Home Sports Local Sports Goddard splits with Artesia

Goddard splits with Artesia

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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Goddard baseball had all kinds of good stuff working in the first game of a twin-bill. They had their ace Drew Price on the hill and he was throwing seeds up there against the Artesia Bulldogs. Hill threw a four-hitter and was sharp as the Rockets took off at the plate, scoring 12 runs to mercy rule the Bulldogs 12-0 at the Launch Pad Tuesday night. The victory ensures that if they sweep Lovington on Friday, they will win the regular season crown.

“That was probably (the best) he (Price) has looked composure-wise,” Goddard coach Gilbert Alvarado said. “Even when we made an error with two outs in back-to-back innings, he didn’t let it faze him. He still went out there and threw zeros. When we played them last time, we didn’t help them out with defense, but this time he stayed solid, he stayed in the zone and pounded the zone, and made those guys (Artesia) hit the ball. I was pleased with the way he threw the ball today.”

In the first inning, Cameron Stevenson drilled a double off the wall scoring two runs as the Rockets jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning. Goddard was aided in the game by eight fielding errors by Artesia. Goddard had faced the Bulldogs JR Bustamante three times before and ended up going to town on him. Bustamante did not have his best stuff and his pitches were flat and over the plate, as it looked like the Rockets were having batting practice against him. Bustamante lasted 2 1/3 innings, giving up nine earned runs before Artesia coach JJ Ortiz brought in another pitcher.

“We came out swinging really well,” Alvarado said. “It is the third time we have seen Bustamante this season. Today was the most solid we have looked at our approaches against him. They helped us out with some errors here and there to keep the snowball rolling. I like to see when our team doesn’t turn the gas off or put it in neutral.”

While the early game was warm and sunny, the nightcap saw Artesia turn like the weather: nasty. Between games, the Bulldogs adjusted their attitudes and came out swinging, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning as Rocket pitcher Tyler Hardwick didn’t have his best stuff.

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In the bottom of the first inning, Goddard managed to score two runs and one in the second inning to trail, 4-3 after two innings.

It seemed like Goddard relaxed in the second game after beating Artesia so decisively in the first game. Goddard gave up one run in the fifth innings to trail 5-3. Bulldogs’ coach Ortiz brought in Jacob Orona for three innings and then went to closer Aaron Natera, who was so hittable until he wasn’t to close out the Rockets the last two innings as they hung on to win 5-3.

Goddard (18-4, 8-2) needs to sweep Lovington on Friday in the final two games of the regular season to win the regular season district title.

“We’ve put ourselves with a chance to win district,” Alvarado said. “In no way shape or form can we take Lovington lightly. They are a team that doesn’t go away — it’s hard to keep them down. If we take them lightly or let anybody into a game and start to have to work from behind, that can change the whole complexion of it. If we do what we’re supposed to and focus on each inning, then we should have a district title here.”

Look for Goddard to send Matt Shanor to the mound to get one of the wins on Friday.

Artesia (14-10, 7-3) needs a little help the rest of the way to win the title.

Goddard plays home at 4:30 p.m. against Lovington on Friday.

Roswell 4, Lovington 3

In the first game of a doubleheader, Roswell defeated Lovington, 4-3. In the second game of the doubleheader, Roswell lost to Lovington 15-6.

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