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.