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Former Pitman ace finds his next college destination
Former Pitman High pitcher Nathan Gonzalez will be playing for Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo next year. - photo by Journal file photo
Last spring, former Pitman High pitcher Nathan Gonzalez got what can be considered as an “unofficial visit” to Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. But there was a twist: He was throwing for St. Mary’s College of California in Moraga at the time.
But that experience left a good impression on him. Just look at what he did recently.
Gonzalez signed a letter of intent to play for Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo after he’s done in the spring with Merced College. Plenty of other schools — such as Virginia Tech, the University of Buffalo, University of North Dakota, Eastern Michigan — showed interest, but Cal Poly was ideal because of the location of the school, since it’s not too far from home.
It also helped that he pitched against the Mustangs while he was in a St. Mary’s uniform. During that visit, he remembers being impressed by the school’s baseball field, facilities and the loyal fans.
“It was very professional the way they did things,” he added.
It’s been a long journey for Gonzalez since his days at Pitman, where he was an intimidating presence with his blazing fastballs while earning a 15-5 record with a 1.20 ERA in his final two seasons. He then signed with St. Mary’s, where he went 3-3 with a 4.78 ERA.
He never felt at home with the Gaels, he said, so he decided to leave the program and commit to Merced College, where his former Pitman teammate and friend Ian Fregosi is on the roster.
Last summer, he was an integral part of the Modesto Babe Ruth team, which came close to making another run at the World Series. All of this made him happy, since he always wanted to be closer to home. He will be a junior by the time he reaches Cal Poly.
 In the spring, Gonzalez will be a starter for Merced College, with the Blue Devils aiming for another Central Valley Conference championship.
“It was nice to be able to sign and take care of that,” the right-hander said. “Now, I can really focus on this season.”
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.