Boy’s baseball team plans to defensively dominate rivals this spring


Courtesy of Jordan Warren

Throwing to first, Smallbach aims to get the runner out following an infield grounder.

Shane Fricke

After finishing last year with the most runs (173) in the Marin County Athletic League (MCAL), varsity baseball head coach Mike Firenzi has a new motto for his team this season: “Pitching, defense and speed.” Despite offense being Redwood’s strong suit last season, Firenzi believes his team is more suited to dominate teams on the other side of the ball. Whether it be on offense or defense, Firenzi still knows that the most important part of any sport is making sure a team sets a strong foundation

“[Focus in practice is on] executing all our fundamentals, we are not a team that is going to hit 100 home runs or anything flashy. We need to run the bases good, bunt, hit behind the runners. We need to play fundamental baseball,” Firenzi said.

This will be Firenzi’s fifth year coaching at Redwood and he knows that having a good team isn’t the only thing needed to win; learning from the past season, he is trying to inspire his team to stay motivated.

“Staying ready for the long haul of the season; last year we came out of the gate like a cannon and kind of dropped off a bit, I’d like us to have more consistency from game one to game 24,” Frenzi said.

His confidence in the pitching and defense of this team is led behind junior and star pitcher Nick Welch. Welch is aware that there will be a lot of pressure on him to lead the team this year so he has trained harder this season than any season prior, thoroughly working on his technique as a pitcher.

“I spent a lot of the summer working on being more consistent in the strike zone, especially with my offspeed pitches,” Welch said.

With a switch of becoming a defensive minded team this year, Redwood hopes to return to the MCAL and NCS championship games. Firenzi is confident they have the talent to and confident he can preach fundamentals and consistency so they can get back.