4/18: The Varsity Giants ended the first half of the MCAL season, earning their eight consecutive win and did it with an epic first inning. Starting Redwood pitcher Zack Tonnerre sent the Bulldogs down in order in the top of the first. Dane Goodman led off the bottom of the inning roping the first pitch he saw up the middle. Josh Cohen would duplicate the feat, lacing the first pitch he saw up the middle, sending Goodman to third. Two pitches, two Redwood hits. Nicolas Belgum worked the count and laced a 3-1 fastball to center, scoring Goodman. Anthony Pomilia then crushed the first pitch he saw, resulting in a double, scoring Cohen and Belgum, putting the Giants up 3-0, after only eight pitches. After a strike out, Aubrey Sine sent Pomilia to third on a deep sacrifice fly to center. Michael Connors sent Pomilia home with a single to left. Mackie Skall then singled, and Pascal Brassey singled, loading the bases while tallying the Giants seventh hit of the inning. A ground-out ended the inning with the Giants leading the Bulldogs 4-0.
The first three Branson batters’ fate in the top of the second would be determined by Tonnerre as he sandwiched a walk between two strike outs. Mackie Skall had a shot at ending the inning on a steal of second, but had to work his throw around the batter who leaned across the plate. After being questioned by Head Coach Mike Firenzi, the plate umpire concluded that the batter did not intentionally get in the way of the throw, putting a runner in scoring position. Tonnerre induced a routine grounder that would seem to end the inning, but an errant throw sent Branson’s first run of the game across the plate. The top of inning would end on a fly-out to Josh Cohen with the Giants up 4-1. After securing the final out of the top of the inning, Cohen led off the bottom of the frame with a double to left. Nicolas Belgum then walked and Anthony Pomilia singled, scoring Cohen for his third RBI of the game. Luke Zlatunich roped a deep drive to center, scoring Belgum, putting the Giants up 6-1 going into the top of the third.
Another Giants blunder in the field put a runner on base and after a walk the runner would be standing on third with one out. Tonnerre was lifted for Trevor Foehr after getting seven outs four on strike-outs. The second Bulldogs run would cross the plate on a fielders choice. Foehr would strike out the last batter of the inning. Mackie Skall led off the bottom of the inning with a walk and was lifted for the speedy Riley Marsh. Marsh advanced to second on a wild pitch and Dane Goodman hit a single to short, sending Marsh home on an errant throw to first that he would have easily beat out. Nicolas Belgum followed with a single but the Giants threat would end there on a line drive to second. After three full innings, the Giants had the lead 7-2, with a goose egg in the hit column for the Bulldogs.
Foehr would need just six pitches to get through the top of the fourth and the Giants went down in order in the bottom of the inning. A lead-off walk would end up scoring for Branson, and after giving two hits, a couple of runs and another walk, Foehr was lifted for Michael Benz with the score 7-3 and the bases loaded. The inning ended on a fly-out to Belgum. Foehr recorded seven outs, striking out one while giving up two earned runs. Redwood threatened but couldn’t capitalize in the bottom of the inning as the inning ended on an unassisted double-play by Branson second baseman Alec Ritch.
Benz worked through the top of the sixth without giving up a run and the Giants added their ninth run of the game in the bottom. With two outs, Aubrey Sine, Michael Connors and Mackie Skall walked, loading the bases. Pascal Brassey singled Sine home, putting the Giants up 9-4.
A fly-out to center was followed by a single. Benz struck out the next batter he faced but planted a 1-2 fastball into the arm of the next batter. The game ended on a fly out to Pomilia, sealing the Giants victory, earning Foehr his first win of the year. Benz earned the save, recording the final seven outs of the game.
Michael Connors and Mackie Skall both had a hit each with Dane Goodman, Josh Cohen, Nicolas Belgum, Pascal Brassey and Anthony Pomilia racking two hits each. Goodman, Connors, Pomilia and Aubrey Sine scored, with Cohen and Belgum each scoring twice. Belgum, Luke Zlatunich and Michael Connors each knocked in a run with Brassey knocking in two and Pomilia plating three.
The Giants face the only team without a losing record against them as they are on the road in San Marin on Thursday.