Giants edge the Steelheads in exciting Rumble championship

Submitted photo – The Redwood Giants celebrate their tournament championship on Sunday.

The Redwood Giants 12Us saved their best for last at the Rumble in the Redwoods tournament this past weekend, as a local youth baseball rivalry continues to build momentum.

The tournament was played in Eureka and hosted by the Six Rivers Kings.

After falling to the Northern Humboldt Steelheads on day one of the tournament, the Giants bounced back to edge the Steelheads 10-9 in an exciting championship game the following day.

It was their first win over the Steelheads and their second tournament championship of the year.

And they had to battle for it, overcoming a late deficit with five runs in the top of the sixth and final inning.

“Our boys came ready to battle against an always tough, well-coached Steelheads team,” Giants manager David Sharp said. “We got behind early but these guys didn’t panic. They fought through the end and were rewarded with their second 12U tournament championship in 2023.”

Jackson Sharp drove in Brody Gaser on a triple to center field for the go-ahead run in the final inning, before Dakota Bestul scored Sharp on a groundout for his third RBI of the game to add an insurance run that would prove crucial. 

Trailing by two going into the bottom half of the inning, the Steelheads responded when Hudson Kapko doubled to score Carson Hicks and pull his team within one, but Gaser would pitch the final two outs in relief to seal the win and cap an incredible tournament for him.

Gaser, who also plays left field, finished the tournament 10-for-13 with a triple and two doubles, as well as throwing 1.1 innings for the win in the final.

“Brody Gaser has been our clean-up hitter this year and has turned into an absolute hitting machine,” the manager said. “He stepped up big time on the mound in a pressure-packed championship game to get the win in relief. I’m very proud of him.”

Gaser, Kade Pinochi, Jayce Robinson, Reese Sipma, Tyson Mulder and Ryan Tosten each had two hits for the Giants in the championship game, including a double by Pinochi, while Jackson Sharp and Townsend Theobald each added one.

Kapko led the Steelheads with three hits, including the late double, while Hicks, Blake Carper and Jared Brunner each had two hits and Cabella Carper, Tyson Marshall and Breyden Brock each added one.

The Giants began tournament play with a 13-12 win over the Sandlot Crew, before falling 11-3 to the Steelheads.

On day two, they beat the Sandlot 11-5 in the semifinal.

Pinochi got the win on the mound in the opener, while Gaser had three hits in each of the first two games.

Sipma pitched five innings for the win in Sunday’s semifinal  and struck out seven batters.

Jarren Biondini also had a big tournament for the Giants and finished 3-for-6 with a double and four runs.

Pinochi finished with six hits over the two days, including a pair of triples and a pair of doubles, while Mulder added five hits, including two home runs, and Robinson had five hits, including a triple.

Other players to impress for the Giants included Brice Newmann, who was 2-for-8 with three runs, and Mason Long, who also had a hit and scored as run.

The Giants manager also praised the efforts of the host Six Rivers Kings.

“Hats off to the Six Rivers Kings for organizing a great local tournament,” he said. “So much work goes into putting on a tournament and we are grateful to everyone in their organization for bringing a quality youth baseball tournament to Eureka.”

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