State Championship 2022
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Packers drop Thursday night matchup 7-4 in extras
By: Caleb Logue
Healdsburg struggled to drive in runners and let a game slip out of their hands despite excellent pitching and composure in a close game.
The Kings edged out the Prune Packers in extra innings Thursday night, winning 7-4 courtesy of a 10th inning grand slam from Josh Rego. Apart from the Kings’ coup-de-gras, the night grinded out in a narrow battle of double plays, aggressive baserunning, and timely hits that kept both teams sacrificing their runners to drive in runs.
Dead Ball Hitting
Apart from the deciding blow in the 10th inning, both teams managed their runs by putting balls in play and advancing their runners by any means necessary. Before the 10th inning, the only runs driven in by base hits came in the top of the first on a double from Rego and the bottom of the fifth on a bloop single from Texas Tech junior Brayden Runion.
Healdsburg’s other runs came on fielder’s choices and groundouts, as they couldn’t manage to capitalize with runners on base. The team finished the night leaving 12 runners on base, while only reaching base 13 times.
Runion’s two other RBI’s on the day both came on ground-outs, but the crucial play came in the seventh inning.
After the University of Nevada Reno junior Logan Douglas’ pinch-hit double off the left-field wall, the Packers prepared their rally to take the lead. University of Houston junior Ian McMillan shot a ball down the first baseline off the first baseman’s chest to reach first safely and move Douglas to third, then advanced to second after Long Beach State senior Jesse Lopez was hit by a pitch.
With the bases loaded and one out, Runion hit a tailing line drive on a one-hop to the second baseman, who flipped to second to force out Lopez. Hustling down the line, Runion beat out the throw to first by a quarter-step to avoid the inning-ending double play and drive in Douglas.
A Nine-Inning Staring Contest
Although they blinked in the top of the tenth, the Packers assembled an impressive pitching performance through their first nine innings of work. In those innings, they walked just three batters and four hits, limiting the Kings to three runs.
University of Southern California sophomore Charlie Hurley led the way in his five innings of work as the starter. His attack of the strike zone led to the Kings’ extra-base hits in the first and second innings, but more often than not he got ahead of hitters and forced them to put balls in play. He settled into his groove in the third and fourth innings, cruising his way through the Kings’ lineup the second time through.
Unfortunately for Hurley, West Coast matched his intensity on the mound with a sterling performance of their own. Kings’ starter Cole Chimenti scattered five hits and a walk across his five innings against the Packers, limiting the Packers offense to just two runs by inducing weak contact throughout the lineup.
The winning pitcher Shane Cancilla and Jake Gebb each contributed two innings, allowing just one hit and one run between the two of them.
Despite going into the 10th inning in a 3-3 tie, shortstop Blake Pivaroff (Arizona State Soph.) came in to give the Packers a shot to walk off if he could shut down the bottom of the Kings’ order. But after letting a runner advance to second with one out, the top of the order came up and Pivaroff barely missed a scoreless inning. After getting his second out of the inning on a ground ball to third, he hit two batters in a row to load the bases and set up Rego’s decisive at-bat.
McMillan went 2-5 on the night with a double, a stolen base, and two runs.
UC Berkeley senior Henrik Reinertsen completed two innings of work on the mound with no hits and no runs scored while striking out two.
Healdsburg get their seventh win in a row against the Seals
Rock-solid defense and pitching gave the Prune Packers a comfortable win after a sloppy victory the night before
By: Caleb Logue
Pitching and defense secure the win
The Prune Packers finished their two-game series Saturday night with a comfortable 14-4 win over the visiting San Francisco Seals. Following Friday night’s victory, the Packers improved from nine errors to zero in a game that featured many opportunities for the Seals to grab an advantage. Healdsburg’s pitchers pitched quickly and forced the Seal hitters to hit at bad pitches.
The winning pitcher, Santa Rosa Junior College sophomore Tyler Stasiowski, allowed one run on four hits in just five innings of work. While not dominant, the defensive support he received combined with his approach stunted the Seals’ offense. A relentless pace and sharp off-speed pitches put his defense in positions where they could make plays and support their pitcher.
Following Stasiowski was Harvard sophomore Uday Narottam, who surrendered just two runs during his stint on a two-run shot from Jake Chaisongkram of Otay Ranch High School. Other than that one blemish, he dominated the Seals with his fastball-curveball-changeup combination, resulting in five strikeouts over just two innings.
Rice University sophomore Guy Garibay Jr. made a spectacular running play at the warning track to rob the Seals of extra bases in the top of the fourth. The consistency of the defense gave the Packers a foundation on which they controlled the game every inning.
Packing a punch at the plate
Healdsburg took time to adjust to San Francisco, starting pitcher Dylan Porter (University of New Orleans) and his effective wildness. Without any trustworthy approach to follow, the Packers took one time around the lineup to start their offensive engine.
In the bottom of the third, University of Houston shortstop Ian McMillan started the inning off with a resounding home run on a 3-2 curveball from Porter. The next 10 batters proceeded to annihilate the Seals and put Healdsburg ahead for the rest of the game.
Following the home run, Healdsburg strung together six straight baserunners to tag San Francisco for seven runs. They ended with four hits, two stolen bases, and two walks in all.
The Packers continued their onslaught by adding seven more runs in the fifth and seventh innings on home runs from Arizona State junior Seth Nager and undecided sophomore Blake McDonald.
Senior right fielder Jesse Lopez (Long Beach State) ended his night 2-4 with two RBIs.
Both McMillan and Nager went 2-3 with a home run and two RBIs.
Narottam struck out five batters in his two innings of work, and the home run was the only hit he allowed.
University of Pennsylvania sophomore Edward Sarti bounced back from a rough outing against Lincoln to shut down San Francisco in the top of the ninth, striking out two in a 1-2-3 inning.
Texas Tech junior Braydon Runion played in his first game at third base for the Prune Packers. He hit well at the plate despite recording just one hit, as he had a couple of hard-hit balls that helped to bolster the Packers’ rallies.
Pitcher Owen Hamilton entered in relief for Healdsburg. While he struggled in his first inning of work, giving up two hits and a run on a wild pitch, he struck out two batters and had good composure even with the pressure on.
Prune Packers off to fast, 4-1 start on summer baseball circuit
By: Greg Clementi, Sports Editor SoCoNews Healdsburg
The Healdsburg Prune Packers gave local fans a taste of things to come in the first week of California Collegiate League baseball action, claiming four wins in five outings.
The Pack opened the 2021 campaign with an electrifying, 13-9 victory over the visiting Solano Mudcats, followed by wins over the Lincoln Potters (5-1), Nor Cal U (10-0) and Game Prep Trojans (2-0). Their lone loss came in a 2-0 setback to the Walnut Creek Crawdads on June 10.
“The pitching has been stellar,” veteran GM/manager Joey Gomes said. “They’re a confident group — they attack, are aggressive and don’t give an inch.”
Read the full story at: https://soconews.org/scn_healdsburg/sports/prune-packers-off-to-fast-4-1-start-on-summer-baseball-circuit/article_f8c6e3e8-cd5e-11eb-984d-6b1b0627d60f.html?fbclid=IwAR3aD3RPPeMRa4XwvukvezdAdhJJ-VnrjPCOIQhDhTJIJVMtEqPblq9xI-0#utm_source=soconews.org&utm_campaign=%2Fnewsletters%2Fheadlines-soconews-north-county%2F%3F-dc%3D1623859218&utm_medium=email&utm_content=headline
Prune Packers baseball and Rec Park squeeze fun, good baseball and old friends into the storied stands
By: Kerry Benefield The Press Democrat
Opening day June 8 marked 100 years, off and on, of Prune Packer baseball in the park on the corner of Piper and University streets. And it also marked the first time since 2019 that a Prune Packer game was staged there. Amid increasing pandemic health and safety restrictions, every game on the very abbreviated 2020 schedule was on the road last season. So, Tuesday was a homecoming of sorts.
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Prune Packers Coming to the Plate for Healdsburg Little League Juniors
The Prune Packers summer collegiate baseball team is excited to hear that Healdsburg Little League has been chosen to host both the Little League Junior’s Sectional and Little League Junior’s State Post Season Tournaments at historic Recreation Park. To accommodate these two Little League tournaments, the Prune Packers will be rescheduling some of their 2021 games to earlier times and moving two games to new dates.
Both Recreation Park and the Healdsburg Prune Packers are celebrating their 100th Anniversary so it is a fitting year for Little League to be chosen for two prestigious tournaments. An updated Prune Packer schedule is now available. Time to “Play Ball”!
Like Fine Wine, The CCL's Prune Pakcers Are Getting Better With Time
Pulling up to the ballpark in Healdsburg, Calif. is like stepping into a different place in time — entering another realm where the baseball is as unique in the 98-year-old park it is played in.
“The town itself…it’s like Americana,” said Prune Packers General Manager Joey Gomes.
Set in the rolling hills of California Wine Country, the Healdsburg experience is a special one. Fans are treated to not only top-quality baseball bolstered by a stable of MLB prospects, including 2019 No. 3 overall pick Andrew Vaughn, but also the history and heritage epitomized by the Prune Packers’ Recreation Park.
The Prune Packers may be known as the team with the memorable moniker located in a picturesque town, but their uniqueness has not stopped them from becoming a force in college summer baseball. The Prune Packers were recently ranked as high as No. 6 in the nation by the Collegiate Summer Baseball Register. With their relaxed attitude off the field and unrelenting ambition in the game, the Prune Packers have excelled under Gomes’ tutelage and put Healdsburg on the baseball map.
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