4/06: Rivalry n : the act of rivaling : the state of being a rival : COMPETITION : Redwood vs. Marin Catholic.
“This rivalry has been around longer than the guys who are playing today have been on earth” an excited fan said before the game, “…it’s always a great match-up, just think of last year.”
Marin Catholic hoped to wipe the bitter taste from their mouth after being swept by the Giants in their two conference games last year. Their last memory from 2015 being the walk-off loss in the MCAL Championship game after going into the final frame leading 3-1. They expected this would be the day to do so, at their yard, with their best pitcher.
Marin Catholic marched their ace, Brandon Buckley out to the mound to turn the tide in favor of the Wildcats this year. Buckley (3-1) and Hayden Wellbeloved combined for a no-hitter against Saint Ignatius in a non-conference game to open their season. The Giants answered with their workhorse, Zack Kopstein (4-1) who leads the Giants pitching staff in appearances and strike-outs, but hasn’t been comfortable on the Marin Catholic mound during his illustrious Redwood career. Today would likely be the last day “Kop” would ever pitch at MC.
Kopstein and Buckley shut down their opponents for the first two innings of the game but Redwood would draw first blood in the top of the third. With one out, Josh Cohen hit a hard grounder to third and crossed first base on a errant throw. Nicolas Belgum followed with a single, sending Cohen to third. After Belgum stole second, Eric Doctor drew a walk after battling on a 3-2 count, loading the bases for the Giants clean-up hitter, Aubrey Sine. With a 1-2 count, Sine belted a single to center on a chest-high fastball, scoring Cohen. However, with the bases loaded and only one out, the Wildcats ended the inning only down by a run.
Marin Catholic threatened but never struck, as Kopstein held them scoreless through the fifth inning. Redwood added two insurance runs in the top of the sixth when another Wildcat miscue started the inning when Parker Laret struck out swinging but the ball got away from the catcher and the hustling Laret reached first. Henry Zeisler followed with a well executed hit-and-run, sending Laret to third. Zach Cohen then dropped a bunt that Buckley air-mailed to first, scoring Laret from third and a Zeisler. Giants 3, MC 0.
Kopstein gave up his lone run of his outing in the bottom of the sixth after yielding three hits in the inning. Josh Cohen came in to close out the game in the bottom of the seventh with Kopstien’s pitch-count exceeding 100 pitches with the score 3-1. Cohen would give up a run putting the Wildcats in striking distance with the score 3-2. With the tying run on third, Cohen pitched to contact inducing a hard sinking liner to shortstop Pascal Brassey ending the game, Giants 3, Wildcats 2. All three of the Giants runs were un-eared
Nicolas Belgum, Aubrey Sine and Henry Zeisler had hits, with Zach Cohen and Eric Doctor each adding two each to the Giants total. Kopstein ended his career pitching from the MC mound by earning his fifth win of the season while dropping his ERA to 2.10 while upping his strike-out total to 36. Josh Cohen earned his first save of the season.
The Giants host the San Marin Mustangs (6-5) on Friday at 4:30 Moody Field.