Redding baseball fans got a taste of Jake Gozzo’s power in the summer of 2018, and now the world has seen what the big right-handed hitter can do with a wood bat in his hands.
Gozzo, who played for the Colt 45s in 2018 and hit a dozen home runs, including several mammoth opposite field shots at Tiger Field, was named College Select World Champion at the recent International Power Showcase Amateur Home Run Derby.
Gozzo competed in the event in December of 2018 at Miami Marlins Park in Florida.
Collegiate players in the event use both wooden and metal bats, but Gozzo’s prowess with wood impressed scouts the most, wrapping up the final round during the wood portion before he switched over. Representing California, he out slugged Virginia’s Nicholas Baham in the final round, 10-5.
“This is awesome, it is just a great feeling,” Gozzo told the International Power Showcase after winning. “I had my mind set on it and it all came through, so it was pretty good. I just looked at it like it’s a big stadium, but the field dimensions are the same. I just stayed on my back foot and what I practiced in BP and took it here. I didn’t let anything affect me.”
He followed his showcase win with a stellar season at the plate for NCAA Division II Oklahoma Baptist University, earning Central Region 2ndTeam honors. The 6’5” senior led his team with 20 homers, 72 runs batted in and 78 hits while hitting .333 as the Bison advanced to the region championship.
In Redding in 2018, Gozzo wowed Colt 45s fans in summer collegiate wood bat play, banging out a whopping 1.208 OPS, .747 slugging percentage and .461 on base percentage, all club highs.
You can see a replay of the entire championship on the Power Showcase website.