Karma arrived at Endriss Field today, in the form of the visiting Montgomery Vikings of Santa Rosa.
Just three days removed from a cold and wretched 14-0 drubbing by the Petaluma Trojans, the Redwood JV Baseball Giants performed a dizzying reversal, greeting their guests with a bombardment of twenty runs across just four innings, including a thirteen-run second inning, in which Redwood sent seventeen batters to the plate.
Meanwhile, starting pitcher Chas Veley and reliever Sam Sumski held Montgomery to only one hit and no runs over five innings, while the Giants’ defense was error-free. The difference between the teams – and from Tuesday’s circumstances – could not have been more stark. The Giants’ twenty runs came on only twelve hits; the Vikings committed five errors, hit three batsmen, and walked eight batters on the day.
Veley started the game by striking out the first two batters he faced, fanning four in total over his three innings of work. He did walk four batters, but picked off one of them at first with a stealthy move.
Veley had plenty of time to rest between trips to the mound, as Redwood spent nearly an hour pounding out fifteen runs in its first two at-bats. Second baseman Max Paul set the tone in the bottom of the first, with a leadoff double into the gap in left center, scoring when Sumski, who began the game at shortstop, legged out an infield single – his first of four on the day.
Right fielder Gavin Soper teased the crowd, crushing two foul balls deep down the line in right, before walking for the first of three times on the afternoon. With the bases loaded, Veley nubbed a squib back to the pitcher who, while considering his choice of bases for the force-out, flubbed the play, allowing Sumski to score. The day was clearly going the Giants’ way.
Paul highlighted the cavalcade of batters which made up Redwood’s epic second inning. He clubbed a double to nearly the exact same spot as his first, then cleared the bases later in the inning with his third double of the day, making the score 12-0. Sumski promptly scored Paul with a blistering shot down the left field line.
Following walks to left fielder Drew Song and Soper, Veley helped himself by tripling to the fence in left with the bases loaded, stirring the crowd as he slid into third head-first to beat the throw. The second inning closed with the Giants up by 15-0.
Even when the Giants were less than perfect, they still seemed to score. In the fourth, another infield hit by Sumski and walks to left fielder Drew Song and Veley loaded the bases for incoming center fielder Theo Eschliman, who struck out swinging. However, the play was by no means over. The catcher dropped strike three and, instead of stepping on the plate for the force-out, threw to first. Veley, believing he had been forced, joined a surprised Song at second base, urging him forward towards third. With the force-out removed, the confused Vikings infield bungled their throws, missing a sliding Song at third, and allowing Sumski to score. Third baseman Harrison Lapic’s subsequent double to right – his third hit of the game – scored Turkington and Veley to make the score 18-0.
Another hard-hit ball to left by Paul and a walk to Sumski, both with the bases loaded, rounded off the scoring at 20-0.
In the top of the 5th, Sumski shut down the Vikings, striking out his third batter in two innings (all looking), before Paul made the final out, handling a tricky pop fly on the outfield grass.
Whereas the Giants had been victims of the ‘Mercy Rule’ three days prior, they now forced it on their opponents, brandishing double the requisite ten-run lead following the losing team’s fifth at-bat.
Just three players: Paul, Sumski and Lapic, accounted for eleven of Redwood’s twelve hits on the day, while eight different players scored for the Giants. Much like a conga-line around the bases, all of those eight scored twice or more, with Sumski scoring four times. Paul leads the team in batting, lighting up the scoreboard with a .667 batting average over five games, with Sumski close behind at .538. Both Sumski and Paul had five RBIs on the day, with Veley clocking in four, and Lapic with three.
Redwood, now with a 2-3 record on the year, returns tomorrow to host the Casa Grande Gauchos of Petaluma (!), before the start of MCAL play on Tuesday.