Power hitter a rock for Wildcats in difficult season

Senior third baseman Dylan Garcia runs toward first base on April 11 in a game against Cal State Dominguez Hills. Photo credit: Ryan Pressey

Senior third baseman Dylan Garcia has made the best out of an otherwise disappointing season for the Chico State baseball team.

Garcia has been playing baseball since he was 5 years old. Influenced by a family who loved the game, his childhood revolved around baseball.

“I was always watching it and playing it,” Garcia said. “Baseball was life.”

This season, Garcia has been lighting up the diamond and has led the team on batting average with .343, to go along with his .431 slugging percentage and an on-base percentage of .443.

“Offensively, he is carrying the load.” said Alex Michaels, a junior teammate. “Every situation where he has to drive in runs, he comes in clutch. Dylan has played a vital role and has been a big attribute to the team this year.”

Garcia has always been a great hitter for the Wildcats, but this season he has been fantastic at fielding the ball, said Cody Slader, senior shortstop.

“He has been unbelievable,” Slader said. “He is known as an offensive player, but (we) can’t complain about how he has been fielding ground balls at third base.”

A key factor in his growth defensively this season can be attributed to his confidence in his play this season, Slader said.

“The first few games, he made a few nice plays, and he realized he could play defense well,” he said.

This season, Garcia has been a rock for the ‘Cats and currently leads the team in 12 categories, including runs scored, hits and doubles.

“This year, you can tell when he gets in the box, everyone knows he is going to have a quality at-bat,” Slader said. “He is blessed with a very good eye and doesn’t swing at bad pitches.”

Garcia played as the ‘Cats leadoff hitter this season, which has been a new experience for him, he said.

“It’s a lot different,” Garcia said. “You get to see a lot more fastballs. But my main goal is try to get on.”

Garcia is in his senior year, and this season will be his last at Chico State. One of his greatest moments during his Wildcat baseball career came last year when he went to the College World Series.

“What I’m going to take away is all the great memories I have had,” Garcia said. “All the great baseball I’ve been a part of and got to watch.”

Matthew Vislosky can be reached at [email protected] or @MattVislosky on Twitter.