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June 20, 2024

Greyhounds Advance in Division Playoffs

Baseball team scores upset in Redwood League, competes in Division 4 this week

The last game of the regular season for the baseball and softball teams was played in early May, but both teams continued to play into their respective league’s championship series. Both teams finished fourth, good enough for the final two-game series to determine the North Bay League’s Redwood division pennant.

While neither came home with the flag, the two teams also entered what is perhaps a more crucial playoff series, the divisional tournament that determines how they fare against like-sized schools. Those tournaments continue this week and next, with final divisional winners to be crowned May 24.

UPDATE: On Wednesday night, the Greyhounds passed the first hurdle in the Division 4 tournament with a narrow 2-1 defeat of St. Joseph Notre Dame. They next meet Number One ranked St. Mary’s on Saturday this week, May 18.

Upset in Santa Rosa

Baseball coach
COACH Mark Domenichelli guided another Greyhounds baseball team into the divisional playoffs, which begin May 15.

The Greyhounds baseball team found some welcome success in its first playoff game, after ending the season with a five-game league losing streak. However as the No. 4 seed, the team met No. 1 seed Montgomery on May 8—and pulled off an upset.

In dramatic fashion, the Greyhounds broke a 7-inning scoreless game on a two-out error by the Montgomery shortstop that allowed Tyler Swanson to score from second in the top of the eighth inning.

Alex Mauro-Manos, who had kept the frustrated Vikings without a run all day, set them down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning to seal the victory. It was not a perfect outing for the sophomore, who allowed five hits and walked five (three of which were intentional), but it was good enough for the 1-0 win that will put the Greyhounds into the league championship game on Friday, at Rec Park.

The outcome of that May 10 game was less positive. The Panthers of Santa Rosa High, who had dispatched St. Vincent de Paul on Wednesday to make the final, scored four runs in their half of the first inning and never had reason to look back.

Baseball Pitcher
WINDUP Henry Smith is one of several sophomore pitchers who make next year’s Greyhounds already a contender for 2025.

Starting pitcher was junior Eric Nielsen, who was not able to cage the Panthers: He gave up two hits, a walk and three earned runs while notching only one out. He was pulled for sophomore Henry Smith who pitched well for three innings, though he, too, was dinged for a couple of runs in the fourth inning. Austin Colling threw 1.1 innings and Tyler Swanson, usually an infielder, pitched the final frame.

“You know what it is, is high school baseball’s been interesting this year. It comes down to what other team can play catch and not walk people,” said coach Mark Domenichelli after the league playoffs. Healdsburg’s two errors in the final, and a couple of base-running mistakes in the fourth inning, kept them from the winner’s circle.

Division Playoffs

But only four days later the Greyhounds were at it again, playing on May 15 in Alameda against another Division 4 team, St. Joseph Notre Dame (results too late for press time).

“I feel comfortable,” Domenichelli said. “I think the boys are ready. We got Alex [Mauro-Manos] on the mound. I mean, his last start, he went eight innings of shut-out ball against Montgomery.”

That was the game that got Healdsburg into the league playoffs, and the team is hoping that Mauro-Manos magic takes them into the next round of the division playoffs, against No. 1-ranked St. Mary’s on Saturday, May 18.

True to form, Mauro-Manos went the distance and got the win in a 2-1 thriller against St. Joseph on Wednesday night. More details will follow soon.

Domenichelli broke the news that Mauro-Manos was named Pitcher of the Year in the NBL Redwood League, with first-team selections going to Wyatt Dugan and Tyler Swanson, and second team to Xander Harms and Isaiah Robles.

“It’s been a great year. It’s been up and down, a roller coaster,” the coach said. “But I’m really looking forward to Wednesday and seeing how the boys play.”


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