3/30: The Giants took advantage of some dicey San Rafael defense and prevailed over the Bulldogs for a 6-3 road victory.
Cole McGowan drew a walk to lead off the game for Redwood. After Charlie Welch hit into a force out and Luca Bove grounded out to third, Ben Cohen reached on an error by San Rafael’s first baseman, with Welch coming home on the play. After a walk to Charlie Ginsburg, Sam Rice belted a line drive directly at San Rafael’s center fielder, who took two hard steps in before belatedly breaking back. But it was too late and the ball sailed over his head for a two-RBI triple for Rice, and the Giants led 3-0 after their first at bat.
Mikey Bender got the start for Redwood and unlike his pitching counterpart Jake Verweil for San Rafael, Bender enjoyed some solid defense behind him. Catcher Ethan Crawford stood out in this regard, twice cutting down San Rafael baserunners on attempted steals. Bender finished hit outing with five strikeouts and two earned runs allowed over five innings.
The Giants added single runs in the second and third but Verweil largely kept the Giants at bay, and heading into the sixth inning Redwood’s lead stood at 5-3 and it was anyone’s ballgame. But Tyler Blair took the mound for the final two innings and squelched any hope of a Bulldog comeback, overpowering San Rafael’s hitters with his fastball and recording four strikeouts over the final two innings.
Redwood added an important insurance run in the top of the seventh, as Welch came through with a clutch single to plate pinch runner Josh Marrero for the Giants sixth and final tally. On the day, only one of the Giants six runs was earned. Unfortunately for Verweil and the Bulldogs, even if unearned they all count.
Rice led the offense on the day with two hits and three RBIs.
4/1: After a collective struggle on offense against San Rafael in the series opener on Tuesday, Redwood broke out the bats on Thursday and rolled to a 13-2 win over the Bulldogs at Moody Field.
Leading 1-0 heading into the bottom of the third, the Giants broke things open in a big way. Charlie Welch got things started with a single to left. After Welch stole second, Luca Bove followed with a bunt so perfectly placed down the third base line that San Rafael’s third baseman, playing deep in respect of Bove’s power, didn’t even bother attempting a throw to first. Once the table was set, the Giants went on to score six runs in the inning, with key RBI hits coming from Sam Rice and Cole McGowan.
Rice got the start on the mound for the Giants and cruised through the first three innings, allowing a single run and striking out four. However, in the top of the fourth, Rice lost his command and issued three consecutive walks to start the inning, and the Giants 7-0 lead was not looking quite as large.
Coach Firenzi called on Kent Goodman in relief of Rice to calm things down and he did just that – allowing only a single inherited runner to score and striking out a pair to end the inning. Goodman went on to complete three shutout innings, posting four strikeouts along the way.
Redwood blew it open in the bottom of the fourth with four more runs, highlighted by RBI hits from Rice and Connor Yang. Myles Kawashima took the last inning on the mound to close out the game. Along the way Redwood got standout defensive plays late from Colin Cunneen on a diving stop at first base and from Nick Gehrman in right field on an over the shoulder running catch in right to end the game.
Welch was an on-base machine for the Giants, reaching five times on the day with three hits and two walks. Ben Cohen was not far behind, reaching four times. Each scored twice. Rice added three hits of his own to go with two RBIs, and McGowan had two hits and two RBIs.
Next week the Giants have a three game set with Marin Catholic – Tuesday at Moody and followed by games at MC on Thursday and Friday (all games 4:30pm).