South's Goodman will play for Pfeiffer
LANDIS — South Rowan’s baseball team had just beaten East Rowan 9-0, and Dylan Goodman was all smiles.
He hadn’t been one of the heroes exactly, not like Dillon Parker and Jonnie Lefebvre were, but he’d done his job, producing a run and taking one away from the Mustangs with a good play in the outfield.
That’s how a night usually goes for Goodman, often a quiet part of South victories.
Chances are pretty good he’ll also quietly contribute to some Pfeiffer wins. He’ll be a Falcon next season. He already wears a Pfeiffer cap at practice, and his father (Mark) wears one to his games.
“I understand that Pfeiffer is leaving it open as far as infield or outfield, but Dylan’s versatility can only help him,” South coach Thad Chrismon said. “Pfeiffer is getting a baseball player. He runs well, he hits well, and he throws well, and he’s one of those kids that will just work and work.”
Goodman has started 62 straight games for the Raiders, and when South (6-3) takes on Statesville today in an NPC contest, he’ll make it 63.
Chrismon put Goodman in the lineup at shortstop on opening day of his sophomore year, and his name has been on the SR lineup card at either shortstop or center field ever since.
Goodman had an exceptional sophomore season in 2011, batting .300. He led the team with 23 runs scored, tied for the team lead in doubles with six, and belted homers in wins at Carson and North Rowan.
The rules change to less explosive bats hurt his power stats in 2012, but he still scored 20 runs and was second on the team with 19 RBIs.
After South started out 3-5 in 2012, Chrismon shook up the defensive alignment, and Goodman’s role changed significantly as he switched from shortstop to center field.
“I like the infield and I’ve always been an infielder since I started playing baseball, except I had played some outfield in Legion ball,” Goodman said.
The move was made mostly to bring Eric Goldston’s smooth glove into the defensive mix, and it’s hard to argue with the results. South was 15-6 after the shakeup and reached the fourth round of the playoffs.
“Dylan will do anything you ask of him, and we were lucky to have a player as versatile as he is who could move to the outfield,” Chrismon said. “It’s a move we needed to make to be a better team, so he was all for it.”
Goodman has gotten off to a nice start with the bat as a senior. He had three doubles on opening day and has kept his batting average near .400.
He started out at shortstop, but two rough games led to a return to center field. The practice following one of those tough days in the infield tells you all you need to know.
He fielded a standard bucket of balls, and then an extra one, and then another. He was still on the field after all his teammates had left. He kept taking grounders until coaches insisted he take a break.
“I had a bad day, and I wanted to fix it by being more aggressive,” Goodman said. “I’ve never minded getting after it and doing some extra work.”
It’s that dedication that impressed Pfeiffer when Goodman worked out for coaches.
“Pfeiffer liked me and always stayed in touch with me, calling me and texting me,” Goodman said. “They offered the best deal of anyone, and it’s the opportunity to play college baseball. I set my mind to doing that a long time ago.”