5/12: With a 3-0 victory over Justin-Siena, the Varsity Giants have won their second MCAL title in two years while notching Coach Firenzi’s 399th win. They will have an opportunity to defend their “Outright MCAL Title” next week, earning the #1 seed in the MCAL Playoffs.
Redwood drew early blood, scoring in the top of the first. Nicolas Belgum led of the game with a single and promptly stole second and third. Henry Zeisler rapped him home with a grounder to the right side. Justin came out swinging but the Giants defense answered, with Parker Bartlett taking care of the first two outs at short and Zeisler making a play to end the shut down inning for starting pitcher Zach Kopstein. Bartlett again had several dazzling plays at short on the day.
The Giants scored again in the third, and again, Nicolas Belgum started the rally with a single. Erik Doctor laced a double to the right side, putting runners on second and third for clean-up hitter Aubrey Sine. Sine roped a grounder to short and hustled down the line as Belgum headed for home. Justin’s shortstop opted for the out at first but as Sine’s foot pounded the bag, we heard the ‘pop’ of the ball hitting the first basemen’s glove. Aubrey went down in a heap as the umpire signaled “Out!” as Belgum crossed the plate for the Giants second run of the game. A questionable call turned jeering fans into concern as Sine didn’t get up, and pounded the ground in frustration as the trainers rushed out to his aid. Sine would need to be helped off of the field, ending his day with the Giants up 2-0.
After mowing through the Justin line-up for the first three innings, Zach Kopstien helped his own cause and led off the top of the fourth with a double. Josh Cohen then dropped a bunt single, advancing Kosptein to third. After Cohen stole second, Nic Gillies dropped a perfect squeeze bunt, scoring Kopstein from third, putting the Giants up 3-0 going into the bottom of the fourth.
Kopstein faced the minimum through 5 1/3 innings. Zach didn’t only hold the Braves scoreless, he held them hitless through 5 1/3 innings. In fact, Kopstein had a perfect game going until Senior Gavin Orr broke it up with a single up the middle with one out in the bottom of the fifth. Zach ended his MCAL regular season pitching career with a complete-game shut-out, yielding just four hits with four strike outs and a walk. A fitting end to a remarkable 7-0 regular season, with two of his victories coming against Marin Catholic.
Nicolas Belgum went 3-4 and took the MCAL batting crown with an impressive .408 average. The ‘Brothers Cohen’ each added hits with Erik Doctor, and Trevor Foehr adding to the Giants eight-hit onslaught. Henry Zeisler, Aubrey Sine and Nic Gillies knocked in the three Redwood runs.
The Giants have a quick turnaround and will face DI powerhouse Monte Vista on the road in a make-up non-conference game on Saturday.