| August 7, 2022
(SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA) – The Healdsburg Prune Packers and Conejo Oaks faced off in the 2022 CCL State Championship presented by the Firestone Walker Brewing Company on Saturday night. The Packers jumped out to an early lead, and defeated the Oaks 14-1 to defend their 2021 title.
After Sam Stoutenborough (TCU) struck out with two to start the game, Healdsburg jumped out to an early lead. Jake Holcroft (Portland) led off the inning with a double. Zac Vooletich (Texas Tech) shot a single out to bring him home.
Joey Kramer (CSUN) then picked up a double of his own, bringing Vooletich around to score. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Samuel Brown (Washington St.) drove him in with a single.
“I was just trying to stay calm and within myself,” Kramer stated. “Just really trying to put a good swing on the ball, happened to hit a double.”
Healdsburg had their biggest inning of the game in the second, scoring five runs all with two outs. Holcroft got the line moving by drawing a walk. Vooletich picked up a single, and an error by the left fielder put the two on second and third.
Joey Kramer picked up his second and third RBI of the game as he sent a double deep into the gap. Braydon Runion (Univ. Of New Mexico) followed Kramer up with a double of his own, bringing Kramer around to score.
“It’s really just mentality,” Runion said. “Nobody is better than you, nobody is guarding you. Best moves only in the box.”
Blake Burke (Tennessee) picked up a single, bringing Runion in for the fourth run of the inning. After Samuel Brown and Jared Sundstrom (UCSB) loaded the bases with a single and walk respectively. The final run of the inning came as Kimble Schuessler (Texas) drew a bases loaded walk to bring Blake Burke across the plate.
Sam Stoutenborough came out for another inning of work in the third, and struck out his fifth batter thus far.
Healdsburg became the owner of their sixth run in the fourth inning. Runion got the Packers going with a leadoff walk. After two outs, Sundstrom picked up an RBI single to extend the lead.
The Packers struck again in the fifth. Jake Holcroft started the inning with a one-out single. With two outs, Braydon Runion then shot a double in the gap and scored Holcroft to push the lead to 10 runs.
The Oaks picked up some momentum in the sixth when Tyler Ganus (Oregon) singled before an error by the shortstop allowed him to advance to second. Ganus then reached third on a fielder’s choice and capitalized on another miscue by the shortstop to cross the dish and score Conejo’s lone run of the night.
Stoutenborough ended his start with two outs in the sixth inning after striking out eight batters and not allowing an earned run.
“Kimble and I were pretty much on the same page all game,” the right-hander said about his success. “It helps him having caught me most of the summer, we were on the same page all night.”
The Packers responded in the bottom of the sixth with four runs of their own. Samuel Brown led off the inning with a walk. Jared Sundstrom kept the line moving with a single, and Sam Hunt (Texas Tech) pinch hit and loaded the bases with a walk.
With the bases loaded, Vooletich hit a clutch double, clearing the bases. Vooletich then scored as well, as Joey Kramer picked up yet another RBI for Healdsburg’s final run of the game.
Oaks’ closer Jaxon Jordan (Moorpark College) entered the game in the seventh and put together a solid performance on the mound. The right-hander from Simi Valley, Calif. retired four batters via the strikeout while only relinquishing two hits and two walks in 2.0 innings of work.
Healdsburg closed out the game with a staff effort in the final free frames. Mason Dillow (Long Beach State), Morgan White (Nevada-Reno), and Christian Becerra (UC Berkeley) finished the game for the Packers, striking out a combined seven batters and only allowing one hit.
The Packers Head Coach Joey Gomes said that this group was remarkable in terms of “the work put in.”
Gomes continued, saying that this team never let up. “They never came off the gas pedal,” Gomes said. “We talk about emptying the tank … and they did that. They responded to challenges all summer.”
The game ended in the Prune Packers taking home back-to-back State Championships.
Most Outstanding Player of the Game: Joey Kramer (CSUN)
Most Outstanding Pitcher of the Game: Sam Stoutenborough (TCU)
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