Home Sports Local Sports Goddard suffers loss in season opener at Launch Pad

Goddard suffers loss in season opener at Launch Pad

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Goddard’s Dustin Hardwick (17) watches after he throws a pitch in Goddard’s season opener against Mayfield Friday. (Shawn Naranjo Photo)

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New uniforms, bad weather and men left on base spelled disaster for the Goddard Rockets. With senior Eli Fairbanks on the mound, the lefty fought for four innings, giving up two runs. Noah Nunez hit a ball to right field that the Mayfield outfielder misplayed and dropped it.

Goddard’s Caleb Seely scored on the hit and had a chance to tie the game as the relay man caught the ball at the same time Spencer Robins had touched third base and was held up by Goddard coach Gilbert Alvarado. Goddard left two runners on base in the bottom of the fifth inning, as it would prove to be the difference in the game. Goddard would lose, 2-1, to Mayfield on a cold and windy day at the Launch Pad Friday.

“I was really happy with the way my team competed,” Alvarado said. “We played a really solid day today on defense. We had two really good performances out of Eli (Fairbanks) and Dustin (Hardwick). Coming out as a sophomore his first time, he (Hardwick) pitched three scoreless innings. What more can you ask for?”

Fairbanks didn’t have his best stuff but he was able to pitch out of jams. He didn’t get the calls on the corners and was forced to throw the ball down the middle of the plate. What Alvarado is happy about is Fairbanks gave the Rockets a chance to win the game in his first outing of the season.

“I was really pleased with the way we played today,” Alvarado said. “We just came out on a 2-1 game and that was as good a guy we faced up the mound.”

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Goddard’s Hardwick pitched three scoreless innings in relief of Fairbanks. Hardwick’s pitches had movement on them and tailed away from the hitters. He managed two strikeouts in three innings of relief.

After the game, Alvarado could be heard telling his team in the dugout to keep their heads up. He liked how his team competed and that they have another chance on Saturday to play two more games. One of the main things Alvarado is concerned about is not so much wins and losses in the first few games of the season, but if his players are swinging at good pitches and seeing the ball well. He also wants to make sure they’re playing good fundamental defense.

“Other than those last at-bats,” Alvarado said, “we only had two strikeouts. When we’re first starting off as hitters, we tell the kids, we don’t want to worry about base hits. We want them to think about, are they swinging at strikes and are they making good contact on the barrel. If we can do that enough times then the rest of it will work itself out when it comes to base hits.”

Goddard will play a doubleheader today at noon against Las Cruces at the Launch Pad.

Sports editor J.T. Keith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 304, or sports@rdrnews.com.

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