Justice Brilliant

Workhorse – Senior hurler Justice Brilliant notched his seventh win of the campaign for the Greyhounds on Friday in a 6-4 win over Piner. Photo Joe Rowland

Healdsburg pushes record to 14-4 with two games remaining

The mark of any great baseball team starts with an expectation — a belief — that it will win every time it steps between the lines.   

The Greyhounds, in the midst of one of the best seasons in the program’s history, have just that — a quiet confidence that has produced 14 wins in their first 18 ballgames.

“The thing I’ve noticed as the season has gone along is we’ve built an identity,” Hound’s coach Mark Domenichelli said. “Now when we step on the field, our guys aren’t just hoping to win, they’re expecting to win.”

Hounds edge Prospectors

Healdsburg’s latest success came on Friday in the home finale with Piner at Recreation Park, turning back the Prospectors, 6-4.

The Hounds rode the strong arm of senior ace Justice Brilliant, who went the distance in a 94-pitch gem, yielding six hits and two earned runs while fanning four to earn his seventh win of the campaign. He also helped himself with the bat, ripping two hits while driving in a pair of runs.  

“Brilliant has been awesome for us this season,” Domenichelli noted. “He’s been great both as a starter and as a reliever, and has had hand in all 14 of our wins this year in one way or another.”

The Greyhounds got all the offense they’d need in the third and fourth innings, pushing across three runs in each frame to grab a 6-1 lead. The Prospectors staged a mild comeback with two runs in the sixth and one in the seventh, but Brilliant would close it out with a little help from his battery mate. Piner had men at first and third with two out in the seventh inning when all-league catcher Hunter Irons cut down a runner attempting to steal second base for the final out to lift Healdsburg to a 6-4 win.

In addition to his stellar work behind the plate, Irons led the Hounds’ offense with three hits, including a double and triple, with two runs batted in. Other top hitters included Ayden Herrguth (1 for 3, run, RBI), Sam Vanden Heuvel (1 for 3, 2 runs, RBI) and Conroy Smith (1 for 3, run).     

“I’ve had some really good players over the years but Hunter is the best all-around player I’ve ever coached. “He just has an ability to settle everyone down on the field.”  

Scheduling notes

At press time the Hounds (14-4, 6-3) were preparing for their final week of action, beginning with a May 24 visit to El Molino. Healdsburg will close of the 2021 campaign on Wednesday, May 26 at Santa Rosa. Both games start at 4 p.m.       

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