Friday Mar 25 – Bishop Thomas A. Daly Field
Redwood Giants @ Marin Catholic (Kentfield) Wildcats
Starting Time: 4:30PM
Starting Temp: 68°F Sunny
Final Score: 1-0 Redwood
Starting pitcher Chas Veley spun six innings of no-hit ball, and the Redwood JV Baseball Giants hung on for a 1-0 win over the Marin Catholic Wildcats on a sunny Friday afternoon in Kentfield.
With the Wildcats threatening in the bottom of the seventh, Cole Engstrom arrived on the mound and slammed the door on them, bringing solace to a Giants team which – three days before – had fallen to the Wildcats in an extra-innings nail-biter, squandering numerous scoring opportunities towards their first loss in ten games.
On Friday, Redwood managed an early run which stood up the entire game, as both pitchers turned in stellar outings. Wildcat Gavin Simurdiak tossed a complete-game two-hitter, issuing only one walk and fanning four on the day.
In the top of the second, Simurdiak doled out his only free pass of the day to Giants’ left fielder Gavin Soper, who took full advantage of the gift. Soper advanced to second on a wild pitch, then stole third as Wildcat catcher Grady Krause threw behind him to second base. Soper appeared picked off, but stayed alive when his slide at third kicked the ball loose from Wildcat third baseman Brody Ransom’s waiting tag.
With two outs, Sam Sumski worked the count full, before delivering a clutch line drive to deep center field. Wildcat Bennett Hadd was playing Sumski well, but started in on the ball, misjudging the carry, and was forced to turn tail as the ball sailed over his head, scoring Soper and allowing Sumski into third with an easy triple.
The middle innings raced along, as both pitchers settled in, and both teams played error-free defense. Chas Veley’s single up the middle was the only hit by either team until the bottom of the seventh.
Down to their last two outs, the Wildcats finally reached Veley, and stirred up the makings of a rally. First baseman Grant Cooper slapped a single to left – Marin Catholic’s first hit of the game – and went on to steal second. When Wildcat left fielder Toby Richards lined a Veley fastball into right-center, only an outstanding play by Redwood center fielder Jack Corvi prevented Cooper from racing home with the tying run, as Corvi delivered a bullet home on the fly, just up the third base side, which would have meant certain doom for Cooper’s scoring hopes.
With runners on second and third now, and still only one out, tension was mounting, and the raucous chatter on the Wildcat home side grew louder to greet relief pitcher Cole Engstrom. When Redwood coaches decided to intentionally walk shortstop Carson Davis to load the bases, goose bumps were flaring among fans on both sides.
Engstrom however, would have none of it – blowing three straight fastballs pastthe pinch hitter Noah DiRienzo for out number two, then two straight past Wildcat catcher Grady Krause. With two outs, two strikes, the bases loaded and up by a single run, Engstrom then snapped off a curveball that froze Krause solid at the plate for out number three, and the shutout win.
The Giants, now 11-4 on the year (7-1 MCAL), travel to Santa Rosa to take on Cardinal Newman in the first of a two-game set, returning to host the Cardinals in Larkspur on Wednesday.