3/7: The Giants two game winning streak came to an abrupt halt today in a hard fought loss to the Casa Grande Gauchos. The game was originally scheduled to be played in Petaluma but the insentient rain that has soaked the Bay Area rendered the Gauchos field unplayable this week. The partially turfed and well manicured Moody Field became the venue for the Giants penultimate preseason game.
Senior Zack Tonnerre got the nod for the start, coming off of his five inning shut-out of Montgomery last week. Tonnerre gave up his first run of the season in the first inning after giving up a lead off single. The Gauchos mounted a three hit attack to start the game. Redwood’s defense stepped up in the inning with a double play on a soft liner to Henry Zeisler who flipped to shortstop Pascal Brassey. But with two outs and a runner on thrid, a single to left field sent the Giants into their dugout down 1-0. Nicolas Belgum kept his hit streak alive in the bottom of the first with a single to left but the inning ended with Belgum left on the bases.
Casa again lead off the inning with a hit and after a walk and a couple of stolen bases, a hard grounder to second sent home the Gaucho’s second and third runs. Tonnerre then gave up back-to-back hits but pitched out of the jam, striking out the next batter with the bases loaded. The Giants went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the second and headed into the top of the third down 3-0.
The Gauchos again set the table as their lead-off hitter strolled to first after wearing a 2-1 pitch. Tonnerre shut down the threat by striking out the next three batters in a row. The bottom of the third was highlighted by a Genki LeClair two-out double to the gap in right-center, but didn’t score.
Tonnerre got two quick outs in the top of the fourth, but gave his fourth earned run after a Gauchos single was followed by a double. Oliver Pearson was called out of the bullpen and struck out the last batter of the inning. Nicolas Belgum lead off the bottom of the inning with a single, his second hit of the day. Belgum advanced to second on a great read on a pitched ball in the dirt. With one out, Michael Connors singled to center, scoring Belgum and cutting the lead to three runs. Dane Goodman then singled to center and pinch-runner Riley Marsh scored. Luke Zlatnich kept his consecutive game hitting streak alive by roping an 0-2 single to center. Pascal Brassey then singled, loading the bases. Coach Firenzi called on Junior Josh Cohen to pitch hit and he answered with an RBI single, bringing the Giants to within striking distance, 3-4. Unfortunately, with one out and the bases loaded, Redwood couldn’t plate another run.
Pearson shut down the Gauchos, giving up just one hit and striking out two in his two and one third innings of work. The Giants were only able to muster one baserunner in the next two innings, taking the game to the top of the seventh with the score 4-3.
Pearson was relieved by Michael Benz in the top of the seventh. Benz gave up a two consecutive hits and after a balk sent runners to second and third, a sacrifice fly to center sent home Casa’s fifth run of the game. Pascal Brassey accounted for two outs in the inning, highlighted by a play in the hole to his right. Brassey was flawless in his five attempts in the field, as were the Giants as they committed no errors on the day.
With one out in the top of the seventh, LeClair singled and Zeisler followed by taking a curve-ball off of the leg sending the hot-hitting Nicolas Belgum to the plate and the tying run on first. After working the count to 3-2, Belgum roped a seed to second. But with the runners going on the pitch, Zeisler was doubled off of first, ending the game.
Zack Tonnerre took his first loss of the season and is now 1-1. Michael Connors, Dane Goodman, Josh Cohen and Pascal Brassey each had a hit while Genki LeClair and Nicolas Belgum added two hits apiece to the Giants nine hit total. Belgum and Zlatnich are on a four game hitting streak. This is the third game in a row that the Giants have accumulated eight or more hits.
The Giants host Monte Vista from Danville at Moody Field on Friday at 3:30.