LAFAYETTE - When the cool, calm and collected Taylor Goshen avoided potential first-inning disaster Saturday morning at Loeb Stadium, the Carroll baseball team was on its way to a 5-1 Lafayette Regional opening-round victory.
Staked to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, Goshen watched as Lafayette Sectional champion McCutcheon loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the first.
But when the Mavericks scored only once, the Wichita State-bound Goshen was on his way to the triumph, finishing with a complete-game four-hitter. The right-hander allowed only two hits after the nerve-racking first inning.
"The first was by far the biggest inning," said Goshen, who improved to 11-2. "That was the epitome of struggling through an inning. We were able to get runs and then protect our lead. it's incredible that we have the hitting and base running ability to score with two outs.
"I was a lot more calm beginning with the third inning once I found my curve. That removed the pressure and allowed me to use more of my arsenal."
Carroll (22-9) added three fourth-inning runs against losing pitcher Jordan Young (11-3), who surrendered nine hits and five earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. Cameron Kohli singled home a fifth--inning run and Cory McCray's sacrifice fly and a Young wild pitch plated the other fourth-inning runs.
Trevor Snyder was 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI for Carroll, which was scheduled to play the winner of the Homestead-Noblesville game in Saturday night's regional championship game.
Carroll coach Dave Ginder said the key to Saturday morning's victory was easy to pinpoint.
"The first inning was huge," Ginder said. "Taylor struggled a little bit early, and in a bigger game, I guess you kind of expect that. Getting through that first inning was huge when they got only one. That was a great job by Taylor. He settled in after that, and his curve worked a little bit better.
"Obviously, we got a few more runs to help things out.
"After the first inning, he was much more relaxed, and he settled down a little bit. He has good stuff, so we told him to trust it, get after it and be the competitor that he is."