4/12/23 It felt like two different games were played at St. Ignatius on Wednesday, as the first two and a half innings were high-scoring and filled with errors and unlikely plays, while the remainder of the game was a tight, scoreless affair.
Redwood scored a run in the first on a leadoff single by Carter Capobianco and a one-out RBI single from Jordan Kimball. The fun was short-lived, as Miles Harrison flied out to right field, and Kimball tagged up and was nailed at the plate for a double play.
The Wildcats came right back and scored two unearned runs against Redwood ace Jack Gurley on a couple singles, an error on a fly ball, and an RBI groundout.
In the top of the second, Redwood loaded the bases with no outs on consecutive walks to Cole Engstrom, Zack Davis, and Ryan Sun. The Giants kept rolling as Jake Huddleston, Jon Kozubik, and Carter Capobianco each hit RBI singles. Up 4-2 with the bases loaded and no outs, Redwood had to be thinking about a massive inning as S.I. brought in a new pitcher. But three pitches later, Ryan Scott lined into a 6-4-3 triple play, as both Kozubik and Capobianco were doubled off their respective bags.
The funhouse atmosphere continued in the bottom of the 2nd as St. Ignatius scored four more runs (all unearned, again) on a walk, three consecutive errors – the last of which allowed three runs to score – and a RBI single, putting the Wildcats up 6-4.
In the top of the third, Redwood loaded the bases with one out on a single by Kimball and walks to Miles Harrison and Davis. Center fielder TJ Beck cleared the bases with a triple to left and suddenly the Giants were back on top, 7-6. In keeping with the up-and-down nature of the game, however, the Giants ended the inning on a variation of the strike-em-out-throw-em-out double play, as Huddleston was thrown at first on a dropped third strike and Beck was gunned down trying to take home on the throw.
After some tense but cleanly played innings, Cole Engstrom came on in relief of Gurley in the 6th inning, with the Giants still clinging to a 7-6 lead. Engstrom helped his own cause in the 6th, picking a runner off at second just before giving up a double that could have tied the game. The Wildcats threatened again in the 7th, putting two on with one out, but Engstrom escaped the jam and earned the save by inducing a liner and a ground ball to Huddleston at short for the last two outs of the game. The Giants improved to 14-3 overall, 6-2 MCAL with the victory.