Aug. 16, 2011
WASHINGTON - Mike Garza (San Antonio, Texas/Douglas MacArthur), a rising senior infielder on the Georgetown University baseball team, was named the Most Valuable Player of the Cape Cod League playoffs, leading his Harwich Mariners over the Falmouth Commodores on Saturday.
Due to his hot bat over the last few weeks, Garza moved up to the fifth spot in the lineup for the championship series, responding by going 2-for-4, while driving in two runs in game one. Garza followed up a strong game one performance going 3-for-5 and scoring a late run in Harwich's 7-5 championship clinching victory.
"(Winning the championship) was awesome," Garza said. "We had set out at the beginning of the season to try to win the whole thing, but we were kind of short staffed at the end. We only had 18 guys, with seven pitchers and when you're trying to make it through the playoffs in that league with the lack of numbers it's tough. But we all came out day in and day out and had a bunch of gamers that loved the game and really wanted to win."
Summer baseball in a wooden bat league is nothing new for Garza. He had spent two summers in the Valley League and one summer in the Hawaiian Collegiate Baseball League, but the opportunity to compete in the Cape Cod League, one of the most respected collegiate summer baseball leagues for the talent it has seen, was one that Garza cherished.
Despite a slow start, Garza bounced back and became one of Harwich's offensive leaders, while starting at third base.
"I thought I started off a little shaky," Garza said. "I tried to make different adjustments on the offensive side of the game. As the summer went on and as I got to work with the coaches I was pleased with how I played and how we played as a team."
His early struggles were common for offensive players in the league, trying to adjust to the high caliber of pitching seen throughout. Though Garza credits his work with coaches and teammates for helping him make the proper adjustments to find success.
"The toughest part with the adjustments is with the sharpness of pitching and the preciseness of location," Garza said. "Every night you're seeing someone's Friday night guy, throwing 93-95 (miles per hour) with plus off speed stuff. The big thing is not missing that one pitch you're going to get per at bat."
With the end of the Cape Cod League, Garza now has a few weeks of relaxation before coming back to the Hilltop for fall classes. Soon enough it will be time to get back in the cage and prepare for the Hoyas 2012 baseball season.
"Anytime you win any kind of championship you take away a great deal of memories and emotions," Garza said. "Those types of feelings that we built over this summer are things that you take into the spring season and try to build those again. I'm definitely eager to get back and get to work with the guys at Georgetown."