FRESNO, Calif. — The Diamond ‘Dogs have welcomed a new, but familiar face to the team this season.
“You know, it’s a little different view than being on the mound,” smiled Greg Gonzalez. “But it’s great.”
Gonzalez, an All-American pitcher-turned-first base coach, is happy to be back at his alma mater in a new role.
“The Thursday night dinners, being out here with the guys, having the same practices, hearing the same Batesole speeches for the fifth or sixth time, it’s been really good,” he said. “And I’m really happy to be back.”
Unfortunately, he doesn’t have any eligibility left to join the pitching staff. But head coach Mike Batesole is excited to have him on his coaching staff to work with the pitchers.
“Gonzo was one of the best pitchers to ever pitch in this program,” Batesole said. “The confidence that he brings, the ability that he brings, you gotta know how to pitch. It’s more than just ‘stuff.’ You know how to pitch, too and that’s why we wanted to bring him back.”
Greg Gonzalez had a very successful tenure on the mound at Fresno State. In two years as a Diamond ‘Dog, in 2010 and 2011, he recorded a 19-3 record, was named WAC Pitcher of the Year, earned All-American honors, had a 1.79 ERA during his senior season and was the last player to throw a no-hitter in the program.
That is something for which he does not take credit.
“It’s a real team thing,” said Gonzalez. “Everybody’s gotta be where they’re supposed to be, coaches gotta have guys in the right position. It was really more of a team no-hitter than anything.”
Gonzalez’s experience as a player under Batesole has really helped with the transition of becoming an assistant alongside him.
“I know exactly what (Batesole) expects,” he said. “Even as a coach when I’m thinking about, ‘well what do I want to do here?’ I kinda think back to my experiences as a player, and how to gain his trust.
“(Batesole)’s the same guy, he respects hard-working people. And just kinda making sure you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, and making sure that your job is done to a high standard,” he added.
That standard is the standard of being ‘Bulldog Born, Bulldog Bred. That standard means a lot to Greg Gonzalez.
“There’s such a reputation and a tradition with being a Bulldog baseball player,” he said. “I’m very proud of that, and I take that with me everywhere I go, and make sure to mention to people when I can. When they ask me where I played, I make sure that they know that I’m a Fresno State Bulldog and I’m very proud of that.”