Varsity Giants Lose Under the Lights

4/25:  The Varsity Giants lost a heartbreaker under the lights by way of a seventh inning walk-off sacrifice fly by the San Rafael Bulldogs.  Zack Tonnerre got the start for Redwood and gave up just one earned run in 2 2/3 innings of work, on one hit while striking out two.  Michael Benz came in with two outs in the bottom of the third and would take a tough loss, after giving up just one earned run on four hits, while striking out six.

In usual fashion, the Giants drew first blood on the top of the first inning when Dane Goodman led off the game with seven pitch walk,  Josh Cohen sent Goodman to second on a sacrifice bunt and Nicolas Belgum plated Goodman with a single to left but Belgum was thrown out trying to advance to second.  With two outs, Anthony Pomilia doubled to center, Luke Zlatunich walked and Aubrey Sine wore a 3-2 fastball to load the bases.  Genki LeClair singled to left, scoring Pomilia.  As the left fielder set to throw the ball in, Luke Zlatunich rounded third and headed home.  A perfect throw to the plate nabbed Zlatunich at home, ending the top of the inning with the Giants up 2-0.

Tonnerre walked the first batter he faced in the bottom of the third, but battery-mate Mackie Skall sent the pinch runner back to the dugout on a perfect thrown to Anthony Pomilia who dropped a great tag on an attempted steal,  After a ground-out and another walk, Tonnerre was lifted for Michael Benz.  Benz gave up a single, giving up a run but picked off the runner at second to end the inning with the Giants up  2-1 after three.

The Giants went down in order in the top of the fourth and San Rafael tied the game on two hits and a fielder’s choice taking the game to the top of the fifth, knotted 2-2.

Pascal Brassey led off the top of the fifth with a single and Dane Goodman sent Brassey to third on a single to right.  With the Giants threatening, San Rafael came in with their ace, Angelo Zorn.  Goodman stole second and Josh Cohen watched a 2-2 curveball bounce to the backstop, scoring Brassey and advancing Goodman to third.  Nicolas Belgum walked and with runners on first and third, Anthony Pomilia grounded out and in a bizarre double-play, Dane Goodman was also called out at the plate as the umpire ruled that Pomilia was outside of the baseline, impeding the throw from the first baseman.  San Rafael answered with a run in the bottom of the frame after two Giants errors, taking the game to the top of the six with the score 3-3.

Luke Zlatunich led off the sixth with a bomb to center that bounded to home plate of the softball field and stood on third with no outs.  Two ground outs and a strike out would follow, leaving Zlatunich stranded at third.  Another Giants fielding error put the Bulldogs lead-off batter on first, but Benz sent the next three batters he faced down on strike-outs, taking the game to the top of the seventh tied 3-3.

Pascal Brassey led off the top of the seventh with a double to left but got caught off the bag and Zorn closed out the inning with a strike out and a grounder back to the mound, after Zorn tossed the ball to first for the third out he screamed “Let’s Go!’ as he sprinted back to the dugout.  Benz struck out the lead off batter to face Zorn with one out.  Angelo laced a double down the line.  After an intentional walk to the next batter, both runners stole on a 0-1 pitch, putting them on second and third.  With the count 0-2, a short fly ball was caught for the second out of the inning but on the exchange, the ball was dropped and Zorn crossed the plate to the cheers of the San Rafael crowd.

Dane Goodman, Nicolas Belgum and Genki LeClair each had a hit with Pomilia, Zlatunich and Brassey each tallying two hits each for the Giants.  The Giants out-hit the Bulldogs nine to five, but the Bulldogs were better in the field as they committed just one error to the Giants four.

The Giants are at home on Friday where they will face the Terra Linda Trojans at 4:30.  Terra Linda is riding a three-game winning streak, taking down Branson, Marin Catholic and Novato in their last three games.

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