redwood had two errors.

“We got beat tonight but the season but I don’t think the season is over”, Head Coach Mike Firenzi said after the game.  “We’ll see what the NCS Seeding Committee says, we beat Drake twice and beat Monte Vista, we should get a seed and play next week.”

Giants Roll into Second Round of MCAL Championship

5/16:  The Redwood Giants punched their ticket into the second round of the MCAL playoffs by beating the San Rafael Bulldogs 5-1 at Moody Field today.  Redwood donned their home white uniforms with red sleeves and hats, a look that Head Coach Mike Firenzi has reserved only for the post season.  Ironically, it is the same look that the 1977 team sported for their home games during their run to the mythical National Championship forty years ago.

Sophomore Kyle Felder got the start and held the Bulldogs scoreless through four innings, giving up just three hits while striking out three and walking none.  Trevor Foehr pitched two innings, giving up an earned run on two hits and a strike out.  Zack Tonnerre pitched the final inning, sending the Bulldogs down in order to secure the victory for the Giants.

After eight pitches in the bottom of the first inning, Dane Goodman and Josh Cohen both reached base on back-to-back walks.  Nicolas Belgum sent them both into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt.  Anthony Pomilia was intentionally walked to load the bases and face Aubrey Sine with one out.  Sine blazed an 0-2 fastball into the hole between short and third for a single to put the Giants up 1-0, answering the intentional walk with his bat.

After a quiet second inning and top of the third, Josh Cohen led off the bottom of the inning with a drag bunt single and stole second.  Nicolas Belgum dropped another bunt down the third baseline for a hit, advancing Cohen to third.  Belgum stole second and after a strike out, Aubrey Sine plated Cohen for his second RBI of the game on a ground out to short to put the Giants up 2-0 after three innings.

Felder’s first pitch of the top of the fourth was sent high into the sky towards the middle of the diamond.  Michael Benz called off his pitcher and caught the fly in at the mound.  Felder then sent down the next two batters he faced on strike-outs, closing out his day with fifty pitches and setting himself up for the win, while making him eligible to pitch on Friday.  Sophomore Jack Morken singled to lead off the bottom of the inning and was lifted for the speedy Drew Jacks.  After a strike out, Michael Benz walked after fouling off a 3-2 pitch and was lifted for Riley Marsh.  Marsh drew a pick-off attempt at first and the ball sailed over the first baseman’s head, plating Jacks from second and sending Marsh to third.  Dane Goodman sent Marsh home on a grounder to short, putting the Giants up 4-0.  Josh Cohen then wore a 2-1 curveball and stole second.  With two outs, Nicolas Belgum reached on an error, scoring Cohen on the errant throw to put the Giants up 5-0 going into the top of the fifth.

Trevor Foehr came in and gave up a run to the Bulldogs in the fifth, but shut them down in the top of the sixth.  Mackie Skall doubled to lead off the bottom of the sixth and was lifted for Genki LeClair.  LeClair would be left standing on third with Cohen on first (after he walked) after Nicolas Belgum tested the Bulldogs centerfielder on a bomb that was caught over his shoulder in a full sprint as he was approaching the wall.

Zack Tonnerre closed out the game by striking out the side in the top of the seventh.  The Giants fans cheered as their team hustled off of the field and filed into the post-game handshake line at home plate.  There was no on-field celebration as this group of young men appears to be on a mission with today’s win getting them one step closer to their penultimate goal of winning their third MCAL Championship a feat they will have to accomplish ‘the hard way’ by sweeping the play-offs from the play-in game.

Kyle Felder earned his first Varsity win.  Dane Goodman scored and knocked in a run.  Josh Cohen had a hit and scored twice for the Giants.  Nicolas Belgum, Jack Morken and Mackie Skall also had hits with Aubrey Sine adding a hit and two RBI’s to the fray.

Redwood will square off with Marin Catholic on Thursday night at 7pm at Albert Park with hopes of redeeming theirselves after their tough home loss to the Wildcats on  May 5.  The Wildcats are riding a six game winning streak, posting twelve-plus hits in each of their wins during this run.

On the other side of the draw, San Marin upset Tam today and will face Drake on Wednesday with the winner set to battle the victor of the Redwood-MC game for the championship.  The Championship is set for Friday night.

Varsity Regular Season Ends On High Note

5/11:  The Varsity Giants closed out their regular season schedule with a win today and are on a two-game winning streak.  Redwood needed the win to secure third place in the MCAL and did so in commanding fashion, beating Branson at College of Marin 6-3.

Blake Cusick earned his third win of the year and dropped his MCAL ERA to .78 which ranks third among pitchers in the MCAL, after giving up just one earned run in six innings.  Cusick gave up just five hits, struck out five and only walked one.  Sophomore Kyle Felder closed out the game, pitching a scoreless seventh inning.  Felder was the workhorse on the JV League Champion team, and led the team with twelve appearances while boasting a .70 ERA.  Remarkably, in forty-nine innings of work, Felder struck out fifty-seven and walked just five.

The Giants still managed to commit a couple of errors in the field and both of the miscues resulted in runs for the Bulldogs.  The Giants offense would do enough to compensate for the blunders, scoring two runs in the second, adding another in the third and fifth innings and posted two more in the sixth for the six run total.

Anthony Pomilia, Gregory Block, and Josh Katz had hits for the Giants with Luke Zlatunich, and Josh Cohen each had two hits.  Jack Morkin, another Sophomore call-up added two hits himself to the Giants total.  In his first Varsity at-bat, Morkin smoked a grounder to right, for his first hit of his Varsity career and scored later in the inning.  Jack hit .350 for the Junior Varsity Giants, with four doubles and four triples.  Morkin singled up the middle in his second at-bat, knocking in Luke Zlatunich for his first Varsity RBI.  Pomilia and Block also had RBI’s with Josh Katz knocking in two runs for the Giants.

The Giants will need to win three straight in order to win their third MCAL Championship in a row.  The journey begins on Tuesday when they will host the San Rafael Bulldogs at Moody Field at 4:30.  The Bulldogs handed the Giants a tough loss under the lights in a game that was won in the bottom of the seventh on a walk-off error.

A Giants loss would end their consecutive MCAL Championship streak and the Giants will fight for a bid into the NCS Tournament.  If the Giants win, they will play in a rematch battle with Marin Catholic under the lights at Albert Park on Thursday.  Marin Catholic earned the #2 seed and the first round bye.  Tam hosts San Marin on the other side of the draw on Tuesday with the winner facing the #1 seed, Drake, on Wednesday.  The recently installed pitch count limits will be a huge factor for every team who has earned a bid into the MCAL Championship Playoffs.

Giants Win in Nine Inning Battle Against Drake

5/09:  After losing two of their three games last week and plummeting to fourth place, the Giants were victorious today against the 2017 Round-Robin MCAL Champion-Drake Pirates.  After a rain-shortened victory earlier in the year, many felt that a true victor wasn’t decided in their first match-up as the game ended in the top of the seventh with the bases juiced for Drake, with no outs and the Pirates down by a run.  Today, chances of rain were 0%, with the sun shining and barely a breeze blew while the crowd was entertained by a cleverly engineered playlist, before the first pitch and between innings, that included just about every ‘rain’ song ever recorded from “Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head” to “Purple Rain”.

Today Drake and Redwood would more than make up for the lost inning from the game before, as it took nine innings to determine a winner.  Michael Benz earned the win, throwing 101 pitches in eight innings of work, giving up a run while walking none and striking out five.  “It was a phenomenally well-pitched game when we needed it”‘ Head Coach Mike Firenzi said after the game.

Despite committing two errors in the field, the Giants defense came through, making plays when they needed to, and making big plays when they had to.  Benz’s second pitch of his outing resulted in a line drive down the third base line.  Luke Zlatunich leaped and snagged the liner for the first out of the inning.  Benz also kept Anthony Pomilia busy at short, as Pomilia had seven chances resulting in six assists in the field.  Benz, himself, made a diving play on a fisted slow roller that was hit to ‘no-man’s-land’ to his right, he bounced up and fired a strike to Nicolas Belgum at first for an out.  Josh Cohen made the ‘Play of the Day’ in left field on a rope down the line.  Cohen, in a full sprint, dove and snatched a certain triple for an out.

Genki LeClair walked to start the game and set the table for the Giants.  After a quick double-play, Nicolas Belgum was hit by a 2-1 curveball and advanced to second on a passed ball.  Anthony Pomilia plated Belgum on a single to right putting the Giants up 1-0, a lead they would hold until the third inning.  Drake scored on a shallow sacrifice fly to right.  Drake aggressively tagged from third and the throw beat the runner by ten steps but short-hopped catcher Mackie Skall and they knotted the game after the ball bounded off of his chest.

Drake starter Owen Hamilton was relieved by Nick Roth in the third.  With the score 1-1, Roth and Benz battled for the next six innings, working out of some tough spots, with Roth tallying strike outs by offsetting his plus fastball with nasty curveballs, a pitch he threw confidently throughout the game and on 3-2 counts.  Roth ended the game with eight strike outs.

In the top of the ninth, Redwood dampened the Pirates chances of winning as the Giants scored two runs against the current reigning MCAL Champions.  Gregory Block lead off the inning with a single up the middle.  Mackie Skall advanced Block and reached base on a sacrifice bunt to the pitcher that was thrown away.  Josh Cohen was intentionally walked to load the bases and put the force at the plate in order.  After a strike-out, Trevor Foehr sent Block home earning the game-winning RBI by wearing a 1-1 fastball, putting the Giants up 2-1 with one out.  Anthony Pomilia took an outside fastball for ball four, plating Cohen, giving the Giants an insurance run.

With the Giants up 3-1, Trevor Foehr came in and closed out the game while keeping the tradition alive of working his shortstop as Pomilia was responsible for two of the outs in the inning, including the final out of the game.

The Giants out-hit Drake, tallying eleven hits to Drake’s six.  Genki LeClair, Trevor Foehr, Nicolas Belgum and Gregory Block all had hits, with Aubrey Sine adding a double and Mackie Skall banging two doubles for Redwood.  Anthony Pomilia had three hits and was responsible for plating two runs, tallying two RBI’s.  Again, Benz earned the win with Foehr earning the save.

The Giants close out the regular season on the road at College of Marin against Branson on Thursday.  With a 5-12 record Branson will be playing the spoiler role as they are out of the MCAL playoffs but could send the Giants into a tie with San Marin.

The playoff seeding will not be settled until after games are concluded on Thursday.  Drake has earned the #1 seed, but the #2 will be determined as MC squares off against Tam with both teams sharing a 12-5 record.  If Redwood wins, they will share a tie with MC or Tam and the MCAL tie-breaker will determine the #3 seed.  The following determines the #3 seed according to the MCAL Tie-Break rules:  For all spots except for the last spot: 1. Head to head competition (Winning percentage) 2. Record above the tie (Winning percentage) 3. If a tie still exists between any two places. …use numbers drawn for place*

Odds are that the record above the tie will determine the #3 seed and considering Redwood is 2-0 against Drake and split (1-1) with MC and Tam, a .750 winning percentage will be hard to beat.  But no matter, they will need to win three games next week to win their third MCAL Championship in a row.

Varsity Giants Drop to Fourth Place After Home Loss to Marin Catholic

5/05:  After a their twenty-hit, seventeen-run commanding victory over Justin-Siena, the Varsity Giants lost their final home game of the regular season to Marin Catholic on Senior Day at Moody Field.  In their last six meetings the Giants were undefeated against their cross-town rival, until today.  With their victory over the Giants, Marin Catholic moved into third place with a 10-5 record, and dropped Redwood into fourth place, sending the Giants into a tie with San Marin with a 10-6 record.  Drake also took home a victory, clinching the MCAL round-robin title, squandering the hopes of a three-peat MCAL round-robin Championship for the Giants.  Redwood will need to win the MCAL playoffs in order to win their third pennant in a row.  “It was a disappointing way to close out the year at our yard, but we still have two on the road next week and a shot at the MCAL Title”, Firenzi said after the game.

Zack Tonnerre took the loss, after giving up a run in the second and was pulled after giving up two runs on a Giants error with no outs in the third.  Michael Benz would come in with the bases loaded and after a single and another Giants error, all three that were on base would score.  Another run would cross the plate, taking the game to the bottom of the third with the Giants down 6-0.  With one out, Trevor Foehr and Nicolas Belgum banged out back-to-back hits, but the inning ended after a pop-out and a fly-out.

MC added on, scoring after another Giants error.  The Giants would again commit three errors in the field.  With the score 7-0 in the bottom of the fourth, Aubrey Sine led off the inning with a double to left, lifting the hopes of the Giants faithful that they could cut into the lead, but the Giants went down in order, forcing the Wildcats defense to make plays.  The Giants would leave twelve runners on base.

Benz sent the ‘Cats down in order in the top of the fifth but gave up a run in the sixth after yielding three consecutive hits, taking the game to the bottom of the sixth with the Giants down 8-0.  Gregory Block worked a walk on eight pitches, and Jackson Barry reached base on a dropped fly ball to right.  Genki LeClair would send Block and Barry home after another Wildcat error, but the inning ended despite another hit by Trevor Foehr.  Foehr would end the day with three hits in the Giants losing effort.

Foehr came in to pitch the seventh inning and shut the Wildcats down, taking the game to the bottom of the seventh with the Giants down by six runs, 8-2.  Anthony Pomilia led off the inning and smoked a ball to center that was dropped, landing him on first.  Luke Zlatunich and Aubrey Sine walked, loading the bases with no outs.  A strike-out would follow and Jackson Barry would send Pomilia home on a sacrifice fly.  With two outs and the score 8-3, the game ended on a ground out to the cheers of the MC fans as the Wildcat players celebrated on Moody Field.

Genki LeClair, Aubrey Sine and Jackson Barry had hits for the Giants, with Nicolas Belgum collecting two hits and Trevor Foehr adding three to the Giants total.  Tonnerre and Foehr had two strike-outs on the mound, with Benz adding three.

The Giants will settle the score on the road with Drake at 4:30 on Tuesday, after their first game was ended in a rain-shortened 1-0 victory, a date that Drake has had circled on their calendar since that day.  Redwood is currently ranked #7 in the NCS DII Division while Drake is ranked #2.

Redwood has an outside chance of earning the #2 seed (which comes with a first round bye) in the MCAL play-offs.  If Redwood wins their next two games and Tam loses to San Marin and Marin Catholic,  San Marin would then need to lose their game to Justin-Siena and Marin Catholic would need to lose one of their next two games against Novato.  Simply put, Tam needs to lose their next two games, San Marin needs to lose one, and Marin Catholic needs to lose two while the Giants sweep.

Seedings will all be determined this week and game results on Tuesday will make the muddy play-off picture a bit clearer, but no matter, the Giants need a win at Drake on Tuesday.