GARDNER — Gardner-South Wilmington baseball coach Todd Grieff knows how the Panthers’ bread is buttered these days. Heading into postseason action, it is only logical then that senior pitcher Mike Goodwin would be toeing the bump for the locals.
“He’s been tough all year,” Grieff said. “He’s a leader on this team and he’s won every big game that we’ve won this season.”
Goodwin recorded the pitching victory on Thursday against Seton Academy and just may get the call again on Saturday in the regional championship on just two days rest.
After completing the win over the Sting at home on Thursday and with a bag of ice on his pitching arm, Goodwin agreed to be the subject of this week’s question and answer session.
Here’s how it went.
Q. When did you start playing baseball?
A. When I was six.
Q. Where did you first learn to play ball?
A. Over in South Wilmington.
Q. Was it T-ball, coach-pitch or pitcher’s pitch back then?
A. It was pitcher’s pitch.
Q. Have you always been a pitcher?
Q. How is it that you got your start as a pitcher?
A. I’d always wanted to be a pitcher. I started at the right time when kids could throw and I’ve been doing it ever since.
Q. Have you always been dominant as a pitcher?
A. Some years I’ve been down but at those times the team has been right there for me.
Q. Coach Grieff was a pitcher in college. How much has he helped your development on the mound?
A. A lot. He’s helped with my mechanics. I’m throwing harder this year. He’s also helped me to stay focused. He’s passed on a lot of things to me.
Q. What were the expectations on this team coming into the season?
A. There were a lot of expectations. We thought we were going to do a lot better than we have. Things just haven’t gone our way. But we showed (Thursday) what we can do.
Q. You are playing Grant Park in the championship game on Saturday. You beat them (8-4) the first time but lost to them (5-2) the second time. What was the biggest difference between the two games?
A. The first game was at the beginning of the year and all of my pitches were working great. The second time I faced them, I was coming off a week where I had thrown 300 pitches heading into the game. I had pitched three games that week and my arm was a little tired.
Q. Do you like being known as a work-horse?
A. Yeah, it makes me feel good to get the wins when we need them. I like to pitch. I like the work.
Q. Grant Park will win if?
A. They get great pitching and great defense and if they end up hitting the ball where we aren’t.
Q. This story will come out on Saturday. Complete the following questions for our readers. GSW will win on Saturday if?
A. If we stay focused and are strong in the field. If we hit the ball and don’t get down on ourselves during the game.