5/17: A serious Tam series hangover appeared to linger over the Giants as they fell to Branson on Monday afternoon at College of Marin.
Tyler Blair took the start for the Giants, who led 3-2 after four innings on RBI singles from Sam Rice and Cole McGowan and a sacrifice fly from Ben Cohen. Blair did not appear to have his A stuff, as his velocity was a bit down, but he was using his curve and changeup more than usual and was keeping the Giants in the game.
With the score still 3-2 Giants in the bottom of the fifth, Branson had the bases loaded and two outs. In the at-bat of the game for Branson, Cade Cessna (the only senior on Branson’s team) lined a single to right to score one. Luca Bove charged aggressively to try to prevent the Branson runner on second from scoring, but the ball got under his glove and rolled past him, allowing three runs to score on the hit for a 5-3 Branson lead.
There was no quit in the Giants however, as they battled back in the top of the sixth. Colin Cunneen got things started with a one-out infield single to short. Cohen followed with a single to right and Charlie Ginsburg (pinch running for Cunneen) scored and Cohen advanced to third on a throwing error by Branson’s right fielder. After Charlie Welch hit into some bad luck with a line drive that was stabbed by Branson’s pitcher, Bove came through with a clutch two-out single up the middle to score Cohen. Sam Rice backed that up with a double up the left-center gap to score Bove and give Redwood the lead back at 6-5.
But Branson wasn’t done either, and with some timely hitting they turned errors from Blair and Mikey Bender into two more runs and a 7-6 Branson lead heading into the Giants’ last at-bat.
Bender got things started with a single to left, but he would advance no further as Sam McIntosh struck out and then, in a fitting tribute to this strange COVID baseball season, Rex Solle and Ginsburg were consecutively called out for batter’s interference when the home plate umpire ruled that they each made contact with bunted balls outside of the batter’s box.
Welch, Rice and Ginsburg led the Giants in hits on the day with two apiece. Rice paced the Giants with two RBIs and Welch scored twice on the day.
5/21: The Giants bounced back from a tough loss earlier in the week to close the door on the 2021 season with an 11-2 rout of Branson at Moody Field on Friday afternoon.
The Giants rolled out nine runs in the first two innings and never looked back, putting it in cruise control the rest of the way behind the combined pitching efforts of Mikey Bender, Kent Goodman, Grant Stoll and Myles Kawashima.
Charlie Welch, Luca Bove, Sam Rice and Ethan Crawford each had two hits for the Giants. Rice, Bender and Sam McIntosh led the team in RBIs with two, and Ben Cohen, Welch, Bove, Rice and Bender each scored twice.
That’s a wrap for the 2021 Redwood Varsity Baseball season. The Giants finished the season with a 14-6 record. It was a season with no shortage of ups and downs, highlighted by sweeps of Marin Catholic and San Marin, and lowlighted in turn by getting swept by a Tam team that was dominant this season.
Also coming to an end are the high school baseball careers of seniors Mikey Bender, Ben Cohen, Ethan Crawford, Charlie Ginsburg, Sam McIntosh and Sam Rice. Congratulations to each of them on their contributions to the program, and best of luck to those planning to continue to play baseball collegiately – Cohen (Pomona-Pitzer), Crawford (Grinnell) and Rice (St. Mary’s).
As they thankfully always are for Redwood baseball, expectations for next season are high, with Coach Firenzi and his staff having returning seniors Tyler Blair, Kent Goodman, Luca Bove, Charlie Welch and Cole McGowan primed to take over the leadership of the team. See you next year!