Garcia's got it all, and he might take it with him


POSTED: Monday, May 17, 2010

We've seen Hawaii shortstop Greg Garcia make the quintessential “;major league play”; many times this year—ranging far to his right for a groundball in the hole and firing to first in time for the out. He makes it look easy, almost routine.

Yesterday he went the other way.

Medium-paced bounding ball up the middle, Garcia picks it up while falling and somehow makes a strong throw to first. His momentum takes him farther past the other side of second base than some of the guys in the press box, me included, had ever seen a shortstop go.

Garcia ended up splayed on the ground, about 25 feet past the bag, in the outfield. The New Mexico State batter ended up out.

“;That was about Kevin Macdonald,”; said Garcia, whose throw was a little low. “;We've got one of the best defensive first basemen in college baseball. I know he's going to pick me up.”;

Yeah, that's right—he's humble, too.

Garcia now leads the Rainbows in batting average at .357 and on-base percentage at .450. But his 3-for-4 with a walk and three RBIs yesterday weren't enough to give UH a senior day win and sweep of the Aggies.

Of all the UH sports, baseball has the most lei-less guys right after their final college home game. Garcia, a draftable junior, was probably one of them yesterday.

“;Obviously you'd love to have him another year, but that's the plan when you bring (freshmen) in,”; coach Mike Trapasso said. “;You have them for three years and then they're so good they have to (turn pro).”;

Arm strength is an asset for Garcia. It gives him the ability to play anywhere in the infield.

“;And baseball savvy,”; Trapasso added, pointing out that Garcia is a grandson of Dave Garcia, who managed the California Angels and Cleveland Indians.

Greg proves how smart he is when asked if yesterday was his last game at Les Murakami Stadium.

“;I don't know, we'll see,”; he said after signing some baseballs. “;I want to come back; we'll see what happens in June. I'm still focusing on doing the best I can as a Hawaii Rainbow. We can still get into a regional.”;

The Rainbows have to get into the WAC tournament first; they guarantee that with a split at San Jose State next week, or last-place Sacramento State can help with a loss or two.

THIS MAY have been Trapasso's last game at Les Murakami Stadium, too, since his contract expires at the end of the season.

Athletic director Jim Donovan said yesterday that he would “;evaluate the situation after all the facts are in”; before deciding whether to offer Trapasso an extension. Attendance (yesterday's was the season's third sellout) and academics are among the positives for the ninth-year coach who received a one-year extension after last season. But the fans remain hungry for a regional appearance.

If Garcia continues playing well, UH will likely need a new shortstop next year. And if the Rainbows make a regional, whoever that is might not be playing for a new coach.

Reach Star-Bulletin sports columnist Dave Reardon at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), his “;Quick Reads”; blog at, and