|University of South Florida freshman Nick Gonzalez, an Alonso High graduate, heads for home after hitting a 3-run home run in his first collegiate at-bat. (Photo by Will Turner)|
By Will Turner
TAMPA – Alonso High alum SS Nick Gonzalez was penciled into the nine-hole for the University of South Florida baseball’s season opener against Samford on Friday night for his first career collegiate start.
Gonzalez made it memorable.
|Gonzalez follow through on his first collegiate homer, and just the third home run of his total baseball career. (Photo by Will Turner)|
In the second inning, Gonzalez stepped up with runners on first and second for the Bulls, who held a 1-0 lead. On the second pitch he saw, Gonzalez belted a three-run home run over the left field wall – his first collegiate jack.
“It’s just something that everyone looks for as a freshman in their first AB, just to go deep,” Gonzalez said. “I got a pitch I could drive, fastball middle-in on a hit-and-run.”
|(Photo by Will Turner)|
The bomb was just the freshman’s third home run all-time. He hit one in both his junior and senior seasons at Alonso.
“[Hitting the home run] was a nice change,” Gonzalez said. “I’m a guy who likes to barrel the ball a lot, so I look for pitches I could barrel, I ended up getting one and good things happened.”
He finished 2-for-4, with three RBI and a run scored in the game. He reached on an infield single in his next at-bat. Gonzalez was one of two freshmen who went yard in the Bulls season opener – Lakewood Ranch product Dylan Buck deposited a solo home run over the left field wall in the third as USF won 7-4.
– Will Turner is a student at the University of South Florida pursuing a double major in mass communications and history. He is the owner of WTurnerProductions.com, a high school sports website covering the entire Tampa Bay Area. Follow Will on Twitter at @TBTurner813 or at @WTProTampa.