Air Force Academy officially nabs Northern Nash's Gonzalez
By SAMUEL EVERS
Thursday, March 1, 2018
Silas Gonzalez is taking his talents far, far away, where Big East pitchers won’t be able to intentionally walk him next year.
This week, the Northern Nash slugger who drew the ire of area pitchers all last season made his commitment official -- the senior signed on to join Air Force Academy’s baseball team, something he had initially agreed to in February 2017 after an unofficial visit to the Colorado campus.
“It’s a little surreal, almost like a dream come true,” Gonzalez said. “When I went out there on my unofficial visit it blew me away. The atmosphere, the benefits I’ll get once I get there, it was tremendous compared to any other college I went to.”
The lefty, who was also offered by James Madison and Virginia Tech, hit .328 last season for the Knights, also drawing a team-high 18 walks, many of which were intentional.
He expects to play the catcher position with Air Force, as well as perhaps some first and third base. The initial connection between Gonzalez and Air Force was made by his summer league coach, Jake Jacobs, who suggested the coaches give his player a look.
“He has a son at the Air Force Academy. He’s been through the process,” he said. “Coach Jacobs was a main factor.”
Northern Nash struggled last year, finishing 5-17. They opened the season on Wednesday with a loss to Corinth Holders and will rely on Gonzalez this season to plug a few different holes. The senior hopes to play out the season in a mentor role for the rest of the team.
“Hoping to lead these young guys, set an example for them -- how hard work and determination will play out,” Gonzalez said. “Be a prime example of what could be, that they could accomplish overall, have a nice season. Go out with a bang.”
As for the Colorado climate, Gonzalez is ready for a different type of winter than that of eastern North Carolina.
“It’s cold, but they work around the weather -- Great indoor facilities. Indoor cages,” he said. “I love the weather there, no humidity there so the ball just flies for me.”