The back cover of Tuesday's Armstrong Atlantic State-Embry-Riddle Eagles match up was a picture of Liam Goodall (Nanaimo, BC), who set the school record with 276 career hits. Photo: Ryan. L Mosher.
Goodall as good as it gets for Embry-Riddle
By Matt Betts
Canadian Baseball Network
With a last name like Goodall it’s just a matter of time before you find something you’re good at.
Anyone who follows Canadians in college baseball should be extremely familiar with the name Liam Goodall (Nanaimo, BC), and for good reason.
Okay, so the Goodall and “good” talk may get overused. The fact of the matter is that “good” should really be replaced with “great.”
What Goodall has accomplished during his time at Embry-Riddle University is nothing short of amazing. Over the weekend the kid from “The Harbour City” became the the all-time hits leader at Embry-Riddle. With his seventh inning RBI double in Game 2 of a doubleheader with Eckerd College, Goodall notched hit number 276. He shared the record of 275 hits with Jared Mathis for just two innings after he singled to right in the fifth to tie the record. The previous hit record had stood since 1997.
It would be hard for a player to be that close to such a record without knowing it and Goodall admits he knew exactly where he was at on the all-time hits list going into the game.
“I knew going in that I was two hits away from tying and three away from breaking the record, so once I got my third hit of the game I knew I got it.” Goodall said.
So what exactly was the feeling when he realized he was the new hit king at Embry-Riddle? Obviously joy but a continued sense of focus on the task at hand. Goodall didn’t want to get to excited about the record because he knows the teams success comes first.
“As soon as I got to second base on the hit, I felt happy as well as a sense of accomplishment for getting the record,” Goodall said. “I tried not to get too emotional because we still had a game to play and we were still trying to win, but it was a cool feeling for sure.”
To go along with being the all-time hits leader, Goodall is also among the best in Embry-Riddle history is multiple other categories. If you’re a stats freak you will love these numbers.
Among those 276 knocks are 35 doubles, 14 triples (second all-time at ERAU) and five home runs. His numbers are good for 354 total bases, which is fourth in school history. He is fifth in runs scored with 154, fifth in walks with 80, fifth in hit by pitches with 27, seventh in RBIs with 140 and ninth in stolen bases with 60.
In order to put up such staggering numbers, one must play in a lot of games. Goodall has been a lock in the Eagle outfield since 2013, appearing in 222 of his teams 224 games at the time of the record. Even more incredible is he has started 221 of the games he has appeared in. Some player don’t get the chance to contribute until the second half of their college career. Not Goodall though, he was thrown right into the fire starting in his freshman season.
In year one he played in 63 games, starting 62 while recording 55 hits. Year two saw him start all 61 games he played while recording 77 hits. Year three saw more consistency with 60 starts and 84 hits. He currently has started all 39 games for the Eagles this year and already has 63 hits and the regular season isn’t even over yet. He currently holds a .339 lifetime collegiate baseball average.
With 11 games remaining in the 2016 regular season plus postseason, Goodall will not only end his college career as the all-time hits leader, he may run away with it.
Goodall would sure like to put up another number for Eagles, however. So far in their history Embry-Riddle has had 33 Major League Baseball signees and Goodall would definitely love to be #34. He gets straight to the point when talking about his goals for the future.
“I’m hoping to move on and play at the next level by playing pro ball. I can’t really plan for that though because me getting picked up by a pro team is out of my control, but I’ll keep going out there and playing to the best of my abilities for the rest of this season in hope that someone notices,” Goodall said. “If I do get the opportunity to play professional baseball then I will do all I can to stay there as long as possible.”
Regardless of what the future holds for Goodall he will always be remembered as one of the greatest hitters in Embry-Riddle history. That isn’t the only thing Goodall hopes to be remembered for, however. Winning is what he hopes his legacy will be based on. That, combined with the impression he hopes to leave with his teammates.
“I’m hoping to be remembered as a guy that carried on the winning tradition that the ERAU baseball program has,” Goodall explains. “Also that I passed it down to my teammates who are returning next year so they can keep it going as well.”
Good just doesn’t do it justice when talking about this Canadian kid.