Varsity Rolls Terra Linda in MCAL Opener

3/10: Senior ace Nick Welch got it done on the mound and at the plate in Redwood’s MCAL opener, leading the Giants to a 9-0 victory over Terra Linda. Welch breezed through five innings, striking out nine Trojans while yielding only two hits and no walks. Welch pounded the zone all day, throwing 48 strikes in his 62 pitches on the afternoon. In his spare time on offense, Welch also banged out three line drive singles.

The Giants got on the board in the bottom of the first when Ben Cohen reached on a two-out error from the Trojans. After a Cohen steal of second and a subsequent walk to Alex Hagen, Welch delivered his first base hit to score Cohen.

The game stayed 1-0 through three innings, but the Giants broke things open in the bottom of the fourth. Welch led off the inning by reaching on a Trojan misplay. Cole McGowan, pinch-running for Welch, then stole second. Charlie Ginsburg sought to advance McGowan to third and wound up getting a base hit out of it when his bunt down the third base line hugged the chalk and came to rest in fair territory. After a Ginsburg steal of second, Sam Rice drove McGowan and Ginsburg home with a bloop single to left. Rice then stole second and advanced to third when Charlie Welch reached on another Trojan error, with Welch taking second on the errant throw.

Jackson Reed made it hurt with a sharp line drive to center to score Rice and Welch. After Reed was caught attempting to steal second, Lucas Roy and Cohen drew consecutive two out walks and advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. Hagen then closed out the scoring by grounding a single up the middle to score Roy and Cohen. After four innings, the Giants were up 7-0.

The Giants added on in the bottom of the fifth with a pair of runs scored by Drake Goodman and Isaak Irmini-Kreft driven in by Reed and Roy.

Jesse Gassman relieved Welch and cruised through his two innings, striking out a pair of Trojans along the way – final score 9-0 Giants.

The Giants’ statistical leaders at the plate were Nick Welch (three hits), Reed (three RBIs) and Cohen (two runs scored).

The Giants are back at it this Friday versus San Rafael. First pitch 4:30 pm at Moody Field.

Varsity Survives Scare to Defeat Rancho Cotate

3/3:  In a see-saw contest in Rohnert Park, the varsity Giants started strong and pulled away late for an 11-4 victory over Rancho Cotate.

Nick Welch drew the starting assignment on the mound, and he was dominant, overpowering the Cougars over four innings of work.  Welch had full command of his fastball and breaking ball, striking out seven Cougars against a single walk and two hits.

The Giants struck first for four runs in the top of the second.  Alex Hagen led off with an opposite field single and Welch moved him to second with a ground ball single to left.  Matt Birchenough then singled to center to score Hagen, and Welch exhibited some heads up baserunning by advancing from second to an uncovered third base even though the ball had already been thrown back to the infield.  After a Birchenough steal of second, Matt Smalbach drove in Welch with a sac fly to center.  Isaak Irmini-Kreft followed with an RBI single to left to score Birchenough.  After a Jackson Reed single to right, Lucas Roy completed the inning’s scoring with a single up the middle to plate Irmini-Kreft.

Redwood added a run in the top of the third when Smalbach worked a bases loaded walk to drive in the fifth run of the day for the Giants, and with Welch on cruise control, the game looked to be well in hand for the Giants.  But Welch departed after four innings, and with the help of some free passes from the Giants’ relievers and some suboptimal defense, Rancho fought back in the bottom of the fifth.

Rancho had tallied four runs to cut the Giants’ lead to 5-4 and had the bases loaded with one out when coach Mike Firenzi called on Jesse Gassman to restore order.  Making his season debut on the mound after recovering from a finger injury, Gassman looked in midseason form, striking out the next two Rancho hitters, including a gutsy comeback from a 3-0 count for a called strike three to end the inning.

The Giants then put the game out of reach in the top of the sixth with a six-run inning highlighted by a suicide squeeze bunt by Jesse Gassman, a two-RBI single by Birchenough, RBI singles from Jake Gassman and Reed and a bases loaded walk by Roy.

Reed, Hagen, Welch, Birchenough, Jake Gassman and Irmini-Kreft each had two hits on the day, and Birchenough led the Giants in RBIs with three.  Giants pitchers racked up eleven strikeouts against only three walks.

The Giants wrap up a busy week in the North Bay with a 3:30 pm contest at Vintage High School in Napa on Thursday, March 5.

Varsity Relies Again on Dominant Pitching to Defeat Casa Grande

3/2: On a sunny afternoon in Petaluma, the Giants cobbled together enough runs to support an excellent outing from senior starter, Lucas Roy, to defeat Casa Grande, 4-1.

Roy was superb all afternoon, keeping the Gauchos off balance by changing speeds and moving the ball at will around the plate.  He ultimately completed 6 innings, scattering 5 hits and but a single walk to record the win.  Matt Smalbach picked up the save with a strong showing in the 7th, showcasing a plus-curveball.

Casa drew first blood, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third on a single, followed by a fielder’s choice and another single.  But the Giants answered with a run of their own in the fourth on singles by Ben Cohen and Alex Hagen, a double-steal, and a sacrifice fly from Luca Bove.  With strong pitching from both sides, the scored remained tied 1-1, going to the 7th.  Then things got interesting.

Pinch-hitter Matt Birchenough led off the Giants’ half of the 7th with a hard line drive single to left. Charlie Welch then attempted what was meant to be a sacrifice bunt, but the Gauchos neglected to account for Birchenough’s speed and failed to get the force at second, leaving Giants at first and second with nobody out.  Jackson Reed next laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners.  Roy then put further pressure on the home team by laying down yet another perfect bunt, which went for a single with Birchenough scoring and Welch advancing to third.  Roy followed by stealing second with Welch scoring on an error by the Gauchos catcher.  After a Cohen groundout advanced Roy to third, Hagen walked and Roy scored on a hard grounder by Nick Welch which handcuffed the Casa Grande third baseman. By the time the half inning was over, the Giants had scored 3 times and led 4-1, even though they hit only one ball out of the infield.

Smalbach then came in to shut the door in the bottom of the 7th, and the Giants had to feel fortunate to escape with a win against a good Gauchos squad.  If the historians can be trusted, this was Mike Firenzi’s first defeat of Casa Grande in his time at Redwood.

Roy finished with 2 hits, with 1 each for Reed, Cohen, Nick Welch, Birchenough and Hagen, who added 2 walks.  And the Giants pitchers threw from favorable counts all day, starting 74% of the Gauchos hitters with strikes and ultimately throwing almost 70% total strikes on the day.

The rest of the week doesn’t get any easier with the Giants traveling for games at Rancho Cotate tomorrow and Vintage in Napa on Thursday.

 

 

Varsity Edged Out in Tense Pitchers’ Duel at Petaluma

2/26:  On a warm winter afternoon, the Redwood Giants wasted a dominant pitching performance by senior ace Nick Welch in falling 2-1 to the Petaluma Trojans.

Welch struggled a bit with command in the first, but then – aided by good outfield play from Drake Goodman and Lucas Roy – set to work in shutting down a hard-swinging group from Petaluma.  Mixing a live fastball and sharp curve, Welch worked 5 complete, allowing only a single hit and one walk, and no earned runs.  But Welch was matched inning for inning and more by the Petaluma junior hurler, 6’5” Julian Garrahan.  Garrahan was top notch throughout – allowing only 4 hits and issuing no free passes in his 7-inning complete game win.

Through their first 5 turns at the plate, the Giants had only a Charlie Welch single to right to show for their efforts.  Then, with 2 already gone in the 6th, Jackson Reed legged out a hustle-single to the second baseman.  Lucas Roy followed with a line drive single to center.  And Ben Cohen made it pay, scoring Reed on a hard single to right.  The Giants led 1-0 going into the bottom of the sixth.

But the next half inning would prove the Giants’ undoing.  After an error, a stolen base, and another Giants’ miscue, Petaluma had it knotted at 1-1.  Senior lefty Matt Birchenough then took the ball from Welch and struck out the first batter he faced.  But a walk and single would allow Petaluma to squeeze another run home and take a 2-1 lead into the top of the 7th.  Remarkably, for only the 2nd game of the season, the Petaluma starter returned to the hill and set the Giants down 1, 2, 3 to seal the victory for the home team.

Next week should prove exciting and challenging for the Giants as they travel to Casa Grande (3/2), Rancho Cotate (3/3) and Vintage (3/5).

Varsity Tips Montgomery in Season Opener

2/25:  On a balmy February afternoon at Moody Field, the Giants kicked off the 2020 regular season with a 6-5 comeback victory over Montgomery.

Ben Cohen got the opening day assignment on the mound.  Montgomery struck first with a single run in the top of the first.  Jackson Reed led off the bottom of the third with a sharp grounder down the third base line that caromed off the glove of Montgomery’s third baseman.  After Lucas Roy sacrificed Reed to third, Cohen singled to left to plate Reed and tie the game after three innings.

Cohen ran into trouble in the top of the fourth, and after surrendering three straight one out singles, coach Mike Firenzi called for Roy in relief to try to get the Giants out of the bases loaded jam.  After retiring his first hitter on a flyout to center that was too shallow for the runners to advance, Roy walked Montgomery’s next hitter to force in a run. Montgomery then followed with a hard grounder that got by third baseman Matt Smalbach’s backhand stab for a two-run double to left.  A throwing error led to another Montgomery run, and when the top of the fourth was over, the contest stood at 5-1 Montgomery.

The Giants bounced right back in the bottom half, however.  Matt Birchenough got things started by getting on via a hit by pitch. Jake Gassman followed with a grounder to third that was kicked by Montgomery’s third baseman for an error. Smalbach was then called on to sacrifice, and laid down a perfect two-strike bunt to the right side. Montgomery’s pitcher was late to cover, Smalbach beat the first baseman’s throw with a headfirst dive into first and the Giants had the bases loaded with no outs.

Nick Welch then pinch hit for his brother Charlie.  Birchenough came in to score on a wild pitch and Welch ultimately drew a base on balls to reload the bases.  Reed then grounded into an RBI fielder’s choice, with Welch being tagged out between first and second.  After Reed stole second to put runners at second and third, Roy followed with a sharp line drive single to right center to plate Smalbach and Reed.  After four innings, the game was tied up 5-5.

Roy held it down for the Giants in the top of the fifth and sixth innings, keeping Montgomery from scoring any further.  In the bottom of the sixth, Charlie Welch led off by taking one on the left shoulder for a hit batsman.  Reed then sacrificed Welch to second and Roy followed with a walk.  After a Welch steal of third put runners at the corners, Welch was thrown out at home on an attempted safety squeeze bunt from Cohen, and a promising inning looked like it might go for naught.

But Alex Hagen wasn’t having it, lining hard to left center for a clutch two-out single to plate Roy and put the Giants up 6-5.  Roy shut the door in the top of the seventh, and the Giants eked out the win.

Reed, Roy and Cohen led the Giants on the day with two hits apiece.  Reed scored two runs out of the leadoff spot and Roy paced the Giants with two RBIs.

Next up for the Giants is the first of four consecutive North Bay road contests – at Petaluma High on Wednesday February 26th. First pitch 3:30 pm.

Giants Battle Into 8th Ends Magical Championship 2019 Season

5/20: With a packed house at Moody Field, the Giants hosted Casa Grande High School from Santa Rosa in the second round of the NCS Varsity Baseball tournament. The spectators would be treated to some great baseball, as both teams were well staffed and ready to play ball.

Junior Nick Welch drops the hammer on one of his 11 strikeouts on the day

Redwood’s Ace, Nick Welch, started for the Giants, wowing the crowd through each intense inning. Welch collected a resounding 11 strikeouts through five and a third innings of work but left the contest with the score still sitting at no runs apiece.

Redwoods first opportunity to score came in the second inning. Ben Cohen poked one to right field to start the inning. Jack Morken pulled one to left field, leaving the two sluggers on first and second with no outs. Cohen went on to steal third base, giving the Giants a first and third situation with nobody out.

Call it what you want, but the inning that was promising, soon became clouded with umpire interference. Morken would break toward second as Alex Hagen squared up to lay down a bunt and Morken landed safely at second base.  While the catcher made no contact with Hagen and didn’t alter his throw with Hagen squared up in the box, the home-plate umpire called “interference”, subsequently calling him out, and sending Morken back to first base. Instead of runners at second and third, with nobody out, the Giants were given one out and returned Morken to first base. The inning ended without any Giant runs.  “That was a turning point in the game, it’s a judgement call that took away the momentum in the inning.” Coach Firenzi said after the game.

Player of the Year Genki LeClair gets under one for one of the Giants 11 fly-outs

The Game continued through 8 innings of very intense and exciting Varsity baseball. Ultimately, the Gauchos plated two runs in the top of the 8th inning. In the bottom of the eighth, Jackson Reed lead off with a single. Lucas Roy induced a walk, putting the winning run at Home. The Giants had two accomplished hitters on deck and in the hole but came up short. Final Score: 0-2

 

“Our pitching was excellent today, we didn’t execute in the areas that got us here.  We didn’t get out bunts down, we didn’t move runners over when we needed to, and we gave them 17 outs by way of strike out or fly out.  Hard to win when you don’t score and give them easy outs in the NCS” Firenzi said.  “We had a great year, I’m proud of what these kids did.  In all my years this was one of the best group of kids that I have coached.”

It goes without saying, the 2019 Giants Varsity Baseball Team were tremendous, winning the MCAL Championship and competing into the second round of the North Coast Section tournament. For the past two years, the players on this team have performed like champions – accomplishing what no other program has, back to back MCAL Championships for all levels – Freshman, JV, and Varsity! Moving forward, the Redwood Giants are in the capable hands of head coach, Mike Firenzi. The parents of the departing players truly salute the program and will stay involved. Go Giants!

Redwood Advances with Win Over Bethel

5/17:  The NCS DII Championship Committee seeded all four MCAL DII teams in the tournament this year, giving the MCAL a 25% chance to win.  Those odds didn’t improve after the first round, as Drake and Tamalpias both exited early, with Marin Catholic and Redwood advancing to the next round.

The Redwood Giants, the number one seed, made quick work of their visitors from Bethel High School, Vallejo. Kyle Felder started for the Giants and was used sparingly by Coach Firenzi, throwing just under three innings, striking out one. The game started with three successive defensive infield gems by Jack Morken, Jackson Reed, and Jackson Barry – which undoubtedly sent a message to the statistically high-powered Jaguar offense.

In the bottom of the first inning, the Giants second baseman, MCAL Player of The Year, Genki LeClair, induced a seven-pitch walk. Jackson Barry followed with a hard-hit ball to first, landing safely on base after a Bethel error. LeClair advanced to third base on the play. Ben Cohen was walked to load the bases. Alex Hagen drove the ball to right field, scoring LeClair from third and advancing both Barry and Cohen. Jack Morken then ripped the ball into left field, scoring Barry and Cohen (3-0).

In the bottom of the second inning, Jackson Reed singled to left. Lucas Roy applied some pressure to the third baseman with a well-placed bunt, forcing the defender to make a difficult play. The result would allow Reed to advance to third base and then home on the error (4-0). The Jaguars picked up a run in the top of the third (4-1).

In the bottom of the third inning, Jack Morken doubled to right center field and would wisely take third after the center fielder mishandled the ball. Sam Warren would easily score Morken with a line drive to left field (5-1).

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Drake Goodman would hit for Nordstrom and reach base after the shortstop’s error. Lucas Roy singled, advancing Goodman to third base. On what appeared to be a suicide squeeze play, Goodman broke toward home plate, but the pitch was wild, easily scoring Goodman without committing suicide or any such effort by Genki LeClair (6-1). LeClair would eventually send a high troublemaker to shallow left field, allowing Roy to tag up and score after the defender caught the ball (7-1). Bethel would threaten in the top of the sixth inning, scoring two runs to make the score 7 to 3.

Jackson Bender threw two and a third innings of relief, striking out three and allowing no runs. Ben Cohen and Jesse Gassman combined for two innings of relief as well. Lucas Roy tallied two hits and a run on the day. Jack Morken added two hits, two RBI’s, and a run to lead the Giants. Barry, Warren, and Reed also contributed a hit a piece.

Final Score: 7 to 3

The Giant’s will face Casa Grande in the second round of the tournament.  Redwood took an early season loss to the Gauchos in the beginning of the year and hope to even the score on Monday, May 20th at 5 p.m. Moody Field.

Genki LeClair Named MCAL Player of the Year-Four more make All-MCAL

5/18: In his third year as a varsity player, second baseman Genki LeClair capped off his senior campaign by being named ‘Player of the Year’, the highest honor awarded to position players by the MCAL.  LeClair has been a catalyst to the Giants offense that took sole possession of third place in the MCAL round robin and then went on to sweep the playoffs, ending their MCAL season as co-champions.  LeClair’s .475 overall batting average ranked #28 in the North Coast Section and his .471 league batting average ranked #1 in the MCAL.  Genki also led the league with 24 hits and ranked #2 in with two triples (behind Jack Morken with three), #2 in the league with 17 runs scored, #2 in the league with ten stolen bases, #2 with 17 runs scored, and was #1 in the league with a .571 on base percentage.  To date, LeClair has proven to be tough on pitchers as in 107 plate appearances, Genki has only been struck out seven times.

 

Three year varsity veteran Jackson Barry took All-MCAL second team honors as an infielder.  The smooth fielding third baseman ended the MCAL campaign with a .347 batting average, ranking fifteenth in the league.  Barry ranked #3 in the league with six doubles and had a homer to his tally.

Junior Lucas Roy took his well-deserved place on the second team as an outfielder.  Roy contributed at the plate, in center field and on the mound.  Roy may be most remembered for closing out the MCAL Championship game with a four-pitch strike-out, but it was likely his offensive numbers that earned his spot.  Roy ended the MCAL season ranked #16 with a .333 average.

Sophomore Ben Cohen also made the second team as a designated hitter/utility player.  Cohen played games in the outfield, as a designated hitter and pitched.  He ranked #18 in the league with a 3.15 ERA.  Ben ended the MCAL season with a .371 batting average, ranking #9 in the MCAL.  He also had a homer to the Giants total.

Senior Kyle Felder took Honorable Mention honors.  Felder ended the season with the best winning percentage in the MCAL, going 6-0 in league play.  His six wins ranked #2 in the MCAL.  His .74 ERA ranked #3 in the league.  His 19 strikeouts in 28 innings ranked #16 in the league.

Giants Win the Pennant!!!

5/10: For the second year in a row, the Giants beat Drake High School at Albert Field under the lights to capture the MCAL Varsity Baseball Championship, capping off a championship sweep of the MCAL as all three programs (Freshman, Junior Varsity and Varsity) will raise MCAL Championship banners in the gym for the second year in a row.  A feat that has unlikely ever been accomplished in MCAL history.

The Giants rush the mound in celebration of their back-to-back MCAL Championship

Entering the tournament as the three seed, Redwood advanced to the final by beating Marin Catholic on a stellar pitching performance by Nick Welch on Tuesday.  Tonight, Kyle Felder was given the honors to start on the hill and was exceptional through six and a third innings. Felder struck out eight, allowing just five hits for two runs.

Felder was nails, giving up just two runs in six innings of work

Playing as the home team, Redwood took an early lead in the bottom of the first inning. Jarod Robinow singled with a hard ground ball toward second base. Genki LeClair followed with a single to right field, advancing Robinow to second base. Jackson Barry loaded the bases with a single to right. Ben Cohen came up big with a line drive single to left center field, scoring Robinow and LeClair (2-0). Jack Morken was hit by a pitch, advancing Barry to third and Cohen to second, but the Giants could not add to their early lead.

The Giants picked up another run in the bottom of the second inning.

Rabinow and LeClair combined to draw first blood

Jarod Robinow landed safely at first with a fielder’s choice to shortstop. Robinow advanced to second after a Pirate error. Genki LeClair then belted his second hit of the evening, scoring Robinow from second base (3-0). Drake would get on the scoreboard with a solo homerun in the top of the third inning (3-1). In response, the Giants plated two runs in the bottom of the third. Ben Cohen lead off with a double to left field. Alex Hagen laid down a crowd-pleasing bunt along the third base foul line, advancing Cohen to third. With two outs, Jackson Reed singled up the middle, scoring Cohen (4-1). Lucas Roy then singled to center field, scoring Hagen from second base (5-1).

Alex Hagen is mobbed after scoring

In the bottom of the fifth, Alex Hagen lead off with a hard-hit single to center field. Jack Morken then sacrificed himself with a bunt, advancing Hagen to second. Sam Warren hit the ball to the right side of the infield, advancing Hagen to third. Nick Welch entered the game and induced a nine-pitch walk. Lucas Roy then collected his second hit of the contest with a double to left field, easily scoring Hagen (6-1).

In the top of the sixth inning, the Pirates might have caught a break after an underthrown ball to first base, sending the ball toward the Drake dugout and the runner on his way to second base. However, an alert Jake Nordstrom tracked down the live ball and fired a seed to second, throwing the runner out.

Reed made a dazzling backhand in the sixth

Shortstop Jackson Reed backhanded a sure hit deep in the hole, fired a bullet across the diamond and Jack Morken handled a difficult short hop at first to secure the third out and end the threat.

In the top of the seventh inning, Drake mounted a gut-wrenching comeback, scoring three runs. With the tying run at the plate, Jesse Gassman induced a troublemaker pop up to shallow center field. Lucas Roy would help his pitcher with a diving catch for the second out. Roy was then given the ball and ended the game by striking out the Drake batter for the final out.

Lucas Roy celebrates strike three

Final Score – 6 to 4.

The Giants had timely hitting throughout the tournament up and down their potent lineup. In the championship game, Roy, LeClair, and Cohen each had two hits. Robinow, Barry, and Reed contributed one hit each and Alex Hagen stayed hot with three hits. The Giants out hit their opponent 12 to 7 in route to winning back to back MCAL Pennants.

 

The Giants are on a roll, a roll that was acknowledged by the NCS seeding committee.  Redwood is #1 seed in the Division 2 bracket.  They are slated to face off against the Bethel Jaguars out of Vallejo, at Moody Field Wednesday May 15th, at 5pm.  Bethel ended their season with a 13-2 overall record, a 10-2 conference record and won the Tri-County-Stone League Championship.

The Varsity Giants flash their hard-earned MCAL Pennant

Firenzi gets some last-minute advice from mentor and Redwood legend, Al Endriss

It was standing room only at Albert Park Friday night

Giants Victorious over Marin Catholic in MCAL Semi-Final for Firenzi’s 450th Win

5/7: The Varsity baseball team did an about-face on Tuesday night, beating Marin Catholic by a score of 4-1, earning Head Coach Mike Firenzi his 450th victory. After losing handily to their main rival four days before, Head Coach, Mike Firenzi, had his squad ready to play before tonight’s match, with the main attraction being junior pitcher – Nick Welch. Welch rebounded from last Thursday’s loss with a convincing six inning two hit performance, carrying a no hitter into the fifth inning against a talented MC offense. Welch struck out four during his impressive outing.

Offensively, the Giant’s struck first in the top of the second inning. Lucas Roy got on base with a single to second base – beating out the throw. Roy stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Jack Morken then drove the ball to left field, scoring Roy (1-0).

In the top of the third inning, the Giants were in good shape after both Genki LeClair and Jarod Robinow put the ball in play and reached base on MC errors. With one out, Redwood was poised to strike but were dumfounded by two pick-off outs on the base paths, clearly frustrating Firenzi.

Hagen stands tall at second after a clutch double

Welch would stymie MC through five, giving the Giant’s more opportunities to score. With only a one run lead, Redwood started the top of the sixth with a Ben Cohen single. Lucas Roy laid down a bunt and reached on an error.

Alex Hagen then doubled down the third base line, scoring Cohen from second and Roy from first base (3-0). Jack Morken then stroked an ill-advised fastball to left center field, scoring Hagen from second base (4-0). The strength of MC’s batting order would plate one run in the bottom of the sixth.

Jesse Gassman returned to the show from the IR to relieve Welch in the bottom of the seventh. Gassman struck out the first batter and induced ground balls for the final two outs of the game. Lucas Roy, Alex Hagen, and Jack Morken each had two hits on the day with Ben Cohen adding the seventh. The Giant’s committed two errors in the field and had some base running hiccups but all of that went away with an exciting playoff win at Marin Catholic.

Final Score: 4 to 1.

In a rematch of last year’s final, The Giants will face Drake at Albert field on Friday night at 7pm to determine who will share the 2019 Pennant with the round-robin champion, Tamalpias. Go Giants!

The Giants take a team picture after the game with the Pirates on their mind

Giants to Face MC in MCAL Semi-Final

5/2: The Varsity baseball team finished regular season play on Thursday with a 6-0 loss to Marin Catholic. At 11-5 (15-9 overall), the Giants secured the third seed going into their rematch with the Wildcats on Tuesday May 7th.

Redwood only had four hits on the day, with Genki LeClair providing the lion’s share with two. Lucas Roy and Jackson Reed were the only other Giant’s with hits. In order to be successful in the playoffs, the Giants will need to find a way to get on base and hit the ball come Tuesday.

The Giants play at Marin Catholic on Tuesday May 7th at 4:30 p.m. Drake will face number one seed Tamalpais in the other semifinal.

Giants Secure Playoff Spot with win over San Rafael

4/30: The Varsity baseball team beat San Rafael 11-2 on Tuesday night. At the same time, Tam beat Drake, assuring the Giant’s a spot in the (final four) MCAL playoffs to determine the 2019 league champion. There are still a few variables to be determined on Thursday night, but a clean sweep of MC most likely lands Redwood in the two-spot at 12-4, with an opportunity to knock out probable three seed, San Marin, in the semifinals. The 2019 Giants are playing their best baseball right now but will need to play like champions come Thursday night.

At San Rafael, the Giants got their first run in the top of the second. Jack Morken was hit by the first of two on the night. Lucas Roy advanced Morken to second with a ground ball to short. Jake Nordstrom was subsequently hit by a pitch. Jackson Reed stayed hot with a single, scoring Morken from second base (1-0).

In the top of the third inning, Jarod Robinow lead off with a single to center field. Genki LeClair then smoked one up the middle, scoring the speedy outfielder from first base (2-0).

In the top of the fourth, Jake Nordstrom reached first base on an error by the San Rafael third baseman. Jackson Reed advanced Nordstrom with a sacrifice bunt. Matt Birchenough reached base on another Bulldog error, advancing Nordstrom to third base. Jarod Robinow laid down a spectacular RBI bunt along the first base foul line, scoring Nordstrom and advancing Birchenough to second base (3-0). Genki LeClair hit a sacrifice fly to center field, and both runners would advance their position after tagging up. Jackson Barry was walked, loading the bases. Ben Cohen was hit by a pitch, scoring Birchenough and advancing Robinow to third and Barry to second. Jack Morken hit a hard ground ball to short, scoring Robinow after the San Rafael error and advancing Barry to third base. Lucas Roy finished the scoring outburst with a single to left, scoring Barry (6-0). The Giants would allow two runs to score in the bottom half of the fourth inning.

In the top of the fifth inning, the Giants busted the game wide open. Jackson Reed was hit by a pitch and Sam Warren walked. Jarod Robinow laid down another perfect bunt, sacrificing himself to advance Reed and Warren. Genki LeClair then blasted a double to center field, scoring Reed and Warren (8-2). Jackson Barry put the ball in play, scoring LeClair after he stole third base (9-2). Ben Cohen sliced one down the third base line, advancing Barry to third base. Zack Gordon would enter the game after Jackson Barry tweeked his hamstring. Lucas Roy added two more runs with a single to right field, scoring Gordon and Cohen (11-2).

Kyle Felder earned the win for the Giants with four innings of two hit pitching, striking out three during his outing – which was a crowd pleaser. Ben Cohen and Lucas Roy relieved Redwood’s work-horse with three innings of no-hit pitching, striking out four batters. The Giant’s offense tallied ten hits, producing nine RBI’s in route to the victory. Final Score: 11-2.

The boys finish regular season play at Marin Catholic on Thursday May 2nd. First pitch – 4:30 p.m.

Giants Beat Terra Linda Going into Final week of MCAL Play

4/27: Sitting in the second position after Friday’s convincing win over Terra Linda, the Giants have worked their way into a probable playoff spot in the final four. After Marin Catholic came from behind to defeat Drake on the same night, Redwood sits at second place in the MCAL standings, above MC and below Tam in the hard-fought pennant race going into the final week of play. At 10 and 4, the boys are responsible for their own fate.

On Friday night, the Giants made quick work of the Trojans, plating three runs in the top of the first inning. Matt Birchenough lead off with a single. Jarod Robinow, again, laid down a perfect bunt, advancing Birchenough to second base. Genki LeClair then singled to left field, scoring Birch (1-0). Jackson Barry scorched one over the left field fence, just foul. The gloveman then singled to left, advancing LeClair to third base. Ben Cohen put the ball in play and with the fielder’s choice, scoring LeClair. Barry would be called out advancing to second. Jack Morken was hit by a pitch, putting Cohen at second base. Lucas Roy stroked one to left field, scoring Ben Cohen to finish the offensive start (3-0).

In the top of the second, Jackson Reed crushed a ball to deep left field, landing on second base. Jarod Robinow would get walked and Genki LeClair got hit by a pitch, leaving Reed at third and Jarod at second base. After some malfeasance, Ben Cohen would drive a ball to center field, scoring Robinow and LeClair (5-0). Terra Linda would make the game close with three runs in the bottom half of the second (5-3).

The Giants recaptured a run in the third, after a Jake Nordstrom walk and Matt Birchenough timely hit to left, scoring Jake Nordstrom (6-3). In the top of the fourth, Jackson Barry sent a ball to left field. Zack Gordon would enter the game as a courtesy runner for Barry. Ben Cohen then drove the ball to left field, scoring Zee Gordon from second base (7-3) after four.

The Giants forced a lopsided score in the top of the seventh. Lucas Roy was walked. Jake Nordstrom advanced Roy with a bunt. Satoshi Miki hit a hard grounder to second, scoring Roy after the Trojan error. Matt Birchenough and Sam Warren lured walks. LeClair then singled to left, scoring Miki and Birchenough, leaving Warren at third base and LeClair at second base. Jackson Barry put his stamp on the game with a no doubter over the left field fence with a three-run homerun to finish the game. Final score: 13-3.

The Giants tallied fifteen hits on the day, committing no errors. The pitchers, Jackson Bender, Ben Cohen, and Matt Smalbach combined for a convincing five hit, five strikeout win on the hill. The Giants face the San Rafael Bulldogs on Tuesday, April 30th, at San Rafael High School and finish regular season play against cross-creek rivals, Marin Catholic, on Thursday May 2nd at Marin Catholic High School – first pitch: 4:30 p.m.  Go Giants!

Giants stay Hot with Critical Win Over Drake

4/23: On a hot Tuesday night, the Varsity Baseball Team continued to play like defending MCAL Champions, beating offensive powerhouse, Drake High School, 3-1. The Giants’ got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning. Matt Birchenough lead off with a single up the middle. Matt would go on to steal second base. Genki LeClair then hit a line drive single to left field, advancing Birchenough to third base.

Jackson Barry drives in the first Redwood run

Next, Jackson Barry was able to drive the ball to deep center field, allowing Birchenough to tag up and easily score.

Kyle Felder started on the hill for Redwood, keeping the Pirates scoreless until the third inning, when Drake tied the game 1 to 1. The winning pitcher, Kyle Felder, pitched five innings, allowing only five hits while striking out two.

Kyle Felder was solid on the mound, earning another victory

The Giants got rolling again in the bottom of the third inning. Jarod Robinow laid down a beautiful bunt along the third base foul line, rolling casually in play by inches as he sprinted safely to first base. Genki LeClair followed with a line drive single to left field, advancing Robinow to second base. Jackson Barry then singled to left field, scoring Robinow from second base and advancing LeClair to second. Jack Morken followed Barry with a line drive to center field, scoring LeClair from second (3-1, after three).

Nick Welch entered the game in the sixth inning, relieving the steady Felder. Welch walked a batter and hit the next to give Drake two men on with only one out. Welch would rely on his defense to get out of the jam. Center fielder, Lucas Roy, caught a line drive and alertly threw the ball to second baseman,

Morken drops the tag to end the inning on a close play at first

Genki LeClair, who was able to catch the runner on first base in a pickle and the eventual third out at first base. Welch settled down in the bottom of the seventh, striking out successive Pirate batters for the final three outs. Jake Nordstrom tallied two hits on the day and Jackson Reed had one, as the Giants out-hit their opponents with eleven hits. Final Score: 3-1.

 

The Giants resume MCAL play on Friday, April 26th, when they take on the Trojans from Terra Linda at Terra Linda High School. First pitch – 4:30 p.m. The Giants are currently battling for a playoff spot with three games left to determine the top four MCAL teams. Five teams are all within one game of each other. Go Giants!

Varsity Stay in the Hunt with Exciting 13 Inning Win over Tam

Jesse Gassman pitched four scoreless innings before leaving after getting hit in the eye by a foul tip off his bat in the top of the 11th.

4/16: The Giants Varsity Baseball Team started their critical MCAL game versus Tamalpais on Tuesday, played nine innings, and needed three more to decide the winner on Saturday. Facing Tam’s ace, the boys scored two runs in the top of the first inning. Matt Birchenough lead off with a hard-hit single to right field. Lucas Roy followed with a single to left field. Genki LeClair was then hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Birchenough and Roy would each score on wild pitches (2-0). Tam, however, would respond with four runs in the bottom half of the inning (2-4).

Jackson Reed tries to turn a double play and the 11th inning ends on offensive interference call.

The Giants cut the lead in the top of the third inning with a Ben Cohen homerun over the left field fence. Tam, however, would add to their lead in the bottom of the fourth and fifth with three more runs (3-7).

In the top of the sixth inning, Alex Hagen lead off with a single to right field. Jarod Robinow followed with a single to right, advancing Hagen. Jake Nordstrom then bunted the runners into scoring position. Lucas Roy came up big with a double to left center field, scoring Hagen and Robinow (5-7). In what ordinarily would have been a game losing dagger, Tam plated three runs in the bottom half of the sixth, leaving the Giants with a five-run deficit to overcome in the seventh – no problem.

Ben Cohen lead off with a line drive single to right field. Jarod Robinow hit a hard ground ball to Short and safely reached base on the error, advancing Cohen to third. Jake Nordstrom would get walked, loading the bases with one out. Matt Birchenough then put the ball in play, leading to a fielder’s choice, forcing Nordstrom out at second base and scoring Cohen – (6-10) with two outs. Lucas Roy then drove the ball to deep left center field, scoring Robinow and Birchenough (8-10). Genki LeClair kept the line moving with a single to left field, advancing Roy to third base. Jackson Barry brought the house down with a double to right field, scoring both Roy and LeClair and tying the game at ten apiece. Jesse Gassman would enter the game in the bottom of the seventh and bravely throw the 7th, 8th and 9th, keeping the Hawks scoreless. The game would eventually be called due to darkness. 10 to 10 after nine innings.

Lucas Roy relieves Gassman and pitches 3 scoreless innings to get the victory.

On Saturday morning a large crowd gathered at 10 a.m. to watch the conclusion of the exciting match. Tam would once again get their ace on the hill and Redwood would continue to rely on Jesse Gassman. Jesse would strike out two and force a pop up to keep the Giants hopes alive. Unfortunately, Gassman would foul a pitch off his bat into his face in the top of the eleventh, suffering a fracture and game ending injury. Redwood would turn a controversial double play in the bottom half and get out of the inning.

Lucas Roy was handed the ball in the 12th and carried the Giants the remainder of the game. In the bottom of the 13th inning, the Man of the Match, Lucas Roy, singled down the third base line. Genki LeClair hit one to right field, advancing Roy to second base. Jackson Barry then got hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Jack Morken. After a missed squeeze play attempt, Roy was called out. With two outs, Morken put the ball in play to short and reached first base safely on the throwing error by Tam, scoring LeClair.

Jack Morken drives in the go ahead run in the top of the 13th with runners on 2nd and 3rd and 2 outs on a hard hit ball that gets through the drawn in infield.

The Giants kept everyone’s hearts pounding by allowing Tam to load the bases in the bottom half of the 13th, but the final out was secured by shortstop, Jackson Reed, after tracking down a shallow popfly to left. Final Score: 11 to 10, after 13 innings of play.

The Giants resume play on Tuesday April 23rd against Drake at Moody Field. First Pitch – 4:30 pm