Home Sports Local Sports Goddard sweeps Roswell in the district opener

Goddard sweeps Roswell in the district opener

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Goddard’s Tyler Hardwick hits a 3 RBI walk off double to end the first game against Roswell Tuesday at the Launchpad. (Shawn Naranjo Photo)

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Off to one of their best starts in the history of the school, and coming off a 4-3 loss on the road to Farmington, the Goddard baseball team had a lot of time to work on their game with a week off from spring break.

Goddard High School pitcher Matt Shanor throws the ball during the first game of two against the Roswell Coyotes. (Shawn Naranjo Photo)

Goddard coach Gilbert Alvarado had the team face game situations, and play intrasquad games against each other to stay sharp for their district opener against the ever-improving Roswell Coyotes.

Goddard had to fight to hold off Roswell’s young team after starting pitcher Matt Shanor didn’t have his best stuff. Alvarado used a combination of relief pitchers Cameron Stevenson and Drew Price as they exploded for seven runs in the sixth inning to win the first game of the doubleheader 13-2.

“I was struggling to find my location tonight,” Shanor said. “It was just one of those days.”

Shanor battled for 2 1/3 innings, giving up one run as he left the game with the score tied 1-1.

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In the second inning with two outs, Shanor gave up a triple to left-center field to Tarren Burrola as the ball hit the base of the left-field wall. Burrola made it to third base standing up. Coyotes’ Brady Villegas drew a walk. With runners on first and third, Taymon Burrola stepped up to the plate batting left-handed and hit a two-strike pitch over second base. Roswell coach Carlos Marrujo sent Villegas on a steal from first base. As Goddard’s Stevenson was attempting to take the throw from the catcher, Taymon Burrola hit the ball where Stevenson had just voided scoring his brother Tarren from third. After that, Shanor was able to strike out the side and get out of the inning.

“It happens,” Alvarado said, “I tell our boys that one out of every three times they pitch, they’re going to have a day they feel off. That’s when they have to try to compete and keep us close, and he did.”

Alvarado called in shortstop Cameron Stevenson. Stevenson was making his first relief pitching appearance in over a year against the same Coyote team.

Stevenson had good speed on his pitches and his curveball was working. The Coyotes hit the ball off of him, but it was usually at a Rocket.

Goddard scored three runs in the third inning when Shanor hit a shallow fly ball to right field and it dropped in. Stevenson doubled and scored Shanor from first base — he ended up on third base with the overthrow. Drew Price drew a walk and Ty Villarreal doubled, scoring both runners on base to give the Rockets a 4-1 lead.

The fourth inning was the most damaging for the Rockets as Stevenson hit a bomb to left center field off a tired Coyote pitcher to give them a 5-1 lead.

“On my first at-bat, I was kind of tight,” Stevenson said. “I was trying to do too much. But on the homer, I went up there with a relaxed mentality. I tried to hit something the other way. He (pitcher) had me down 0-2, I was trying to battle and not let anything get by me, he threw me a hanging curveball at the wrong place at the wrong time and I took advantage of it.”

The next batter flew out bringing up Villarreal, who took a 1-1 pitch and hit it to the exact same spot Stevenson did in left-center field to make the score 6-1.

“It was a 2-0 count,” Villarreal said. “It was a fastball and I hit it well.”

Roswell never quit trying as Carlitos Montoya was hit by a pitch. Xavier Lomeli, who is perhaps the hottest hitter on the team, laced a two-out single past third base putting runners on first and second base. Freshman Raul Guzman came to the plate with two out and connected on a pitch that went over the second baseman’s head, scoring Montoya from second to give Roswell hope and bring the score to 6-2 Goddard. The next batter grounded out to first base stranding two runners, which was the last of their scoring threats.

“It goes back to the one inning that hurts us,” Roswell coach Marrujo said. “We know it’s district and we came out and played. I told our team everybody starts out 0-0; it’s a whole new ballgame — we just came out and played baseball. The outcome doesn’t show how hard we competed and that’s all I ask (that) my team gave us a chance. Until the sixth inning, it was 6-2. That big inning, it’s been the story all season.”

In the sixth inning, Goddard batted around, scoring seven runs to mercy rule Roswell, 13-2.

In the second game, it was more of the same as Goddard had a 7-0 lead after the fourth inning. In the fifth inning, Noah Nunez walked along with Shanor. With two on in the fifth inning, Stevenson hit a bomb to end the game, 10-0. Stevenson had two home runs in two games.

“We started off a little slow and looked a little rusty,” Alvarado said. “Over break, we scrimmaged each other, but it is kind of hard to replicate game day. We lost two innings total, which is not good. Once we got the stick rolling, we started doing a lot better. The defense was solid, and our pitching has given us a chance to win in every game.”

Goddard’s (12-2, 2-0) next biggest challenge will be when they face Artesia at 5 p.m. on Friday.

Roswell (3-13, 0-2) will play Lovington at 4:30 p.m. on Friday at Joe Bauman Stadium.