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Saturday, June 22, 2024

‘Let’s go 5-for-5:’ Grambling State baseball alum pulls of historic major league feat


Houston Astros prospect John Garcia achieved a feat earlier this week that has never occurred in professional baseball.

Playing for the High-A Asheville Tourists, the former Grambling Tigers catcher recorded five doubles in an 18-8 win over the Bowling Green Hot Rods on Wednesday night.

Asked about the feat after the game, Garcia said, “I feel so amazing. I want to be in the big leagues, so when I hear about accomplishing something that’s never been accomplished in the Majors, it felt really good.”

 

Garcia victimized four different pitchers and wasted very little time, with his longest at-bat being a mere four pitches.

He said focusing on the scouting report and being aggressive early in the count paid dividends.

“I’m just trying to study the scouting report for each of these pitchers. I’m also trying to hit early in the count,” he said. “I really don’t like getting deep into at-bats, so if something is going in the zone, I’m going to swing at it, and it definitely worked today.”

After his first two doubles, which came in the second and fifth innings, respectively, Garcia recounted his teammates encouraged him to do something special, “They said, bro, let’s go 5-for-5 with five doubles. In that moment, I knew it was something I could do.”

J Garcia Grambling
Photo: Grambling State Athletics

After his five-hit performance, Garcia’s average has been lifted to .279, which would be a high watermark over his three years in the minor leagues.

In 73 games at Single-A Fayetteville, Garcia hit just .198. Following his promotion to high A last season, Garcia hit .306 in games in those 24 games.

“This year, I want to expand my vision,” Garcia said.”It’s something I worked on the entire offseason. I really also wanted to stay away from the sliders that were going outside.”

In his youth in the Bronx, Garcia was focused on basketball. However, after friends in high school convinced him to take up baseball, he didn’t participate in it full-time until his senior year.

After attending Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York, Garcia moved to Grambling State. In his lone season there, he hit .407 with 10 homers and 69 RBI. The Houston Astros drafted him in the 19th round of the 2022 MLB Draft.



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