It was one year and two weeks ago that Redwood’s varsity baseball season was shut down by the coronavirus global pandemic after its MCAL home opener versus Terra Linda.
The Giants were finally back on the field for games this week with Terra Linda again the opponent. But before relaying some of the details of those games, we would like to acknowledge the contributions to the Redwood Baseball program made by last year’s seniors. The pandemic has taken many things big and small from many people in the last year, and for these seniors it took away their final season, which for many of them was their last in organized baseball.
These seniors – Isaak Irmini-Kreft, Drake Goodman, Jesse Gassman, Alex Hagen, Jackson Reed, Nick Welch, Lucas Roy, Matt Smalbach, Satoshi Miki, Matt Birchenough and Jake Gassman – comprised a deep and talented class. We’ll never know where together with Coach Firenzi and his staff these seniors could have led last year’s team, but it surely would have been fun to watch.
3/23: The Giants opened the 2021 campaign at Terra Linda. It looked a bit different, what with the Terra Linda parking lot serving as a COVID-19 vaccination site and all the players, coaches and umpires wearing masks or gaiters, but when it was time to play ball, the Giants set it all aside and rolled to 10-1 victory.
The Giants jumped out to the lead with three runs over the first two innings, the first on a Luca Bove bolt that hit halfway up the fence in right center to plate leadoff man Cole McGowan. McGowan singled in Rex Solle in the second.
Mikey Bender took the opening day start for the Giants. After striking out the side in the first, Bender ran into a bit of trouble in the second, but escaped by inducing a bases loaded 6-4-3 double play from the middle infield Charlies (Welch and Ginsburg) to end the inning.
After two consecutive hit TL batsmen with one out in the bottom of the third and the Giants up 3-1, Kent Goodman relieved Bender and worked out of the jam, again with a big assist from the defense. With runners on first and third and two out, TL attempted a double steal but Welch cut it front of the bag at second to take catcher Ethan Crawford’s throw and return it home to Crawford to nab the TL runner attempting to steal home.
From there the Giants piled up the runs with three more in the fourth and another four in the sixth for the 10-1 victory. McGowan led the offense across the board with two hits, three RBIs and two runs scored. Tyler Blair took the last two innings and did so in style, striking out five of six batters faced.
3/26: One of the many ways that this 2021 season will differ from seasons past is that as a COVID protocol, MCAL teams will face each other in two or three game series in the same week. So after their season-opening win at Terra Linda on Tuesday, the Trojans were back to face the Giants in their home opener at Moody Field on Friday.
Sam Rice got the call on the mound for the Giants and dominated, striking out twelve over five and two-thirds innings of no-hit ball. He did it for three innings with a fastball and a changeup, as he didn’t have good feel with his breaking ball early. About halfway through his start he found the curve, and after that it was lights out for TL and the Giants cruised to a 13-0 win.
The Giants struck for three in the bottom of the first on a lot of loud contact. Cole McGowan got it started with a long triple to right, and after a walk to Charlie Welch, Luca Bove banged one up the gap in left center to plate McGowan and Welch. Ben Cohen then singled sharply to left to score Bove and complete the scoring for the inning.
The Giants again added on late, scoring six runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth. Bove led the charge with three hits, four RBIs and two runs scored, and was a homer short of hitting for the cycle. Charlie Ginsburg added two hits and three RBIs, and Cohen had two hits and two RBIs.
Kent Goodman closed it out on the mound, striking out three over the final one and one-third innings.
Next week the Giants will take on the San Rafael Bulldogs – Tuesday at San Rafael and Thursday at Moody (both games 4:30pm).