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