Gonzaga University junior-to-be Marco Gonzales, benched while suffering through a horrendous 1-for-17 hitting slump in non-exhibition games, showed there's nothing wrong with his left arm as he pitched the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team to the bronze medal of Honkbal Week Sunday, earning Best Pitcher honors for the tourney.
He went eight innings, allowed six hits, one earned run, walked none and struck out nine as the CNT downed the host The Netherlands 4-3 to finish third. Cuba downed Puerto Rico 4-2 for the Honkbal Week. Honkbal is Dutch for baseball.
Gonzales picked up his second win in the tournament, downing Japan 4-1 in the CNT's first game of the event, going seven innings and striking out 10. The native of Fort Collins, Colo., posted a 1.20 ERA, led the tournament in strikeouts with 19, tied for the tourney lead with 15.0 innings pitched, was one of four pitchers to win two games and walked just two batters.
The Netherlands jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the third. Shaldimar Daantji doubled and scored on Michael Duursma single. Gonzales retired 16 of the next 17 batters, and the one batter to reach base via a leadoff single in the fifth was picked off second after advancing on an infield grounder. It was Gonzales' second pickoff in the tournament.
The CNT scored once in the fifth, twice in the sixth and once in the seventh to build a 3-1 lead. The Netherlands scored twice in the ninth off a pair of CNT relievers.
The tournament concluded play for the CNT this summer. Gonzales went 3-0 on the mound in four appearances with a 2.82 ERA. He had a six-inning no decision in a game against Cuba in Havana prior to departing for The Netherlands. He fanned 29 and walked just five in 22.1 innings.
At the plate was a different story for the first baseman, who was 6-for-11 prior to heading for Cuba. He went 1-for-17 over an eight-game span to finish 7-for-28 in non-exhibition games for a .250 average with a double and four RBI.