‘Diamond Dogs’ fall to Kelseyville in NCS quarterfinals

The varsity baseball Greyhounds saw an outstanding spring campaign come to an abrupt end on May 27, falling to Kelseyville, 9-5 in the quarterfinals of the North Coast Section Division-4 playoffs.

Seeded fourth, the Hounds stamped their tickets to the quarterfinals by virtue of a 5-2 win over number 12 Salesian College Preparatory in the NCS opener on May 24, but the third season meeting with fifth seeded Kelseyville proved their undoing on Friday. Healdsburg finished a resurgent 2016 season with an even record of 13-13.

The Hounds finished the league season last month playing some of their best baseball of the season, and carried it into the NCS opener against the Salesian Pride in their home playoff digs on Cook Sypher Field at Santa Rosa Junior College.

Healdsburg sent starting pitcher Bryant Herrguth to the hill, and the senior veteran responded with one of his best efforts of the season. The Hounds broke a scoreless tie with two runs in the third inning, and added another pair in the fifth en route to a 5-2 win.

Herrguth (5 IP, 3 hits, 2 ERs, 4 Ks) earned the win, while junior reliever Evan McPherson (2 IP, 1 hit, 0 runs, K) notched the save. Swinging hot bats for the Hounds were Zac Vallery (2 for 2, run, RBI), Cody Koch (2 for 2, run) and Herrguth (2 for 4, 2 runs).

Healdsburg had the distinction of being the only team to beat Kelseyville (19-2) this season when they hosted the Knights in Friday’s NCS quarterfinals.

The third meeting at SRJC started well enough for the Hounds, as starting southpaw Evan McPherson put up zeroes for the first three innings. Healdsburg drew first blood in the opening frame when Levi Yeley singled, took second on a fielding error, and scampered home after stealing third on a throwing error.

Trailing 1-0, Kelseyville exploded for five runs in the fateful fourth, and tacked on another three in the fifth to grab an 8-1 lead. The Greyhounds clawed back in the bottom of the fifth with RBI knocks from Yeley and Herrguth to plate four runs, but it was as close as they’d get in an eventual 9-5 Kelseyville win.

McPherson (4.1 IP, 8 hits, 5 ERs, 2 Ks) took the loss, while senior Cody Newman (2.2 IP, 1 hit, 0 ERs, 2 Ks) closed it out with a strong relief appearance. Hitting safely for the Hounds were Yeley (2 for 4, run, 2 RBIs), Jared Marshall (1 for 2), Koch (1 for 3, run), Herrguth (1 for 3, run, RBI) and Jacob Pruitt (1 for 3, run).

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