Varsity Blanks Justin-Siena

3/31:  The Giants pitching staff combined for another shut-out, blanking the Justin-Siena Braves 4-0 on the road on a windy day in Napa.  “Today is going to be one of those days when it’s hard to hit.  The grass is tall and slow and the wind is swirling but mostly blowing in” Head Coach Mike Firenzi said before the game.  “But, it’s the same for both teams.”  True to Firenzi’s prediction, each team only tallied four hits, but Redwood was able capitalize on theirs while the Braves were only able to get two runners past second base.

Coming off of a six inning shut-out performance against Novato last week, Zack Tonnerre got the start for the Giants, pitching five and a third innings, striking out nine. Zack had just one walk and gave up only three hits.  Noah Arrick closed out the game while keeping the shut-out intact and adding to the strike-out total, striking out one.  Tonnerre now boasts a 2-1 league record and a 3-1 overall record.

In usual fashion, the Giants drew first blood when they scored three runs in the top of the third inning.  Mackie Skall led off the inning with a single off of the pitchers glove.  Drew Jacks dropped a perfect bunt to send Skall to second and Skall was relieved by the speedy Josh Katz.  Dane Goodman followed with a single to second and Katz later crossed the plate when Goodman stole second and the catcher’s throw bounded into centerfield.  Nicolas Belgum knocked in Goodman on a single to left.  Belgum would score with two outs on a balk by the Braves pitcher, putting the Giants up 3-0.  The Giants would turn their first double-play of the game to end the third inning on a grounder to Belgum at first, to Brassey, to the pitcher, Tonnerre, covering first, taking the game to the top of the fourth with Redwood leading, 3-0.

Luke Zlatnich led off the inning with a walk and Pascal Brassey reached base on an error putting runners on first and second with no outs.  Mackie Skall put both runners in scoring position by laying down a sacrifice bunt.  Zlatnich was cut down at the plate on a botched squeeze-play but with two outs, Dane Goodman would knock in the Giants fourth and final run of the day with a single to left.  In the bottom of the fourth, the Giants would turn their second double-play of the game 4-6-3, on a grounder to Zlatnich, to Brassey, to Belgum.

The Giants went down quietly in the top of the fifth and the Justin-Siena threatened in the bottom of the frame.  Two consecutive base-hits were followed by a strike-out and a walk to load the bases.  A grounder to Tonnerre ended in the glove of catcher Mackie Skall at the plate, cutting down the run and leaving the bases loaded with two outs.  Tonnerre erased the threat by inducing a soft liner back to the box taking the game to the top of the sixth with the score Giants 4, Braves 0.

Redwood went down in order in the top of the sixth.  Tonnerre logged his ninth strike-out of the day to start the bottom of the inning, but reached his 110 pitch limit and was relieved by Noah Arrick.  After giving up a hit that left the runner on second, Luke Zlatnich snagged what looked like a sure hit to the right side and dove, glove first, beating the runner back to the bag to end the inning and tally the Giants third double-play of the day.

The Giants were again sent down in order in the top of the seventh and Noah Arrick sealed the Giants victory despite another error in the field.  Redwood committed a total of four errors on defense in their winning effort.

Nicolas Belgum and Mackie Skall both had hits for the Giants.  Dane Goodman was responsible for half of the Giants hits, banging out two of their four hits.  Goodman and Belgum also had an RBI each.

The Giants now stand at tied in second place in the MCAL and will be in Kentfield on Tuesday to face-off against the Marin Catholic Wildcats in a rivalry game that highlights the two MCAL second place teams, both with 5-1 conference records.  Redwood will end the week facing off against the undefeated Drake Pitates on Friday.  “We have a tough week ahead, but we are going to take it one game at a time, we need to take care of business against Marin Catholic”, Firenzi said when asked about the upcoming week and match-up against the Pirates.



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