Following Bonita’s 7-0 win over San Gorgonio on Friday, San Gorgonio coach Bill Eatinger said of Bearcats pitcher Justin Garza, who is 13-0 with a 0.55 ERA: “(Garza) is the best pitcher in CIF. The kid’s numbers are phenomenal and you saw what he did. We knew we needed to play our best game of the year. We made a couple of mistakes early and that was enough.” After a great regular season, Garza managed to kick it up a notch in the playoffs. He hasn’t been scored on in 13 innings and has allowed just four hits.
He may not look imposing and came out of nowhere, but there is no doubt how talented Garza is, and with his confidence growing, he’s maturing each time out. In terms of best single season ever by a high school pitcher in the San Gabriel Valley, his numbers make an argument against anyone.
Note: I wrote previously if Garza went 14-0, he would match Edgewood’s Mike Pill with the best record for a perfect season in SGV history, which Pill did twice, in 1977 and ’78. Since writing that, some have taken notice and alerted the CIF office of records that were not submitted, like Covina’s Mike O’Hara, who went 15-0 in 1979. That was added just recently, which makes O’Hara the all-time best. For Garza though, if he finishes 14-0 or better, he would be the first to crack the prestigious 14-0 or better season since 1999, or the first since the turn of the century. Not bad, right? And remember in the 70s and prior, pitchers could pitch unlimited innings, there was no 10-inning per week rule. Like I said, what Garza is doing in the modern high school baseball era is extremely impressive.
CIF-SS ALL TIME RECORDS
Rec. Player/School Year
17-0 Rick Stewart, Fillmore 1977
16-0 Vance Thurston, Long Beach Wilson 1947
16-0 Mike Corkins, Rubidoux 1964
15-0 Mike O’Hara, Covina 1979
15-0 Willie Leighton, Fillmore 1988
15-0 Craig Jones, La Quinta 1995
15-0 Brett Young, Calvary Chapel/Santa Ana 1999
14-0 Mike Pill, Edgewood 1976
14-0 Mike Pill, Edgewood 1977
14-0 Mike Witt, Servite 1982
14-0 Craig VanHulzen, Apple Valley Christian 1990
14-0 Jason Kelly, St. Joesph/Santa Maria 1997
14-0 Tim Thompson, Grace Brethren 1998