ELYSIAN FIELDS — Friends, family, teammates and coaches gathered at Elysian Fields High School’s library Wednesday morning as senior pitcher Justice Gooch singed his letter of commitment to play baseball at Hill College.
“Just the coaches that I got to talk to and got to meet and just how good the baseball program is, said Gooch, who made the decision to attend Hill College about two months ago.
“I think he’ll be fine,” Elysian Fields head baseball coach Sean Struwe said. “I think every kid has to go through adjustments going in and trying to get his feet wet, trying to find where he fits in and where he belongs but he’s easy to get along with, easy going and hard working, so I don’t see them having any problems with that.”
As a sophomore, Gooch was named all-second team all-district. He allowed 30 runs on 31 hits, walked 17 batters and struck out 33. As a junior, he earned all-first team honors for the district as he finished the year allowing 34 runs on 42 hits, walking 36 batters and striking out 75.
“I feel like it will,” Struwe said when asked if he believes Hill College will be a good fit for Gooch. “They called him and they want him to be part of what they’re doing. I feel like having someone who wants you, hopefully pushes you to return the favor.”
Gooch will join a Rebels team that is currently 14-7 overall and 2-2 in Region 5 of the NJCAA.
“I know I’m going to pitch for them,” Gooch said. “I don’t know if I’ll be a starter yet or not. I just hope I can be a good guy to everyone around me on the team and help them win some games.”