story by Steve McCarthy
July 22, 2010
YARMOUTH – Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox starting pitcher Michael Goodnight (Houston) has a fitting surname considering the way his outing turned out Thursday. The 6-foot-5 righthander was one out from a no-hitter when Cotuit Kettleer Michael Yastrzemski (Vanderbilt) lined a base hit off his glove and into center field, but Y-D won the pitcher’s duel 2-0.
“That’s actually the closest I’ve been to a no-hitter, closest I’ve been to a complete game,” Goodnight said. “After about the first three innings, I knew I had good stuff. It was just a matter of if I could keep locating.”
Goodnight struck out a season-high nine while walking two to improve to 3-1.He faced just two batters over the minimum before being replaced following Yastremski’s single. Of his 29 batters, 12 grounded out.
“They were chasing a lot of high fastballs,” Goodnight said. “I just kept throwing it up there and they kept swinging through them.”
Douglas Baxendale (Arkansas) came on to get the final out and pick up his sixth save.
Jordan Ribera’s (Fresno State) fifth inning home run (5) off Cotuit’s Brady Rodgers (2-1, Arizona St.) was one of just four hits for the teams combined and proved to be the game-winner. Y-D scattered three hits in the mix with Rodgers’ 10 strikeouts.
“He had been trying to come in a lot to a lot of the lefties,” Ribera said. “I think he just missed his spot a little bit and I was just fortunate enough to just capitalize on the mistake.”
Y-D (20-12) trails Brewster by four points for the Eastern Division lead, while Cotuit (16-14-2) fell back into a tie for first in the West with Bourne.
Ribera added an insurance run in the eighth inning after a leadoff single. He advanced to third on Matt Watson’s (Boston College) hit and scored on a Matt Jensen (Cal Poly) groundout.
“Matt Watson did a great job on the hit-and-run,” Ribera said. “(Matt) Jensen did a good ‘Team at-bat’ with a ground ball up the middle.”
Rodgers walked just one batter and needed 93 pitches to go the distance. He found the strike zone with 68 of the offerings and struck out nine in the first five innings. The walk was the first Rodgers has allowed in 22 and two-thirds innings this summer.
“He was throwing all of his off-speed for strikes and he was spotting up with his fastball,” Ribera said. “He kept us guessing I felt a little bit.”
Cotuit will travel to Hyannis on Friday before returning to Y-D’s Red Wilson Field on Saturday.