5/23: After knocking the Giants out of the MCAL Championship, the Marin Catholic Wildcats completed the ‘One-Two Punch’ and knocked Redwood out of the NCS Baseball Championship with a 5-1 victory in Kentfield.
All-League Honorable Mention pitchers Jack Harris and Michael Benz squared off on the mound with Harris atoning for his early season loss against the Giants, earning the complete game victory while Benz took the loss for Redwood. Harris gave up just one run, scattering seven hits while striking out two. Benz was lifted in the second inning for sophomore Kyle Felder who gave up just one run in four and two-thirds innings of work.
Redwood threatened in the top of the first after Josh Cohen and Nicolas Belgum both singled to set the table for the heart of the order with one out. Cohen was erased at the plate on a grounder to third on a contact play and the inning ended on another ground out to third. “The same dog that’s bitten us for two months, bit us again today. We get runners on second base and we stop hitting, that’s been our problem for about two months. It’s not a lack of hits or a lack of baserunners, we just can’t drive guys in, and that happens sometimes.” Head Coach Mike Firenzi said after the game.
MC scored in the bottom of the first on a balk with a runner on third, and the Giants answered with a run of their own in the top of the second after Aubrey Sine led off the inning with a single to right and later scored when sophomore Jack Morkin ‘bit that dog back’ and singled with a runner in scoring position. The hot hitting Wildcats unleashed in the bottom of the second, scoring three runs on three hits. Benz was lifted for Felder who induced a double play to shortstop Anthony Pomilia who tossed to second baseman Genki LeClair who fired a strike to first to end the inning with the Wildcats up 4-1.
MC scored another run in the bottom of the fifth, but as it turned out they would just need two runs to end the Giants season.
Josh Cohen, Nicolas Belgum, Anthony Pomilia, Aubrey Sine and Genki LeClair all had hits with Jack Morkin adding two to the Giants total. The Giants ended the year with a 16-11 season record and a 12-6 MCAL record, ranking 9th in the NCS Division II Rankings.
Post Script: MC lost to Casa Grande in the next round of the DII Championship. Drake won the DIII Championship. Monte Vista and Casa Grande both lost their DI and DII Championship games. Of the six teams competing in the DI-DIII Championship games, the Giants played three teams and had a 3-1 record against them, beating Monte Vista and losing to Casa Grande in the pre-season while defeating Drake twice during conference play. “We were a legitimate NCS Championship team when we were at full strength, I’m proud of our team and what we accomplished this year,” Firenzi said in conclusion of the year.