Home Sports Local Sports Rockets barely escape with a win

Rockets barely escape with a win

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Shawn Naranjo Photo Noah Nunez is tagged out at the plate by Taymon Burrola in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

If the road back to the championship game in Albuquerque is going to be like the opening round of the playoffs if you’re a Goddard fan with health problems, it would be better to have someone tell you about the game after the fact. For six innings, Roswell did not look like the team that was the No. 16 seed.

Goddard showed the heart of a champion and their experience paid off as Matt Shanor scored the game-winning run with two outs to give the Rockets a come from behind, 3-2 win at the Launch Pad on Friday night.

In the top of the seventh inning, Goddard sent up their eighth and ninth hitters, Tyler Hardwick and Logan Mathison. Both of the hitters hit the ball to left centerfield in exactly the same spots, with Mathison scoring Hardwick to make the score 2-1.

After that came Noah Nunez who bunted the ball and Roswell’s Montoya fielded the ball and threw it to third base, and the umpire called the runner safe. Roswell coach Carlos Marrujo came out of the dugout to question the call and to ask for help on the call. The call stood. with runners on first and third, Shanor came up and singled to score Mathison from third base and to tie the game at 2-2.

“From my angle, the ball beat the runner there,” Marrujo said, “and my guy gets the tag down. The umpire made the call, but you can’t really do anything.”

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Roswell intentionally walked Cameron Stevenson to load the bases. Drew Price came up and lifted a fly out to right field, Nunez tagged and was thrown out at the plate. Roswell started celebrating like the inning was over and threw the ball away on the ground and Shanor kept running from second base, scored the winning run, 3-2 with two outs.

“I knew we had our four hole up,” Shanor said. “I knew we had potential in our five, six and seven hitters coming up. The backend of our lineup is really stacked. It was a shallow ball that Drew (Price) hit, he didn’t get all of it. I decided to tag up when he made the catch and I decided to go to third. When they started celebrating and they roll the ball back and that’s when I took off for home. Anyone can beat us if we are not mentally ready to play.”

The Coyotes almost chased Goddard ace Drew Price in the first inning. Rhett Stokes of Roswell opened the game with a single through the first and second base. He moved to second base when Xavier Gonzales and Xavier Lomeli both drew walks. Price struck at a batter and got a Coyote hitter looking.

“I said to coach, ‘Let me find it in one inning,’” Price said. “If I don’t do it you can bring in Ty (Villarreal). “I was up a little bit today, so I started mixing in more curveballs. I have to give it to Roswell, they played a great game. We were a little lackadaisical, but we figured it out.”

With two outs, Roswell’s Noah Byrd singled to left field scoring two runs. Price seemed to be in trouble as he was missing outside and high with his pitches. Pitching coach Henry Villarreal went out to talk to him to settle him down. After that, he ended up getting a hitter to pop up to second base to end the inning.

In the dugout between innings, Goddard head coach Gilbert Alvarado told Ty Villarreal to get ready to warm up. Price, overhearing the conversation, asked Alvarado to give him one more inning to find his stuff and to trust him.

“I told him, ‘OK, son’” Alvarado said. “Show me who you are as a person. And he sure did. We ran him to the full pitch count. (Price threw 120 pitches). We were thinking about taking him out in the second inning. Drew (Price) did a great job and showed a lot of courage and hung five straight zeros. He gave us a chance and kept it close for us.”

Roswell pitcher Carlitos Montoya was in charge all game long baffling hitters and keeping them off stride. Many of the Rocket hitters tried to go deep on him, but he kept extending the strike zone on them making them swing at pitches outside the strike zone.

“He’s a senior and he’s my ride or die,” Marrujo said. “I was going with him until the end.”

Goddard will face Roswell at 11 a.m. today at the Launch Pad.