Baseball fans packed the stands on opening day. (Dick Bugarske)

The Healdsburg Prune Packers were locked in a pitcher’s duel with the San Francisco Seals through 6 innings this past Saturday, June 11,  but in the bottom of the 7th, Braydon Runion (U. of New Mexico) hit a 3-run homer deep over the left field fence and the Packers never looked back. The team scored 2 more runs in the 8th inning and won the game, 5-0.

The Packers received strong pitching from Nathan Hansen (San Diego State U.), with the win going to LJ McDonough (Wichita State U.) With last Sunday’s victory over the Walnut Creek Crawdads, the Prune Packers are 3-1 after the first week of the season.

Coach and general manager of the Packers is Joey Gomes. This is Gomes’ ninth  season coaching the Packers, and over his first eight years, the team has won 254 games while losing 88.

Just prior to the game, the hometown fans were treated to a very special guest to throw out the first pitch. State Sen. Mike McGuire caught the outside corner of the plate to a cheering crowd. Sen. McGuire was joined by his wife, Erika, Fitch Mt. Elementary School principal, and their son, Connor. 

California’s Senate Majority Leader, Sen. McGuire grew up in Healdsburg. His accolades are many, and his accomplishments reach all the way back to the Healdsburg School Board, Healdsburg City Council, County Supervisors and of course at Healdsburg High, where he donned the Greyhound uniform at school rallies to pump up the students and cheer the teams on. 

The Packers play through the end of July at their traditional home ballclub, Recreation Park. It was constructed in 1921 to house the team, and that great local tradition continues today.

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