Like many other baseball players, Bobby Garcia is very superstitious.
So, as the innings passed and Garcia had yet to give up a hit in Saugus’ VIBL game against Burroughs on Saturday, he was very careful of what he said and thought. His teammates, not so much.
“People were joking around me with me and using the word ‘no’ with as many sentences as they could and I’d counter with, ‘Knock on wood,’” Garcia said.
The Centurions offered plenty of support in addition to no-hitter jokes, counting down the outs through the sixth and seventh innings until Garcia had finished off his complete game no-hitter in a 12-0 shutout of Burroughs. He threw 83 pitches and logged 10 strikeouts and three walks in the contest.
“(Coach Carl Grissom)’s original plan was just for me to throw in the fifth inning and then have the other guys come on in, but up until then I hadn’t given up any hits and I saw the opportunity … and I kept throwing and it happened.”
Garcia, heading into his senior year, was used primarily in relief last season. He gave up 11 hits and recorded six strikeouts in 20 1/3 innings.
On April 4, he pitched a complete-game one-hitter against Arroyo Grande in the Righetti tournament. Since that game, Garcia has had the nagging feeling that business went unfinished.
“That game in itself was an accomplishment and I proved to myself that I had it in me to throw that good of a game and my plan was to pitch at the best of my ability,” Garcia said.
Garcia’s focus for the summer is pounding the strike zone and incorporating his defense to create a fast-paced game that gets everyone involved.
With an experienced Saugus bullpen returning for next season, Garcia is ready for the challenge of securing a starting position.
“It’s like a friendly competition,” Garcia said. “Everyone wants the innings, so we’re battling with each other for the spot and we’re having a fun time about it.
“If someone has a good game, we’ll congratulate them and love them, but it’s a competitive atmosphere, which is something we all love.”