MEDINA — Garrett Goodwin’s composure was even more impressive than his breaking ball.
A senior right-hander, Goodwin tossed his second no-hitter of the season as top-seeded Hillsdale edged No. 4 East Canton 1-0 in the Division IV district semifinals Tuesday as Medina High School.
The Shawnee State-bound Goodwin struck out six and walked two. He faced just one batter over the minimum and was in complete command from his first pitch to his last.
“I really had my curve ball working for me. Any time I can get that going, it’s usually a good night,” Goodwin said. “I’ve been working with a new grip and I’m getting a lot better movement out of it.”
After retiring the side in order in the first, Goodwin walked East Canton clean-up hitter Andrew Gothard to start the second. Gothard was erased in a double play and the Hornets wouldn’t have another base runner until Aaron Gothard drew a one-out walk in the fourth. Goodwin retired the final 11 batters he faced.
“He’s been phenomenal all year, first-year Hillsdale coach Jason Snow said. “He keeps us in every game. He’s got great movement and mixes his pitches well.”
Hillsdale (24-2) scored the game’s only run in the home half of the first. Goodwin drew a leadoff walk before Carsten Betson was hit by a pitch and Jay Luikart reached on an error to load the bases. Clean-up hitter Briar Funk then lifted a sacrifice fly to right to plate Goodwin.
The Falcons would strand runner at second and third in the first and leave the bases loaded in the second after East Canton left fielder Chase Vacco made a sensational diving catch of a sinking line drive off the bat of Luikart, Hillsdale’s All-Ohio candidate and a Wright State recruit.
“I thought we would add on. We usually do that,” Snow said. “They made a great play in left field. They gave themselves an opportunity to win the game as well.”
Hillsdale stranded two more runners in the third and one in the fifth, but it wouldn’t matter.
“With my defense behind me, I’m comfortable even with just one run,” Goodwin said. “We usually score a lot more runs, but it doesn’t matter. We got the win.”
Even as the pressure mounted late in the game, Goodwin kept his cool. He struck out the first man he faced in the seventh before inducing a pair of harmless ground balls to end the game.
“He was definitely more composed than I was,” Snow said. “We’ve had so many games of run-rule (victories). Everything is on the line and the guys handled it well.”
The Falcons managed just three hits on the day. Goodwin singled in the second and Funk led off the third with a base hit. Hillsdale’s only other hit was a bunt by Ty Williams in the fifth.
The Falcons will play seventh-seeded Lake Center Christian for the district title Thursday at Medina. Lake Center beat No. 3 Dalton 7-4 in Tuesday’s early game.
Hillsdale, which has lost in the district finals each of the past two seasons, will send Luikart to the mound against Lake Center Christian.
“Defensively we’re a lot better than we have been in past years,” Goodwin said. “Obviously, it’s big having Jay out there on the mound, too. We’ll have our No. 1 guy going in the district championship game.”