Mike Garza was an assistant under Rick Sawyer when Highland made history on campus winning the Central Section Division III baseball championship in 2017. It was the first for the program that began in 1970.
Then Garza took over in 2018 for the retiring Sawyer and kept the good times rolling.
And don’t think for a minute Garza wasn’t have fun the whole time.
“Oh, so much fun,” Garza said of winning a section title as a head coach.
That comes with the territory when your team goes 29-2 and wins a second D-III title in three years.
For his efforts, Garza is the 2019 BVarsity All-Area Baseball Coach of the Year.
Other than the two losses to Liberty in tournament play, Highland was unstoppable this season and it truly showed in the playoffs, outscoring the four opponents 28-2.
The Scots made Garza’s life a lot simpler with a lineup that had 10 batters with at least 55 at bats hitting better than .360 as Matthew Miranda, Isiah Fajardo, Matthew Rodriguez, Xabi Iparaguirre and Andrew Fajardo combined to go 22-2.
“That made it way easy,” Garza said. “Any coach, no matter what division you are playing in, would love to have a lineup like that. I had kids that were solid one through nine and I had another four on the bench that easily could be starters.”
And the excitement level from the championship seems to already be over for Garza as he patiently awaits the start of the 2020 season. Seven of his top eight hitters return, including Isiah Fajardo, the BVarsity Player of the Year and Nick Salas, a first-team All-Area selection.
“It worked out for us this year, and next year is going to be just as good,” Garza said.