2-3 punch of Goodman, Elias has Titans' offense roaring
Following an 0-5 start to the season, the Annawan/Wethersfield baseball team seems to have hit its stride.
In the midst of a four-game win streak, the Titans have put up a total of 46 runs. At the forefront of the offensive outburst is the new No. 2 hitter, sophomore Ryan Goodman, and senior No. 3 batter, Bryce Elias.
Neither played in the first three games of the season, as Elias was recovering from a torn ACL and Goodman hadn’t cracked the starting lineup yet. But with the two of them in the batting order, the Titans are 4-2.
Over the past four games, Goodman went a staggering 11-17 at the plate, with 10 RBI and 7 runs scored. Elias was 7-16 with a homer, 4 RBI and 4 runs scored.
On the season, Goodman has a team-best .480 batting average, while Elias boasts a .593 on-base percentage to lead the Titans. Both share the team lead with four extra-base hits.
For helping spark A/W to a four-game win streak, Ryan Goodman and Bryce Elias are the Star Courier’s Co-Athletes of the Week.
What’s been the key to this four-game win streak?
BE –– “Everybody is doing their role and getting on base and moving runners over. We’ve been hitting better as the season keeps getting longer.”
RG –– “Disciplined at-bats, swinging at pitches you can hit, smart base running, making plays out in the field and just being smart baseball players. Baseball is 90 percent mental, so as long as you’re strong there, you can win games.”
Bryce, what was it like to finally get back on the field after going through rehab?
BE –– “It was a really good experience and it’s nice to be back. I’m glad to have the opportunity to come back early. At first I was told I would miss the majority of the season, but I only ended up missing three games with the cancellations.”
How did the rehab for this torn ACL compare to the rehab from your torn ACL two years ago?
BE –– “This one was a lot easier with just knowing what I have to go through and do to come back. This time I just focused more on baseball stuff so I could be prepared for what I’d be doing in game situations.”
Ryan, what was it like hitting a home run in your first varsity game?
RG –– “It was pretty surprising. You’re not really going for it. It just kind of happened and I was like ‘wow’.”
When did you know that ball was gone?
RG –– “I was rounding first and running hard and then Cope (Asst. coach Alex Coppejans) goes atta boy and I saw everyone cheering and I’m like, ‘wow that went out’.”
What has it been like playing in these cold conditions?
BE –– “I don’t think anyone likes playing in the cold. It’s harder to hit the ball; It’s mostly a small ball game, but you gotta battle through. As the weather started picking up, we started playing a lot better.”
RG –– “It’s difficult. You’re expecting nice weather in April and you go out there and it’s really cold. It’s a grind and you just gotta go through it – everyone has to go through it.”
What’s your favorite baseball memory?
BE –– “Last year there was a week where I hit three home runs in the same week and that was probably the best week I’ve had.”
RG –– “About five years ago we were playing down at state for the Illinois Hitmen and it was a close game. I think it was the bottom of the 7th and we had a man on base and I hit a high fly ball and it went over for a walk off home run. It was a really nice feeling to know you win and go to the next part of state.”
What has it been like adjusting to varsity pitching?
RG –– “I grew up playing Hitmen baseball so it’s kind of the same as that. It’s not a big adjustment from what I’ve been facing. I just try to hit the ball hard and sometimes it’ll get down and sometimes it’ll go right to them.”
What is a key for the Titans to continue having success as the season progresses?
BE –– “Pitching and our hitting. We know that we lost a lot of pitchers from last year, so this year we hope we can back up the pitchers we have with some run support.”
More about Ryan Goodman
Favorite food –– Chicken strips
Favorite school subject –– Math
Favorite baseball player –– Billy Hamilton
Favorite baseball team –– Los Angeles Dodgers
Hobbies –– Hanging at home with the family and hanging out with friends
Family –– Parents; Nancy and Anthony Goodman, Brother; John, Sister; Tori
More about Bryce Elias
Favorite food –– Steak
Favorite school subject –– Science
Favorite baseball player –– Bryce Harper
Favorite baseball team –– Chicago Cubs
Hobbies –– Hanging out with friends, going out to eat and practicing sports
Family –– Parents; Johnnie and Brandi Elias, Sister; Sadie