Perseverance Pays Off for Former Desert Vista Standout

Always be at your best because you never know who’s watching. 

Rio Gomez is reaping the rewards after spending the summer pitching for Bend Elks of the West Coast League.

The former Desert Vista High standout left-handed pitcher returned to the mound after redshirting last season at Mesa Community College with bicep tendonitis. With the Elks he appeared in 13 games allowing only two earned runs in 12.1 innings pitched. He struck out 13 and finished the season with a sparkling 1.45 earned run average.

Now he’s about to be an Arizona Wildcat.

“A couple weeks ago they got in contact with me,” Gomez told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat during his dad’s (ESPN baseball insider Pedro Gomez) weekly segment Tuesday morning. “They were interested and were going to watch me over the fall…about a week ago I got a call saying one of their players torn his UCL (ulnar collateral ligament) and there’s a spot available and wanted to make this happen as fast as they could.”

Rio was scheduled to transfer to Scottsdale Community College to join the Artichokes’ staff before the sudden turn of events.

Pedro confirmed the ‘Cats had been monitoring Rio’s progress this summer in the cool pines of the pacific northwest.

“They had been tracking him in the summer league up in Oregon,” Gomez told Cesmat. “Spoke to coaches up in the league and they were confident enough to say, ‘spot’s yours.’ It’s a rush job because we had to get transcripts and pull everything together because school starts August 25th.”

If everything goes as planned and Rio officially becomes a Wildcat he’ll be playing for veteran head coach Andy Lopez who has guided UofA to 10 NCAA tournament appearances and a national championship in 2012.