The College of the Redwoods Corsairs were a dominant force in the Golden Valley Conference from 1969 thru 1975 with six North Division titles and five Conference championships including three straight trips to the California Community College Division ll State finals. It's of little coincidence that the Corsairs began their successful reign at about the same time as Tom Giacomini became head coach. Giacomini spent 22 years at the helm, amassing a career 342-315-4 record (.520 winning %).
THE 1970 COLLEGE OF THE REDWOODS CORSAIRS--After losing a tough 8-6 game to the Yuba College 49ers in the '69 GVC final, the Corsairs reeled off four straight conference titles (1970-'73), gaining revenge with a marathon, final-game, eleven inning 9-8 win over Yuba in 1970 at their home ballpark in Eureka. Redwood pitcher Bob Wilson, who finished the season with a 6-2 record and .308 batting average, tossed a 1-0 no-hitter in the first game of the best-of-three championship series. Wilson and his Corsairs were then eliminated by the College of Sequoias Giants 6-3 in the first round of the state playoffs. Wilson was later drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 16th round of the 1970 Amateur June draft and was sent to the Pulaski Phillies of the rookie Appalachian League where he hit .212 in 156 at bats. That same year, Wilson hit .202 for the Walla Walla Phillies in the A- Northwest League as an outfielder, shortstop, and third baseman. After pitching for the champion Phillies of the Peninsula Winter League, Wilson returned to Walla Walla in the spring of 1971 as a pitcher where he compiled a 4-4 record with a 4.23 earned run average. The hard throwing Wilson also pitched for the semi-pro Humboldt Crabs and was later inducted into their Hall of Fame.
In 1971, the Corsairs were led by the pitching of Arcada's Bob Box. The left-handed freshman finished Golden Valley North Division league play with a 4-1 record (6-1 overall) and a league-leading 1.17 earned run average. He struck out 75 batters in 78 innings pitched. Box culminated a personal 27-inning scoreless stretch by tossing a 2-hit, 4-0 shutout over Sierra College in the first game of the GVC best two-out-of-three Championship Series. The whitewash was Redwoods' school record 5th shutout in a row. On May 1st, Mike Ferguson (4-2, 1.76 ERA) shutout Shasta College 4-0 in the 2nd game of a doubleheader while Craig Apo, with relief help from Box, shut the door on the Knights 1-0 in the opener. Two days later, Box hurled a 5-0 blanking of Siskiyous College to clinch the Northern Division title. The Corsairs won their first GVC title by sweeping and eliminating the Sierra Wolverines in game two with Walt Wilkinson (4-2, 3.34 ERA) getting the 6-3 mound victory. Box, who pitched 10 innings with 10 K's earlier, pitched a scoreless 7th inning in relief while Mike Ferguson closed it out to pick up the save. The Corsairs ended the season at 17-10 as they were again eliminated in the opening round of the State Division ll playoffs, this time by Canada College of Redwood City,
1972 CORSAIRS--Redwood's 25-8-1 record (.758 winning %) marked COR's best year in school history with everal team and individual records broken, some of which still stand today. C/R opened the 1972 season at the Feather River Junior College Baseball Tournament by defeating Sierra College 1-0. Bob Box got the victory while sharing the shutout with Barry Scapellino before the Corsairs fell 12-5 to San Jose City and 3-2 to Merritt College. After a 2-1 loss and 5-5 tie against the Cal Berkeley JV's in an exhibition series, the Corsairs moved on to win back-to-back tournaments. Bob Box tossed a 2-hit, 2-0 shutout in the opening round of the American River Baseball Tournament in Sacramento against the host Beavers. Steve Chase tossed five scoreless innings before needing relief help in the 6th in COR's 6-3 win against Humbolt State's Junior Jacks in game two and Pat Murphy capped the tournament with a no-hit, 5-inning, 10-0 blanking of the Napa Valley Chiefs in the final. At the Golden Valley Conference tournament held in Marysville, C/R swept the round-robin event by defeating all four teams from the GVC Southern Division. They opened by besting a combined-team from the GVC 8-2 as Lassen College was a no-show and then nipped Sierra College 2-1 with Steve Chase tossing a complete game 5-hitter with 11 K's. Pat Murphy followed with a 2-hitter of his own as R/C blasted Napa 12-2. In the final, Bob Box hurled a one-hitter as the Corsairs bombarded Yuba College 11-2 including five home runs as Dave Bonomini, Joe Rogers, Barry Scarpellino, Jerry Crnich, and Dennis Wood all homered. Redwoods ended the preseason with a 13-3-1 record and 10-game winning streak after sweeping Santa Rosa Junior College 1-0 and 8-4. Box, Chase, and McCovey shared the shutout.
COR opened GVC play with a 5-4 loss to the Shasta College Knights before rebounding with Box' 5th win of the year without a loss in a 13-2 victory of the 2nd leg of the doubleheader. After splitting a twin-bill with Butte College, where #3 hitter Barry Scarpellino went 5-9 including a triple and homer, the Corsairs swept Siskiyous College to end the 1st half at 4-2 in league play and 17-5-1 overall. C/R opened the 2nd half with Bob Box shutting out Shasta 3-0 including 11 strikeouts while improving to 7-0 for the season. Box had struck out 44 batters in 37 innings with a minescule 0.75 ERA. C/R clinched the GVC North Division title with a 4-3 win over Siskiyous, ending league competition at 8-3, one game better than the Shasta Knights.
COLLEGE OF THE REDWOODS CORSAIRS
COLLEGE OF THE REDWOODS BASEBALL
CALIFORNIA BASEBALL HISTORY NORTHERN CALIFORNIA BASEBALL
Bob Box improved to 10-0 on the year by opening the GVC's best 2-out-of-3 Championship Series with a 5-0 no-hitter including 11 strikeouts over the 11-1 South Division champion Wolverines of Sierra College. Lefty Mike Ferguson (2-1) clinched COR's 3rd straight CVC crown a day later with a 4-0 shutout of his own while catcher Greg Bosey reached base five times going 3-3 at the plate including a double and two walks. The title sent the Corsairs to Santa Maria, California for their 3rd straight California Community College Div. ll playoff appearance. Bob Box got hammered by Cabrillo College 9-6 in the opener when he gave up nine runs in only four innings of work. In game two, Dennis Wood drove in all four of C/R's runs with a double and homer as Mike Ferguson tossed a 5-hitter without allowing an earned run in C/R's win over Desert Conference champion Imperial Valley. The win set up a rematch with Cabrillo in the semi-finals. Brian McCovey took a 6-3 lead into the 9th before coughing up four runs and handing the ball over to Bob Box. The Corsairs scored twice in the bottom half of the inning giving Box his 11th win of the year and sending C/R to the finals. Greg Bosey and pitcher Barry Scarpellino both homered in the final but it wasn't enough as the Corsairs fell 5-3 to host club Alan Hancock.
COR ended the season at 25-8-1 setting new school record for victories (25), Shutouts (6), and winning percentage (.758) with the latter two still standing today. Bob Box set Corsair high marks for Wins in a Single Season (11), Career Wins (17), Single season Win % (.917), Career Win % (.895), Strikeouts in a Single Season (104), Career Strikeouts (179), Shutouts in a Single Season (3), Career Shutouts (6), Single Season ERA (1.61), and Career ERA (1.76), all withstanding the test of time and still standing today. Note--Craig Alpo logged a 1.48 ERA in 1971 but only pitched 30.1 innings while Mike Ferguson tallied a 1.49 ERA in 42.1 innings in 1972. Box pitched two summers with the semi-pro Humboldt-Eureka Crabs before signing a professional contract with the Atlanta Braves organization. In 1973, he began with the Class A Greenwood Braves of the Western Carolina League where he posted a 6-7 record and fine 2.69 ERA while striking out 104 batters in 144 innings pitched. The following spring, he was promoted to the Savannah Braves of the AA Southern League where he went 11-8 with a 3.72 ERA. Box spent three more seasons with Savannah (1975-'77) going 9-12 (3.28), 8-6 (3.21), and 11-11 (3.94 ERA) respectively. All toll, Box spent five years in the minors, four at the AA level, winning 45 games while losing 44 (.506 win %) with a career 3.40 ERA.
JOE ROGERS, 2B
DAVE BONOMINI, SS
BARRY SCARPELLINO, RF/P
GREG BOSEY, C
JERRY ROSS, 1B
DENNIS WOOD, 3B
ROD CHRISTENSON, CF
DALE BIONDINI, LF
BRIAN McCOVEY, P
STEVE CHASE, P
MIKE FERGUSON, P
JERRY CRNICH, P
1971 8-3 17-10**
1972 8-3 25-8-1**
1976 6-6 11-14-1
1977 4-8 14-15
2012 no team
2013 no team
* indicates Division Title
** indicates Conf. Champ.