How did Ohio State tight end recruit Benji Gosnell celebrate a baseball playoff win? With a backflip, naturally

Chapel Fowler
The Fayetteville Observer
In this video captured by WFMY News 2 sports photographer/producer Brian Hall, four-star 2022 Ohio State tight end commit Benji Gosnell (center) performed a celebratory backflip after his East Surry High School baseball team advanced to this Friday's NCHSAA 1-A state championship series.

Who said celebratory backflips are just for running backs and wide receivers?

Ohio State tight end commit Benji Gosnell pulled the stunt off in impressive fashion this Tuesday: throwing himself in the air and sticking the landing after he threw a final strike and sent his East Surry High School baseball team to Friday’s best-of-three NCHSAA 1-A baseball state championship series.

Gosnell – a four-star class of 2022 recruit who stands at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds – came in as a closer and pitched the final two innings of East Surry’s west regional championship game against Mountain Island Charter. He recorded four strikeouts while allowing no runs and one hit in the 7-1 victory.

“STATE BOUND,” Gosnell tweeted in all caps late Tuesday night.

In search of its first ever baseball state championship, East Surry (17-1) takes on Perquimans High School of Hertford (16-2) in Fayetteville’s J.P. Riddle Stadium. First pitch for Game One is set for 8 p.m. Friday.

That championship series will wrap up a busy junior year for Gosnell, who committed to eventual College Football Playoff runner-up Ohio State in November over fellow finalists Florida and UNC.

He was the most productive tight end in the state this spring, catching a career-high 39 passes for 669 yards and seven touchdowns in 11 games. Gosnell also rushed 26 times for 157 yards and three scores.

Read more:East Surry's Class of 2022 tight end Benji Gosnell makes Ohio State his choice

Read more:After strong sophomore seasons, these 2023 recruits are becoming household names in NC

The four-star recruit was equally productive on defense, where he logged 87 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, four sacks and a fumble recovery as an outside linebacker. He even returned a kickoff for 74 yards.

East Surry – which won the 1-A football state title during Gosnell’s sophomore year – went 9-2 and advanced to its third consecutive championship game before losing to Tarboro, 25-7. Gosnell caught four passes for 56 yards and recorded a team-high nine tackles in the loss at UNC’s Kenan Stadium.

Then he hopped straight into baseball and track.

Gosnell competed in the 110-meter hurdles and the triple jump for the Cardinals’ track and field team while playing as a pitcher and outfielder for the baseball team. Before securing Tuesday’s game against Mountain Island Charter, Gosnell also closed out playoff wins against CSD and Uwharrie Charter.

Gosnell enters his senior season as the No. 10 player in North Carolina’s class of 2022, per 247Sports composite rankings, as well as the No. 13 tight end and No. 320 overall recruit in the country.

He’s also part of a loaded 14-man Ohio State recruiting class that currently ranks first in the Big Ten and the nation with four five-star verbal commits, eight four-star commits and three three-star commits.

Chapel Fowler is a recruiting reporter for The Fayetteville Observer and the USA TODAY Network. Reach him by email at cfowler@gannett.com or on Twitter at @chapelfowler.