4/8: Santa Rosa came into this game with a 3-10 record, so no one expected this game to be close. The Giants prevailed 6-2, but the difference in the game was that Redwood came through with some clutch hitting and pitching when it mattered. SR, on the other hand, didn’t get much done in the key moments of the game.
Kent Goodman got the start on the mound for the Giants. He looked sharp; his fastball was live and he was locating his sharp-breaking curveball for strikes. Over four and a third shutout innings, Goodman only gave up 4 hits, while punching out 6. Goodman found a little trouble in the 5th. He gave up a walk and a single and SR had runners on 1st and 3rd with one out. Rex Solle came on in relief and this was where the game went south for SR. At this point, the Giants were up 3-0. Inexplicably, and reminiscent of a Little League play, the SR runner at 1st went halfway down to second in an attempt to get into a run down, so that the runner from 3rd could score. Remember this play from Little League? The problem, which seemed lost on the SR coaching staff, is that while this play often works in Little League, it doesn’t work against a good high school team. And even if it did, it wasn’t an appropriate call given the score and the point in the game. In any case, Redwood had this guy in a rundown and then then the runner from 3rd broke for home. Rory Minty calmly threw a strike to home plate and cut the runner down by a good 15 feet. It was an ugly play to put it mildly. I can only hope that no young children were exposed to it.
After this debacle on the base paths, the life was sucked out of SR and they really had no chance. They did, however, show a little life in the 7th. Going into the bottom of the 7th, the Giants were up 6-0 and Johnny Bayler came in to pitch. Bayler quickly found himself in a jam, giving up 2 runs on 2 hits and 2 walks. The Giants’ manager went to the pen and brought in (rarely used as a pitcher) Cole McGowan. McGowan came in throwing good old-fashioned heat, but walked the first batter to load the bases with no one out. Needless to say, this was a golden opportunity for SR who was down 6-2 at this point. McGowan faced the pressure situation with his best stuff, striking out the next 3 batters to secure the victory.
On offense, the Giants only tallied 6 hits, but 2 of those hits were long balls. Matty Jessen crushed his 2nd homerun of the year – a deep shot to left, while Cole McGowan hit a long drive over the wall in right, his first homerun of the season. McGowan also notched a single and drove in 2 runs. Nick Gehrman, Charlie Welch, and Tyler Blair also had hits for the Giants. Speaking of Blair, it was great to see him back in the lineup after many months on the IR. In addition to a basehit, Blair also knocked in a run.
After the victory, the Giants are 13-4, 8-2 in MCAL. Tomorrow’s game figures to be much tougher as the Giants take on 14-1 Foothill.