Home Sports Local Sports Goddard overcomes a slow start to win

Goddard overcomes a slow start to win

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Goddard pitcher Drew Price made quick work of Cibola on 79 pitches surrendering just one hit while striking out nine Saturday. (Shawn Naranjo Photo)

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Maybe, Goddard’s boy’s baseball team was overconfident. Who could blame them, they were only playing Cibola. Maybe, the Rockets were looking ahead to a bigger game on their schedule than the game they played Saturday.

Tuesday’s game is only for fun, but both teams want to win. When Goddard’s bus pulls arrives  Carlsbad High School after the niceties are over with, look for both teams to compete at the highest level if for no other reason but pride. Pride in trying to beat former Rocket coach Alan Edmonson. Edmonson finally captured the Blue Trophy in his fourth consecutive try last season.

“For us, I love coach Ed, (Edmonson) Goddard coach Gilbert Alvarado said. “I honestly think it will be more fun than anything else.”

On Saturday, for the first two innings, Cougars’ pitcher Keith Reinhardt was mixing and matching his pitches enough to have the Rocket hitters fooled and off balance. It seemed like he wasn’t that good, and that Goddard was close to hitting him, but for some reason, he was able to get them out. That coupled with two errors in the first inning allowed them to score two unearned runs off ace Drew Price.

“For us that first inning we gave away two runs,” Alvarado said. “One of the errors is my fault. Tanner (Conrad) got his fingernail ripped off on his right hand right before the game, we’re catching ground balls. We thought he could but couldn’t so that one is on me; new guys, new positions that’s what we’re here for. We’re here to learn. We lost our first two innings of the year. I like the fact we had to come from behind for the first time.”

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No worries as heady Matt Shanor ran around Cibola’s shortstop to avoid being thrown out at second base. Shanor got a poor jump on Reinhardt, as Cibola’s catcher threw the ball to the shortstop who had the ball waiting for him Shanor. Instead of sliding and being called out, Shanor ran around the shortstop and slid safely into second base. This play kept the inning going.

“That baserunning move by Matt (Shanor) saved our inning,” Alvarado said. “He (Shanor) got kind of a late jump, but the senior is smart enough to run around the tag. It’s one of those things where you get younger kids to run into tags and bases, but he was smart enough to run around it. That play keeps the inning going for us. When you have seniors who know how to play the game you can put a lot more on them.”

Next up was catcher Logan Mathison went 3-of-4 with four RBIs on the day. Mathison got the first of his three hits as he laced a line drive down the right-field line for a ground rule double as Shanor scored. Cameron Steveson got a base knock to left field scoring Mathison to tie the game. The hits kept coming as Ty Villareal knocked in Stevenson with a base hit to left field opening the floodgates in runs. Goddard scored three runs in the third inning en route to a 10-2 win at the Launch Pad to win the Southwest Baseball Classic.

“I was trying to get keep putting the ball in play,” Mathison said. “I wanted to hit it on the barrel. Today, was see the ball, hit the ball.”

Goddard didn’t panic and just kept playing baseball as they scored three runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings, and one in the sixth. One thing that has to concern them is they committed two errors in the first inning, one error in the fifth and one in the sixth inning. Many players and coaches want to be tested before they get into district play.

“That’s why we labeled him our No. 1,” Alvarado said. “Drew (Price) was throwing really well. We cut him off the last inning because we wanted to keep at a certain number of pitches. I think the most telling fact for him today is he didn’t walk anybody. When you have a high school pitcher who doesn’t walk anyone you have a good chance to win.”

On the mound, Goddard ace Drew Price was in command all game. Price was riding his fastball most of the game and mixed in his split-finger pitch on occasion. Price threw 79 pitches, surrender no-earned runs while striking out nine hitters and giving up one hit.

“I just thought to trust my team and the process,” Goddard’s pitcher Drew Price said. “I was throwing my fastball and splitter. I tried to burn them with my fastball when I couldn’t do that I’d burn them with my splitter.