Oct. 14—The Joplin Outlaws will have a new face at the helm once the 2022 summer collegiate baseball season arrives.
Gonzalo Gonzalez was announced as the Outlaws new manager on Tuesday night. Gonzalez is currently the pitching coach at Pittsburg State.
"Gonzalo answered all the questions that we needed about summer ball and what summer ball is about," Outlaws general manager Mark Rains said. "He has got good contacts. He has a lot of contacts with coaches throughout the United States. He should bring in good players."
Gonzalez is looking forward to his first stop as a manager.
"For me, it will be a breath of fresh air to manage my own team and be the guy making the choices, the decisions in-game," Gonzalez said. "It's going to put me in a different frame of reference when it comes to the game of baseball. I'm really excited about that opportunity.
"I'm excited to think one step ahead and not just think about the pitching side. To really put myself in those shoes and see if I have what it takes to be a head coach someday at the collegiate level, I think this is a great first step for me to see what I can really do."
Rains said the team is in the process of piecing together a roster.
"(Gonzalo) is working on it," Rains said. "He has contacted me about a few players. We should have a roster put together here in the next month to two months. We'll probably have 90% of it done by Thanksgiving."
Gonzalez, who is originally from Southern California, already has players committed from Florida, Arkansas, Wisconsin and Illinois. He's looking to dip into Nebraska and California while also keeping the hometown talent in Joplin during the summer.
Gonzalez enters his first season as a part-time assistant baseball coach with the Gorillas. He previously served as a full-time assistant at Fort Scott Community College, where he helped the Greyhounds to a 30-24 season last spring.
Gonzalez will replace Chris Dawson, who guided the Outlaws to a 19-22 record in his only season with the team.
"The head coach at McPherson (College) (Bryan Moses) resigned, so one of the assistants moved up to be the head coach," Rains said. "Chris wasn't getting paid full-time and getting benefits. They moved him to a full-time assistant coach. He has obligations in the summer time to the school, so he just isn't able to coach summer ball."
Gonzalez will get two assistant coaches on his staff. Those individuals have yet to be named.
As for next summer's schedule?
"We have our league meeting the first weekend in November," Rains said. "At that time, we'll put our schedule together. After I fill in the holes with non-league games, then we'll release our schedule on our website. Hopefully, we'll have that out by December."