CEDAR RAPIDS — Western Dubuque’s Sam Goodman doesn’t back down from a challenge.
The Iowa recruit knew he faced one when he took the mound against Cedar Rapids Prairie’s Harrison Cook, a pro prospect who has signed with Kentucky.
“He is a great pitcher,” Goodman said of Cook. “It just adds a little incentive. You want to go out and pitch hard. I know he is going to do the same. It’s fun to go out and compete against someone like that.”
Goodman came out on top of the duel, throwing a complete-game shutout in the opener of the Mississippi Valley Conference doubleheader sweep Friday night at Prairie. The Class 4A second-ranked Bobcats stifled the Hawks in both, winning 9-0 and 4-0.
“I think our whole team handled the challenge really well,” Goodman said. “I think it was a team effort that helped us and that is what made it a great game.”
Goodman scattered six hits and improved to 2-0, allowing just one run in 12 1/3 innings pitched.
Goodman wasn’t threatened early, picking off the lone base runners to reach in the third and fourth. The fifth was another matter.
The Hawks loaded the bases on two base hits and a fielder’s choice and the heart of the order up. Goodman struck out Logan Burg, Cook and produced a groundout from Hunter Whinery.
“Every time he needed to dip in the well and get a little extra to get out of a jam he does it,” Bobcats Coach Casey Bryant said. “He just competes like crazy. He finds a way to get that big strikeout when he needs it.”
The Bobcats owned a 5-0 lead at the time and he credited his teammates for staying relaxed in the jam.
“Our offense produced so many runs that I’m pitching with the lead,” Goodman said. “I didn’t have to go out and make the perfect pitch every count. I just wanted to go out and compete and give my defense a chance to make plays.”
The Bobcats (5-1) built a lead with a run in the first and three in the second and touched Cook for five runs and five hits in five innings. Western Dubuque added two in each of the final two innings off Whinery.
“We just came up with some key hits when we needed them,” Bryant said. “I’m proud of the way our guys battled.”
Western Dubuque’s Casey Perrenoud tossed the shutout in the nightcap, allowing five hits. Goodman scored twice and had an RBI single. Calvin Harris and Zach Bierman added RBIs for the Bobcats.
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