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.

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