Legends Open Season with Strong Series in Redding
When the Menlo Park Legends gathered for their trip to Redding to battle the Colt .45’s on Friday morning, manager David Klein knew they had a tough task ahead. He looked around, and only saw 9 guys who were position players. He also saw a pitching staff that, while very good, was not able to have 100% attendance for the road trip.
“To be honest, I was hoping to go up there and get a split,” Klein said. “With only nine position players and a limited staff, I did not know where to put my expectations.”
It’s safe to say now that the performance from the Legends well exceeded his expectations. That’s because the Legends took the first 3 games of the season against the Colt .45’s before dropping the last game.
“I’m a little bitter that we couldn’t finish the sweep, but I am extremely satisfied with a 3-1 weekend.”
The Legends started the weekend on Friday with a 5-1 victory behind the solid start of Menlo College pitcher and Sacred Heart Prep graduate Eric Davila. Davila got the win, going 5 innings while allowing 5 hits and striking out 3. Justin Bard provided the main spark with a big 3 run homer in the 6th inning.
Saturday’s doubleheader provided two extremely competitive games, as both games saw the tying run at the plate in the 9th. However, when the last pitch of the night was thrown just before midnight, it was the Legends who had swept the doubleheader.
The Legends jumped ahead to an early 4-1 lead over the Colt .45’s, but a 4-run 6th inning gave the Colt .45’s a 5-4 lead. With 2 outs in the 7th, Aragon High graduate Pierson Jeremiah hit a line drive homer to tie the game. Then, in the 9th, Cañada College shortstop Kyle Zirbes hit an RBI single to give the Legends the 6-5 lead. Joe Goldenberg allowed a leadoff double, but got two strikeouts and a lineout to end the game.
Game 2 of the doubleheader proved to be a good measuring tool for the Legends. A huge 2nd inning gave the Legends a quick 5-0 lead, and they added one more run in the 5th. But, in the bottom of the 5th, the pitching started to falter. The Colt .45’s scored five runs while only getting one hit, as they drew 6 walks and got hit by a pitch once. Taber Watson was called on from the bullpen with the bases loaded and 1 out with the lead just one run. Watson got two strikeouts to get out of the inning with the lead. The Legends would add 2 more runs in the 6th and would hold that lead for the final score of 8-5.
The Sunday finale was disappointing for the Legends, who had sweep on their mind since the last out of the doubleheader. The Legends took a 1-0 lead in the 3rd, but gave up 2 runs in the 3rd, 4th and 5th and eventually fell 8-3.
The Legends saw the biggest contributions come from their two infielders up the middle in SS Kyle Zirbes and 2B Pierson Jeremiah. Both players got hits in all 4 games and know the Legends way. Pierson is joining the Legends for a 3rd summer, and Kyle’s older brother Corey pitched for the Legends for 3 years.
“Defensively, they really meshed well together.” Klein said. “Both of these guys made adjustments over the weekend, and they should feel really well about how they played this weekend.”
The Legends return to action today against the San Francisco Seagulls. The game is at 2pm at Fairmont Field in Daly City.