3/15: After a rainout of their last scheduled pre-season game against Monte Vista, the Giants opened the MCAL season with a win on the road today vs. Drake. Redwood will spend this season defending their MCAL and NCS Championships. The Pirates started Senior Randall Thornton who boasts a career .99 ERA with eleven wins while Redwood answered with Senior Zach Cohen who has a 1.77 ERA with thirteen wins. While the 2016 club is a team that is still searching for it’s identity, they are already drawing comparisons to the 2015 team.
The Giants are in the same spot as they were last year with one loss on the season and a 1-0 MCAL record. Strong pitching, timely hitting, great defense and aggressive base running are characteristics both teams share. But it would be bad base running that would be the bane for the Giants today as they had runners picked off, caught stealing, caught sleeping and even had a runner called out at third on an appeal as he failed to tag up on a deep fly to left hit by Aubrey Sine. All told, Redwood gave up at least three runs on the day.
The 2015 team won fifteen of their twenty-seven games by two runs or less, and seven of their wins were come-from-behind victories. Today, Redwood put a notch in both of those columns despite jumping out to an early lead in the first inning when Josh Cohen and Henry Zeisler hit back-to-back singles and Parker Laret plated Cohen. But in the bottom of the sixth, the Pirates put a few hits together and a costly error put them up by a run going into the top of the seventh inning.
“Don’t worry guys, we’ve got this…”, said Eric Doctor as the Giants needed a run to tie and only three outs standing between them and their first MCAL loss of the season, “…We’ve been here before.” Parker Laret led off the inning with a walk, and Aubrey Sine followed with a single, putting the Laret in scoring position. Eric Doctor was intentionally walked, putting the go ahead run in scoring position. Zack Kopstien tied the game with a slow roller hit to the right side of the infield, plating Sine. Pascal Brassey hit
a hard grounder to short and the Giants scored two when the throw skidded past the first baseman’s glove, putting the Giants up by a score of 4-2. “We’ve been here before.”
Zach Cohen shut the Pirates down for five innings, pitching through some tough situations, and picked off three Pirates on the bases during the game. Cohen didn’t have a strike-out on the day, but his defense made plays behind him, including a Parker Bartlett to Pascal Brassey to Zack Kopstien double play to end a threat in the bottom of the 2nd inning and an amazing diving play made by Eric Doctor at third.
The Giants scattered five hits, with Josh Cohen, Henry Zeisler, Aubrey Sine, Eric Doctor and Pascal Brassey each contributing a hit to the total. Zack Kopstien and Parker Laret each had an RBI on the day. “I feel very fortunate that we beat Drake facing their best pitcher at their yard.” Firenzi said after the game.
Redwood plays this Friday against San Rafael at home. The Bulldogs have started the year winning their first four games of the season, their best start in years.