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Goddard defeats Carlsbad and former coach


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The Goddard Rockets improved to 11-5 on the season with their 6-5 comeback win over the Carlsbad Cavemen at the Launch Pad on Tuesday.

The Cavemen (8-6) took the early lead in the first inning. They put two men on base and T.J. Ruiz followed with a single that drove both runners in with a 2-0 lead. The Cavemen added another run and were up 3-0 at the end of the inning.

These two programs enjoy playing one another, it’s a friendly but respectful rivalry. “Sometimes it’s bittersweet for me,” said Carlsbad Coach Alan Edmonson. “I played here, I coached here and I won a state championship here — this is a special place for me,” Edmonson added.

Make no mistakes about it, when Carlsbad comes to Goddard, it’s to win a game and shake hands later, and after trailing by three in the first inning, the Rockets were in no mood for friendly conversation. Instead, they were plotting their comeback.

They sent nine batters to the plate in their half of the first and manufactured two runs, they used an infield hit and a single to left field, a walk, and a hit batsman. By the end of the first, Goddard trailed by one, 3-2.

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More importantly, it lit a fire in the dugout among the team. In the past six games, Goddard had only played once at home since March 26 when they hosted an average Hobbs team and lost to the Eagles, 11-3.

Coming into the game against Carlsbad, the Rockets were 3-3 and were not playing very well at all. “We were kind of in a funk. We needed to find ourselves again and play fundamental baseball. For whatever reason, we got away from that,” said Rockets coach Gilbert Alvarado.

The Rockets really needed this win just to instill some confidence back and getting behind was not a good sign. However, playing good defense has been this team’s calling card all season long.

It was on offense on Tuesday, where they began to jell in the second inning. Goddard used a single, an infield hit and a bloop single to center to score two runs and a 4-3 lead. The Cavemen were not doing themselves any favors either as two miscues led to two more Goddard runs and by the time the inning was over, the Rockets led 6-3.

“We were horrendous out there,” Edmonson said. “We hit four of their guys, walked five batters, gave up two wild pitches. We were very fortunate to have been in this game.”

Goddard left the door open for Carlsbad to rally in their half of the sixth inning. A single, an error, and a hit batsman produced two Carlsbad runs and they were back in business and trailed by one, 6-5.

“This has not been one of our better years,” said Edmonson. “But these kids are fighters — they never believe they are out of a game.”

But if there is one thing the Rockets want to establish this season, it’s killer instinct and as they hung to a 6-5 lead entering their half of the sixth inning, they were about to land the knockout punch.

The Rockets got their first two batters on base, then Mason Sonive stepped to the plate and drilled a triple into the gap in center field, plating two runs. Sonive stopped at third, stared into the Rockets’ dug out and did his version of Philadelphia Phillies’ star Bryce Harper in a moment of celebration. Ball game.

Goddard did add more run, and pitcher Ty Villareal closed out the inning for Goddard’s 9-5 win.

“That’s exactly the execution I wanted to see,” said Alvarado. “We get people on base and bring them home,” he said.

And to do it against Carlsbad is icing on the cake.

“Coach Edmonson always has good teams wherever he goes, and he gets the most out of his kids,” said Alvarado. “It’s one of the reasons we play them. They are very competitive, and this rivalry is a friendly one. It’s not mean-spirited, we respect each other.”

The Rockets have another rivalry game next Tuesday, April 9, against Roswell High at 5 p.m. at the Launch Pad.

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