ENID, Okla. — Kingfisher’s Zach Goodwin and his OKC Sandlot Ballard teammates found a little redemption after beating the Shockers Black, 8-2 at NOC Enid’s Failing Field Saturday to clinch the Pool A championship of the Connie Mack Regional Qualifier.
Sandlot Ballard, the defending state champion, was shocked by the Enid Plainsmen 4-3 on Friday, but came back to beat the Catalyst Cardinals, 7-3 and the Shockers Black to advance to a 9 a.m. semifinal against Batter’s Box Navy, the Pool A champion, at NOC Enid. Pool C champion Enid Majors will play the Oklahoma Drillers AAA at 9 a.m. at David Allen Memorial Ballpark. The championship is set for 30 minutes after the semifinal at David Allen. The Majors’ game with MVP Red was stopped in the top of the fifth with the MVP Red leading 3-1. The game will not count.
“It feels good,’’ Goodwin said. “It’s fun to be out here. We showed some character. We definitely should have won that first game, but that’s baseball.’’
Goodwin had one of Sandlot Ballard’s five hits in the Enid loss. He was 1-for-3 with a walk. His teammates had been frustrated by the off-speed stuff of Enid’s Corbett Rodgers and Jake McCool.
“We’re not used to seeing that,’’ Goodwin. “We’re used to the upper 80s ... I don’t know ...’’
Sandlot Ballard coach Keach Ballard did know what went wrong.
“We had something to prove after that loss,’’ he said. “We weren’t ready. We were flat. We had to get back on track. It was great, but that’s what we expect at Sandlot Ballard. We expect to win.’’
Goodwin was 1-for-3 with a walk and scored two runs against the Cardinals and was 1-for-3 and was hit by a pitch against the Shockers Red.
Brenton Beck, who has signed with Eastern Oklahoma College, had a no-hitter for six innings before being taken out.
“We showed some good offense and defense,’’ Goodwin said.
Goodwin, the third baseman, showed a rifle arm in throwing out Colby Flood in the fifth and Dallas Cox in the sixth on slow grounders.
“Typically in the infield, I like to let it go,’’ Goodwin said.
Goodwin didn’t feel any pressure with Beck going for the no-hitter in his first mound start for the Sandlot Ballard.
“I didn’t even know he had one going,’’ he said with a smile.
That fits Goodwin’s personality.
“Summer baseball is pretty much more laid back,’’ Goodwin said. “It’s a lot more fun.’’
“Zach is a high-character and smart player,’’ Ballard said. “He keeps it light, but at the same time, he can get it in gear when we go out on the field.’’
Ballard said he took Beck out because he wanted to keep him on a pitch count.
Goodwin led the Yellowjackets to their first state tournament since 2009 when he hit .407 with 13 doubles, one triple and four homers with 26 RBI. He was named to the Middle West All-State team. He walked 30 times in 160 plate appearances and had an on-base percentage of .535 and a slugging percentage of .635. Goodwin was 0-for-3 in the recent All-State game at David Allen.
Kingfisher went 33-8, losing to Blanchard, 7-4 in the state semifinals.
“Making All-State was a lot of fun,’’ Goodwin said. “It’s really good to know that we were one of the best Kingfisher teams in history.’’
Goodwin hit .277 with 8 doubles, three triples, two homers and 19 RBI as a junior and .377 with 15 doubles, two triples and 18 RBI as a sophomore.
Goodwin was contacted last summer to play for the Sandlot Ballard.
“He was one of the young ones then,’’ Ballard said. “It was awesome to see him grow up and play the game. He had shown us the caliber of baseball we wanted, and more importantly, his character.’’
“It felt good to win a state championship,’’ Goodwin said. “My goal is for us to go back and win another Connie Mack state tournament.’’
Goodwin and his teammates play in Connie Mack tournaments throughout the state as a traveling team.
“We just play,’’ he said. “I enjoy that. You still get the summer off.’’
He said there’s no pressure to repeat.
“As long as we can play like I know we can play, we’ll be fine,’’ Goodwin said.
Goodwin has “had some hiccups and a little adversity this summer,’’ Ballard said, “but he’s turning it back on.’’
Goodwin said he doesn’t pay attention to individual stats, especially in the summer.
“I feel like I’m doing pretty good,’’ he said. “I don’t have any individual goals. I’m just trying to have fun. I haven’t had any big memorable moments yet.’’
He hasn’t had fun with the wood bats used in Connie Mack tournaments.
“I’m not a really big fan of them,’’ Goodwin said. “You just have more pop with the metal. You have to adjust mentally a little bit. If you get jammed with the wood, it’s not going to go as far as they do with the metal.’’
He said the wood bats put defense at a premium.
Goodwin is headed to play at Southeastern Oklahoma where he was recruited by Ballard. Ballard has since moved to Oklahoma Baptist University.
While Ballard won’t be there, Zach Crabtree, who led Murray State to a national championship in 2013, will be the Savage Storm head coach.
“I really liked the coaches there,’’ he said. “That’s the main reason why I’m going there.’’
Goodwin’s goal is to hit .450 for the Savage Storm.
Goodwin chose SEOSU over McPherson (Kan.) College.
Kingfisher enjoyed almost unprecedented success in Goodwin’s senior year. Goodwin and his football teammates reached the Class 3A state semifinals. The Yellowjackets won the 4A state basketball title.
Is there something in the water there?
“I don’t know,’’ Goodwin said with a smile. “That’s a great question.’’
If Sandlot Ballard and the Enid Majors both win, Goodwin will be going head-to-head with Kingfisher teammate and fellow All-Stater Logan Rutledge for the championship.
He smiled when asked if he and Rutledge, the Majors catcher, were going to have some trash talking.
“I don’t know,’’ Goodwin said. “That’s a great question.’’
The Drillers secured the wild card berth by shutting out the Dallas Mustangs 17s on a two-hitter by University of Oklahoma recruit Carson Atwood, who struck out nine and allowed only one runner to third.
The Drillers won a tiebreaker over pool runners-up Sandlot Painter and the Catalyst Cardinals for the fewest runners allowed — Drillers nine, Sandlot Painter 12 and Cardinals 16.
Batter’s Box Navy scored twice in the bottom of the sixth to beat Shockers Red, 5-3 to clinch the A pool.