Sierra Vista’s Goldsack makes case as starter with win over Rancho

Sierra Vista baseball coach Nate Selby is confident that Blair Goldsack can become his team’s No. 1 starting pitcher this season.

The senior right-hander may have convinced a few other Mountain Lion faithful on Thursday.

Goldsack threw a four-hitter with six strikeouts to help Sierra Vista open the season with an 8-1 win over Rancho in the Lion Kickoff at the College of Southern Nevada.

“I think he sees himself as the No. 1 guy on the staff, and I think most of us do as well,” Selby said. “That’s a role he’s looking forward to having, and we hope he does well with it.”

Goldsack consistently worked ahead in the count and was in control all night.

“I was just trying to throw first-pitch strikes, get ahead of every hitter and that’s what I was doing,” Goldsack said. “I wanted to get first strikes out there and trust my defense, and I did.”

Goldsack earned six saves as Sierra Vista’s closer last season, but Selby has moved him into the starting rotation as the Mountain Lions try to replace the graduated Nick Kingham.

“We’ve moved him to a starter this year, at least at this point, and he seemed to respond pretty well,” Selby said. “We’re expecting him to pitch in games like this and hopefully pitch well.”

Goldsack helped his cause with a two-out double to right field to score Jake Hager for a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

Sierra Vista broke the game open with a three-run fifth inning, highlighted by Billy Santiwan’s single through the right side that scored Conner Klein and Scotty Tomassetti.

Klein went 3-for-5, and Hager, Santiwan and Alex Estrella had two hits each for Sierra Vista. The Mountain Lions scored in every inning but the second.

“We didn’t let them get much going and kept the pressure on them,” Selby said.

Michael Cruz doubled and scored the only run for Rancho, which opened the season ranked No. 7 nationally by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

Sierra Vista has seven starters back from a team that reached the Sunset Region title game last year. Many of the players also played for the local team that reached the American Legion World Series last summer.

Selby said his players have high expectations, but they’ll remain grounded.

“It’s a nice win, a good way to start the season,” he said. “We’re happy with how we played. It’s a long season, but certainly this is a good place to start.”