SAN DIEGO — Maybe San Diego commit Stephen Gonsalves was joking. Maybe he was riding the euphoria of scoring the tying run and picking up the win on the mound in Sunday night’s Perfect Game All-American Classic at Petco Park. Or maybe the lanky lefty is just that confident in the potential Toreros’ 2013 recruiting class.
After the West rallied from five runs down for a 7-6 victory, Gonsalves said he believed San Diego could win multiple titles if the 2013 recruiting class all opted to attend school.
“We’re going to bring home a title there,” he said with a smile. “Two out of three years guaranteed.”
While it is unlikely a team that has yet to advance to the Super Regionals would put together two title runs, is it possible Gonsalves could be on to something? Perhaps…just maybe…things could align for the Toreros.
Head coach Rich Hill has brought in some talented recruiting classes in the past. In 2007, he brought in the No. 1 class, according to Baseball America. The 2010 class was ranked No. 2 by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
IF Hill could somehow entice the studs of that 2010 class — Kris Bryant, Dylan Covey and Michael Wagner — to stay for their senior year after the upcoming season AND get Gonsalves and fellow Perfect Game All-American Classic participants Reese McGuire and Ian Clarkin to forego their professional aspirations for at least two years, honoring their college commitments, who is to say the Toreros wouldn’t become a familiar face in Omaha for a few years.
Granted, these are huge “ifs,” but in the world of college athletics, you just never know. Hill will be able to use the allure of a brand new ballpark as Fowler Park is slated to be ready for play this season. And it appears Gonsalves, a local product from Cathedral Catholic High School in nearby San Marcos, could help lead the rally.
Gonsalves is a smooth lefty with a three-quarters delivery that sat 89-92 in Sunday’s All-American Classic. There isn’t much effort in his delivery, which often makes the transition from high school to collegiate hitting much easier. Though he did not hit in the All-American Classic, Gonsalves also has potential as a left-handed hitter.
After throwing a scoreless inning, aided by an inning-ending putout at home plate on a wild pitch, he did enter the game as a pinch runner. The 6-foot-5, 190-pound prospect showcased his athleticism stealing second base, before eventually scoring the tying run on a Rowdy Tellez triple.
WATCH the entire interview as I talk with Gonsalves about playing in the All-American Classic in front of a number of friends and family and the West team’s comeback. I also asked him about his relationship with McGuire, the top catching prospect in the country and one of the most polished high school catchers in the last decade.
(Also check out the top photos from the West squad, top shots from the East squad, full game recap & post-game interviews with USC commits JP Crawford & Dominic Smith from Sunday’s game.)