Rookie season shows strengths of Gozzo twins

Playing collegiate sports is a rare enough experience in itself. Playing with a twin brother on the same field at the same time is an experience that few can share.

For freshmen shortstop Sal Gozzo and catcher Paul Gozzo, that strange circumstance is their reality.

“It is definitely special to be able to share this experience with a family member, especially a twin brother that you are so close with,” Sal Gozzo said. “Just to play at this level, at a very high level against very good teams, it is obviously special.”

On the surface, their high school athletic careers seem to be mirrors of each other’s. The two brothers have been teammates since they first started playing baseball. They played high school baseball and hockey at Mark T. Sheehan High School in Wallingford, Connecticut.

Playing in their first season at the college level, they have found ways to help each other grow since coming to Tulane.

“It’s a built-in support system,” Paul Gozzo said. “You can evaluate the games and stuff with each other at night in the dorm room. At times we’ll talk about it, talk about what we did that day and certain ways that even a pitcher got us out. Something as simple as that.”

Even though they share the experience of starting for Tulane baseball, they have each faced their own individual challenges.

Sal has been playing at Greer Field a little longer than his brother, sharing time at shortstop with fellow freshman infielder Kody Hoese. Paul entered the starting lineup after senior catcher Jeremy Montalbano broke his ankle in a March 5 game against West Virginia. He became the starting catcher despite a labrum injury that was not yet fully healed.

“It was time for me to step up and help the team win any way I could,” Paul Gozzo said.

Since Paul’s introduction into the lineup, Tulane has gone 18-13 with him behind home base. Sal has 26 hits through 116 at-bats, while Paul has 22 hits through 96 at-bats. Both brothers have averages near .225, Sal’s at .224 and Paul’s at .229.

The future remains bright for the brothers, who head into the remaining conference challenges at the end of the season, and look forward to improving together.

“As you move forward, you’re always trying to get better,” Sal Gozzo said. “[Paul and I will] try to improve our weaknesses so we just become better players and help the team more.”

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