Garza’s pitching gems become new normal

Aaron Garza, UH’s tall, angular and bearded Friday night starter, accomplished something he had never done before, and in the process gave UH its 17th win of the season. The junior right hander who used 101 pitches, 69 of them for strikes, went all nine innings for his first career complete game.

Garza, who has yet to lose this season, has already surpassed his win total from last year, cementing his transition from a functional pitcher to the Friday night starter.

“This year, it’s going out there with a purpose and conviction and wanting to get the guys out instead of just tossing it in there and basically just seeing what happened” said Garza after Friday’s 8-3 win against the College of Charleston. “That’s probably been the biggest difference along with being a bigger competitor this year.”

The No. 21 ranked Cougars, who are coming off a pair of midweek games where the bullpen was dipped into repeatedly, put up seven hits behind a 2-3, three RBI and two walk night by right fielder Kyle Survance, which gave Garza the cushion he needed to work.

“Same old, same old with him.” said head coach Todd Whitting. “He did a good job of mixing his pitches within the strike zone and keeping them off-balance. We played pretty good D behind him.”

While a well rounded effort, the game centered around UH’s mounds man and his development as a pitcher.

“First and foremost, he’s mentally a far different pitcher than he was in the past,” said Whitting of his undefeated ace. “He’s attacking the zone, he’s going right at hitters. He believes his stuff is going to hold up and every pitch he throws has a purpose behind it. He never really throws the same pitch in the same spot more than once.”

Garza said his workman-like approach to his craft isn’t driven by the stat sheet or seeing his name in the newspaper.

“If you go out there and give it your all, even if you do lose, you can go to bed at night knowing you gave everything you had,” said Garza. “But if you don’t give it your best, and you get hit around, it’s hard to look yourself in the mirror knowing you didn’t give everything you had. If you give everything you have, you go to sleep at night a little bit better.”

When asked if he was sleeping well, Garza chuckled. “For right now, yeah.”

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