The Veterans Memorial Eagles completed the sweep over a stout King Mustangs squad on Thursday. In a game rescheduled twice due to weather, the district foes were able to play through seven innings without the rain factoring. Instead, both teams, and fans, gritted through the cold air and biting wind.
It was a complete performance from the Eagles propped up by a masterful pitching performance from the Eagles’ Zach Garcia (#12). Aside from the complete game shutout, Garcia achieved 7 innings of one-hit baseball with four strikeouts on the day.
He was smart and crafty on the mound, the kind of crafty pitching that called back to the great Greg Maddox, and, most importantly, he threw strikes. Rarely was Garcia in trouble throughout the contest, and he mixed up speeds while maintaining similar arm angles, making it difficult to pick up on his pitches.
During a postgame scrum, Garcia referenced the support he received from his defense, crediting the win to a team effort.
“Big sweep over King that puts us in a good position,” Garcia told MICSPORTSNETWORK. “It was a good team win.”
Garcia pitched with the kind of confidence that comes from knowing the defense has your back, and they did. The supporting cast was equally brilliant, including the defensive play of the game that came when Eagles’ second baseman Ryan Ashurst (#16) made a superb diving catch on a liner hit to him by the Mustang’s Bryan Guillen in the top of the 3rd.
Even when pitching well, it can be difficult to keep a pitching arm warm between innings. So, for Garcia to get through a complete game under the cold conditions was a testament to the mindset of the entire squad.
“You always expect to play until Coach Yeager takes you out,” Garcia explained. “Our big Motto is ‘compete,’ so compete until he takes you out. I have a great offense behind me, and I have a great defense behind me, so it’s easy to pitch behind those guys.”
The Eagles will ride this momentum into next week’s two game series against the Carroll Tigers—a team with their own momentum built on a 7-game win streak.
With playoffs looming, the Eagles’ Head Coach, Lee Yeager, knows it is important to stay focused on what is in front of his team.
“This [win over King] gets us in a good position moving forward,” Coach Yeager told MIC’s Mario Mungia. “We were able to sweep Moody, we were able to sweep King, now we have Bluff and Carroll left, so we’ll get ourselves in a position where we can fight for the zone.”
Vets squares off against Carroll this Tuesday at 8pm. You can stream the entire game on Micsportsnetwork.com.