Scott Goodrich does not mince words when describing the significance of taking over as St. Louis Community College’s head baseball coach this spring. The position was a long-sought one for Goodrich, who took the reins of the Archers this year, following his tenure as the team’s assistant.
Goodrich, who had served as Tony Dattoli’s lieutenant during much of Dattoli’s lengthy career with STLCC, described the opportunity to advance his position to head coach at the collegiate level as “something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Transitioning to head coach at STLCC, however, which has seen a long lineage of head coaches at each of the school’s three campuses, brings a bit of immediate expectation.As if the challenge of taking over for Dattoli – Goodrich’s former boss and one of STLCC’s most successful coaches – wasn’t already challenging enough, Goodrich’s Archers have endured one of the most difficult preseason weather patterns in recent memory. With snow, ice, and freezing temperatures the daily norm for much of the past six weeks, Goodrich has gone to extra lengths to have his team prepared for the first weeks of the season, when they will play primarily teams from warmer climates.
“This is the worst winter I can ever remember,” Goodrich said. “One thing I tried to do was, every time we were inside and our pitchers were on the mound, every pitch had a purpose. At the plate, every swing meant something.”
That degree of preparation served the Archers well this week, when they opened the regular season against Dyersburg Community College in Tennessee. Despite logging just five outdoor practices during the preseason, the Archers showed little rust in 7-2 and 7-4 victories over Dyersburg to open the year last weekend.
In the opener, pitcher Matthew Hassenbeck earned the victory, giving up just two runs in five innings while striking out three. Shortstop Adam Springmeyer was 2-for-3 at the plate, including a two-run homer. First baseman Josh Stephens also collected two hits in four plate appearances.
In the nightcap, first baseman Colin Zurweller went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, catcher Devan O’Bryan hit a two-run double and designated hitter Brandon Gutzler went 2-for-2. Pitcher Kurt McGuire gained the win, giving up two runs over 5.2 innings. He scattered seven hits and struck out four.
The wins were not only a boon for the Archers, who toiled near the .500 plateau in each of the past two seasons, but also for Goodrich, who at long last has received the opportunity to lead the team he’s guided in an assistant role.
“It means everything to me,” Goodrich said. “To get this opportunity, it’s something I always hoped to be able to do, to be a head coach at the college level.”
- Inclement weather is forcing the cancellation of this weekend’s STLCC Showcase, which was slated to open today and continue through Sunday.
- The Archers are slated to visit Southwestern Illinois College March 4 for a 3 p.m. game before heading to south for contests in Raymond, Miss., March 7 and Baton Rouge, La., March 8-9.