5/10: The San Marin Mustangs handed the Giants their first league loss right before the team set out on their spring break in early April. The Mustangs are the only MCAL team with a winning record against Redwood in the last two years, with a 2-1 record against the Giants. Redwood came out with plans to even the score.
As expected, Nicholas Corbani took the hill for the Mustangs. Corbani held the Giants to two runs in their first match-up, earning the win. The crafty lefty held the Giants at bay again, holding them scoreless until the third inning. But the Giants equaled their first game run total in the top of the third. Zach Kopstein led off the inning with a bunt single. Josh Cohen advanced reached base on an error. With runners on first and second, Trevor Foehr dropped a bunt advancing Kopstein and Cohen to second and third with one out. Nicolas Belgum followed with a bunt single, loading the bases. The hot-hitting Henry Zeisler plated the first Giants run with a single to the right side, scoring Kopstein and putting runners on first and third for Erik Doctor. Doctor banged a hard grounder to short, scoring Cohen from third, putting the Giants up 2-0 going to the bottom of the third.
Starting pitcher Zach Cohen held the Mustangs scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning. The Mustangs took the lead, scoring three runs (two earned) after a few hits and an error left the Giants down 4-2 going into the top of the fifth, leaving them with just nine outs to score two runs to extend the game.
Josh Cohen led off the top of the fifth with a double and advanced to third on another sacrifice by Foehr, but the inning ended with Cohen standing on third and the Giants down 4-2 going into the bottom of the fifth. Zach Cohen again shut the Mustangs down in the bottom of the inning and Corbani answered, yielding only a single to Aubrey Sine in the top of the sixth.
With his pitch count nearing the century mark, Zach Cohen was relieved by his brother, Josh, in the bottom of the sixth. Since Josh was the designated hitter, hitting for the slick fielding shortstop Parker Bartlett, Sophomore Pascal Brassey took the helm at short. Cohen was able to work out of the inning, taking the Giants into the top of the seventh down by two runs.
Zack Kopstein led off the inning by getting hit by a 0-1 fastball. Josh Cohen then walked and Trevor Foehr dropped a sacrifice bunt, putting the tying run on second base with one out and turning the Giants line-up over for the lead-off hitter Nicolas Belgum. “Nickie-Clutch” tied the score with a rocket through the hole between first and second but would be erased on an inning-ending double play.
Cohen held the Mustangs scoreless in the bottom of the seventh, taking the game into extra innings. Corbani was pulled and the Mustangs reliever walked the first two he saw, giving free passes to Erik Doctor and Aubrey Sine. Pascal Brassey dropped a two-strike bunt, advancing both runners. Nic Gillies was intentionally walked to put the double-play in order, loading the bases for Zack Kopstein. Fortunately for the Giants, the San Marin reliever couldn’t find the plate and Kopstein walked on four pitches, putting Redwood up 5-4. He was able to work out of the inning, striking out the next batter and inducing a ground-out to third.
Josh Cohen struck out the first batter he saw in the bottom of the eighth but gave up a single to the next batter. Pascal Brassey took care of the second out of the inning, fielding a tough grounder and firing across the diamond for the second out. Zack Kopstein then used his height to grab a pop foul high up the visitors screen to end the game. “It was an amazing catch, the wind is crazy up here”, Firenzi said after the game, “I told Kop, don’t give up on fly balls, make sure you find the screen because the balls will get blown back into play.”
Kopstein, Josh Cohen and Aubrey Sine each had hits for the Giants while Nicolas Belgum added two hits, the biggest coming in the top of the seventh to tie the score. Henry Zeisler and Zack Kopstein also had RBI’s on the day. Josh Cohen earned his first win of the season.
With the win, the Giants secure their second MCAL title in two years as they will take the tie-break vs. Marin Catholic if they lose on Thursday against Justin Siena. The win also leaves Firenzi with just two wins away from 400 as they travel to Napa for their last conference game of the season.