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Tyler Hardwick gets ready for Connie Mack

Goddard’s Tyler Hardwick throws a pitch at home earlier in the season. Hardwick is competing in the Connie Mack World Series on Friday. (Submitted Photo)

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Editors note: This will be the third of a four-part series about Cameron Stevenson, Ty Jordan, Tyler Hardwick and Drew Price as they begin their quest to win the Connie Mack World Series. We will look at the teams they are on and their summer and their past baseball as well as the future.

Goddard’s Tyler Hardwick seems to have it all. This summer is a summer of no pressure for him, except to do what he loves and that’s playing baseball and getting ready for college. He graduated from Goddard with a 4.0 GPA and will attend the prestigious New Mexico Military Institute to play baseball for coach Chris Cook.

Hardwick wants to be an engineer once he is done playing baseball. He chose NMMI because of the excellent math program they have and where a NMMI education can take him in the future.

“Tyler’s a kid we have known about close to a year,” NMMI coach Chris Cook said at his signing day on Nov. 16, 2017. “What I like is that he has played on a good high school team against good competition, and he’s received good coaching with coach Edmonson and Henry Villareal and Kevin Whalen.”

If he wasn’t the No. 1 pitcher on Goddard, then he was 1A, because first-year Goddard coach Gilbert Alvarado didn’t hesitate to hand him the ball to start the championship game against Farmington.

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Hardwick pitched a gritty game and battled on a day when he didn’t have his best stuff.

Going six innings while giving up seven hits as the Scorpions scored five runs — the five runs were not indicative of the performance he gave. In the score sheet, he gave up one earned run. If not for some errors and dropped balls because of the sun, Goddard could have won the game after tying it up at 2-2 in the top of the fifth inning.

After the game, all Goddard coach Alvarado could say was, “God Bless Tyler Hardwick — he put us in a position to win.”

Hardwick along with Logan Mathison and Cameron Stevenson played in the North-South All-Star game on June 7-9. This week he joins teammate Drew Price on the team of 4-Corners Club Sox as he represents the Mountain West/Canada Region while trying to win the Connie Mack World Series.

Hardwick was contacted by Club Sox manager Mike McGaha and asked if he wanted to play baseball for the team in the Connie Mack World Series. Hardwick traveled with the team to Wyoming, where they went 7-1 in that tournament and finished the season going 38-6.

“It is going to be an unbelievable experience to play in the Connie Mack World Series,” Hardwick said. “Not many people can say they played in the Connie Mack World Series.”

Hardwick pitched well this summer and will work on locating his off-speed pitches and the mechanics. He throws a fastball, curveball and changeup. Hardwick has been clocked at 85-87 mph during the season and feels like he may have gotten faster. After playing in the series, he will take some time off.

Hardwick believes that the competition level between high school and in the summer is racking up exponentially because everyone wants to win.

“The difference is in high school,” Hardwick said. “We’ll go play Lovington and it’s just a baseball game — here in the summer we’re playing the best of the best. To compare it, it’s just like the state tournament with the level of intensity — like Farmington against Goddard type of intensity, every game.”

Hardwick thinks this type of constant intensity will help prepare him for playing at NMMI, as fall ball approaches.

“We’ve played a lot of baseball this summer,” Hardwick said. “I’m glad I kept playing though, I love playing baseball.

Cook felt that Hardwick was one of the best-kept secrets as far as pitching prospects in the state of New Mexico. Cook also felt like with Hardwick playing so much summer ball, it has helped his growth and maturity on the mound.

“I look for him to come in and compete as a freshman for a starter’s role,” Cook said. “He’s got the good stuff.”

One of the things former Goddard coach Alan Edmonson liked about Hardwick was that on the mound no matter how big the game was, he didn’t feel any pressure.

Hardwick will try to win the Connie Mack World Series when his team plays on Aug. 3 TBA.

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