Hounds blitz Highlanders

Apr. 25—The Greyhounds had a good start and a better finish in a 10-0 2A Greater Spokane League baseball victory against the Highlanders of Spokane on Wednesday at Pullman High School.

Pullman put up three runs in the first inning to build some early separation. It capped off the game with seven scores in the bottom of the fourth to secure the mercy-rule victory against Shadle Park.

"We've struggled a little bit with Wednesday games," Pullman coach Kevin Agnew said. "Just getting out of class and getting prepared and being ready to play from the first pitch. And we did a really good job at getting ready to play today. I thought our intensity was great."

Before the Greyhounds secured the shutout, they had to make sure the Highlanders couldn't take advantage of the few opportunities they had.

Heusser gets the job done

Pullman (11-3, 9-1) was up 3-0 after the first, but the three innings that followed could've easily swung momentum in the other direction.

Shadle Park (8-7, 4-7) had two runners get on base in the top of the first and another pair of stranded players in the top of the fourth. Before the Greyhounds' seven-run fourth, the defense and pitching had to step up and make sure that the shutout remained intact.

And step up they did.

Pullman's starting pitcher Calvin Heusser went the full five innings in his outing. He struck out four batters, let up one hit and walked two. He added two hits at the plate, which co-led the team.

"My fastball was working really well today," Heusser said. "So I was able to use my off-speed (pitch) to go off of that. At the plate I was seeing the ball really well. I could see a changeup, fastball, and I was working all of it."

Heusser's ended up outlasting Shadle Park's starter Mason Allison.

The Highlanders' pitching change came a third of the way through the fourth inning and gave Pullman the opening it needed.

Greyhounds start connecting

Allison was pulled after an RBI double from Cade Hill and an RBI single by Brayden Randall made it 5-0 Greyhounds. With a new pitcher on the mound and two outs to work with, Pullman kept the scores coming.

A sacrifice grounder hit by Caleb Northcroft, a two-run single by Kris Schroeder and a two-RBI single by Brady Coulter comprised the rest of Pullman's runs after the pitching change.

In total, the Greyhounds had five of their nine hits in the fourth inning alone.

In the top of the fifth, Pullman's defense closed the game out with two caught pop flys and threw another runner out at first, which put Shadle Park down in order.

Pullman in the driver's seat in 2A GSL

With two weeks left in the season, the Greyhounds are on top of the 2A GSL standings with six games left on their slate.

The first game is today against nonleague opponent Othello — a makeup game from earlier in the season.

The remaining five games are a road contest against Clarkston and a pair of doubleheaders against East Valley and West Valley at home.

Pullman has a 2 1/2 game lead over West Valley in the league standings. The Eagles handed the Greyhounds their only loss so far this year: an 8-2 result on April 17.

"We just got to continue to come out and enjoy being around each other and play hard," Agnew said. "And continue to bring intensity, work hard and focus on the little things. If we do that, we could be proud of whatever we do."

Shadle Park 000 00— 0 1 4

Pullman 300 7x—10 9 2

Mason Allison, Carsyn Baldwin (4) and Tommy Krotzer; Calvin Heusser and Brayden Randall.

Shadle Park hit — Zack Wetmore.

Pullman hits — Heusser 2, Brady Coulter 2, Cade Hill (2B), Randall, Joey Hecker, Isaac Pagels, Kris Schroeder.

Kowatsch can be contacted at 208-848-2268, or on Twitter @Teren_Kowatsch.