Goodwin slams walk-off home run for Latta

Aug. 26—ROFF — The Latta Panthers were looking for a big hit and senior Kaleb Goodwin delivered.

With the game tied at 1-1 ending the bottom of the seventh inning, Goodwin blasted the first pitch he saw over the fence in left field for a solo home run to give the Panthers a dramatic 2-1 walk-off victory over Calera Thursday in the first round of the 44th Annual Roff Baseball Tournament.

Latta, ranked No. 13 in Class A, improved to an even 5-5 on the year, while No. 15 Calera dropped to 5-2.

In other first-round games at Roff (No. 16 in Class B), the host Tigers dropped a 16-4 decision to Class A No. 4 Rattan and Class A No. 12 Tushka blanked Byng 9-0.

The tournament continued Friday and resumes today at 11 a.m. with the consolation championship. The third-place contest is set for 1 p.m. with the title contest to begin at 3 p.m.

Latta 2, Calera 1

Latta scored the first run of the contest in the bottom of the first inning.

Landon Fortner led off with a double and was replaced by freshman courtesy runner Carter Freeze.

With one out, Deakon Smith and Reese Littlefield then both reached safely on back-to-back Calera errors to load the bases for Latta. Darien Miller then followed in their footsteps when he was also safe on a CHS miscue that allowed Freeze to score from third to put Latta ahead 1-0. However, Calera got out of that jam with no further damage.

The Bulldogs tied the game in the top of the fifth inning.

Devan Walton reached on a one-out, infield single and stole second. He raced home on a run-scoring hit by Logan Bumgarner to knot the game at 1-1 and set up Goodwin's later heroics.

Latta was limited to five total hits. Fortner led the way, going 2-for-3 with a walk. Smith and Andrew Morrow both hit doubles for the Panthers.

Miller was the winning pitcher for Latta. He struck out five, walked one and allowed just one earned run in the complete-game outing. Jaron Smith was tagged with the loss. He struck out seven, walked three and allowed only one earned run — Goodwin's big blast.

Tushka 9, Byng 0

Tushka hurler Pete Goodson kept Byng's hitters off-balance throughout the contest. He struck out four, walked one and scattered four hits in five shutout innings in a game that ended early via the run rule.

Preston Welch had two of Byng's four hits. Callen Leslie and Ezekiel Griffin had the other two BHS singles.

Austin Lewis led a six-hit Tushka offense, going 2-for-2 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Tristan Gibson went 1-for-1 with a double, a walk and two runs scored and DJ Alberda ended up 1-for-2 with a walk and two RBIs. Tagen Simon had a walk, a hit and scored a run for the Tigers.

Byng used three pitchers in the game — Hagen Graham, Kix Stephens and Kendon Wood.

Rattan 16, Roff 4

The Rams, now 9-3 on the year, used a pair of seven-run outbursts in the third and fifth innings to pull away.

Logan Smith and Kobe Tabor both had two hits each to pace an eight-hit Rattan offense. Smith finished 2-for-3 with two walks, a triple, a double and two runs scored and Tabor went 2-for-4 with two doubles, three RBIs and a run scored. Shade Cody smashed a grand slam for the Rams and Keegan Robertson ended up 1-for-1 with three walks, an RBI and two runs scored.

Xadom Watts was the winning pitcher for Rattan. He struck out four, walked six and allowed two earned runs in five innings.

Caden Graves and Oliver Gregory finished with two hits apiece for the Roff Tigers. Graves went 2-for-2 with a double, a walk, an RBI and a run scored, while Gregory finished 2-for-3 with an RBI. Kaden Darnell was hit by a pitch, walked twice and scored three times for the tournament hosts.

RHS pitchers Jaxon Austin and Gavin Wilson had three strikeouts apiece but combined for 13 walks and two hit batters. Roff also was charged with five errors in the game.