Foxboro’s Garcia Sets New Strikeout Record at RWU

Justin Garcia
Foxboro alum Justin Garcia throws during practice at Roger Williams where he recently broke the school’s strikeout record. (Bryce Johnson/Roger Williams Athletics)

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Following a senior season that was wiped away by the pandemic after just three appearances and two starts, Foxboro alum Justin Garcia returned for a fifth year at Roger Williams and turned that extra spring into a historic one.

In his most recent start, against Salve Regina, Garcia recorded the 186th strikeout of his career, breaking the old program record set by Josh Rosen in 2003. With 57 strikeouts this season (in just 33 innings), Garcia now has 189 and counting.

“I knew roughly around how many I needed but in the heat of the moment, during the game, I wasn’t really thinking all that much about it,” said Garcia about breaking the record. “I was just trying to do a job and get the win.”

He laughed when asked if his teammates were keeping track by hanging up Ks ior having a countdown in the dugout. “Some of my teammates were thinking about doing that,” he said, “but I just told them, don’t jinx it. I still have to pitch well in order to get there.”

Twice named to the Commonwealth Coast Conference Third Team (in 2018 and 2019), Garcia is having the best season of his career. Through six starts, he is 3-0 (increasing his career win total to 11) and has a career-best ERA of 2.73, which is almost half a point better than his previous low of 3.25 as a sophomore.

“It’s good to get recognition, but it’s also good to see I remained consistent throughout the four years at Roger Williams and it shows that hard work does eventually pay off if you stick with it,” Garcia explained.

Like most pitchers coming out of high school, Garcia said his coaches called him a “thrower, not necessarily a pitcher.” He relied on his fastball and admitted that there were a lot of growing pains that first season, as he finished with a 1-3 record in eight appearances (five starts). He made the adjustment quickly, as the next year he was 3-3 in eight starts and dropped his ERA almost five points from 8.20 to 3.25.

“Going from high school to college is such a big jump,” he said. “You’re just still trying to figure out how to get outs without getting shelled, especially when you’re facing a conference that’s been pretty strong the past four years. I’ve developed so much, grown so much over the course of four years.”

The learning continues, as Garcia said he has been working on a new pitch this season and continues to tinker to try and improve. “You’re always learning and you’re never at the top of your game and there’s always something new you can learn, more development that you can have,” he said. “There’s never a ceiling.”

Garcia is now trying to share that message with the younger pitchers on the team, showing them what it takes to be a success at the collegiate level. He said, “You’ve got to be confident. Confidence is 90 percent of pitching. If you’re not confident in yourself to perform well, then you’re not going to.”

With Roger Williams sitting at 11-5 in conference play, second place in Pod A behind Salve, which is 7-2-1 in the CCC, Garcia is looking ahead to this weekend and the conference tournament. After watching one season disappear, he is trying to make the most of this spring.

“We were down in South Carolina playing games and nothing was wrong and then the next week the whole season was cancelled,” Gracia reflected. “It goes to show that stuff can happen really fast and guys need to realize you only have four eligible seasons of playing college ball so they should really soak it all up and really enjoy the experience.”

In the fall and winter, concerns remained that this season might not happen. The rising number of cases in Rhode Island and on campus made it unclear whether or not spring sports could take place. So, there was obvious excitement when the team found out that this season would go ahead.

“I was relieved because all I wanted to do was play one last season,” he explained. “I was just so happy. I was really proud of the team that we were able to accomplish that, because it’s college and people want to hang out with friends and stuff and it’s really hard to isolate yourself.”

Now, as the spring is heading towards the end, the focus changes from happy to be playing to determined to bring home a trophy. Along with his fellow fifth-year players Joey Gulino and Danny Roth, Garcia wants to end the season on a high.

“The past couple years we’ve come up just short of a championship, so we wanted to make sure we had a good chance of getting a ring at the end of the year,” he said.

“It means so much for the older guys. We’ve all been here since freshman year, five years ago. It seems so long ago now, but we’re just happy that we’re able get the chance again and hopefully take [a championship] home this year and leave a good lasting impact on the program too.”

With a program record in hand, Justin Garcia is now hoping to add a CCC title to his Roger Williams legacy.

Baseball: Davenport Division Preview 2016

Stoughton junior Ryan Sullivan will look to try and lead the Black Knights to the playoffs. (Ryan Lanigan/
Stoughton junior Ryan Sullivan will look to try and lead the Black Knights to the playoffs. (Ryan Lanigan/

By Staff


2015 Record: 11-11
2015 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: JP Scott

The Bulldogs graduated a handful of key pieces from last year’s team that reached the playoffs but they also return plenty of experienced players and hope to reach the playoffs again.

“The expectation for us is to have a successful season and make a run for a small Hock title,” Canton head coach JP Scott said. “But our main goal of the season will be to make it back to the state tournament like we did in 2015.”

Canton has 11 seniors on the roster this season led by captains Griffin Jerrier and Joe Peccia. Jerrier has plenty of experience on the bump while Peccia was second on the team last year with a .393 batting average. The Bulldogs also have their top batter back in Kevin Powers, who batted over .400 last year and drove in 15 runs in the season. Powers was also one of Canton’s top pitchers after logging over 40 innings in 2015.

Scott also brings back Jim Jenkins, Mike McMahon, Sean Doyle and Joe Bires, all which have starting experience. Junior Jackson Maffeo, fresh off a tremendous season on the ice, is expected to contribute in his first season on varsity.


2015 Record: 4-16
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Chris Sullivan

After just four wins last year, the Warriors look poised to improve on that this year. Foxboro graduated just two seniors year last and have seven starters back for 2016.

“This is the hardest working and most dedicated group that has come through the school since I graduated in 2002,” head coach Chris Sullivan said. “We have a ton of guys who worked hard in the weight room, in the cages, and by playing competitive summer baseball this past offseason.”

Justin Garcia will lead a strong group of experienced pitchers. Garcia had a 1.54 ERA last season, striking out nearly 50 batters to rank near the top of the league. Colin Thoener, Darren Kelly and Aaron Wentling will also all see time on the mound this season.

Chad Bearce will likely handle first base while Garcia is on the mound while Darren Kelly and John Cronin will see time up the middle. Thoener will show off his defensive prowess at third and senior Nick Wright will return for his third season patrolling centerfield for Foxboro. AJ Cavossa, AJ Bubencik and Cam Feldman will all split the other outfield time and Jesse Galanti is back behind the plate for the third consecutive season.


2015 Record: 11-10
2015 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Paul Pellegrini

After just getting into the postseason last year, Milford has key pieces back in key positions to try and keep their playoff streak alive.

“This team is a very athletic team with lots of versatility,” head coach Paul Pellegrini said. “If we put everything together, which I believe we will, we should be fun to watch. We will definitely be very competitive and strong team all around.”

One big reason that Milford has a shot at getting back there is sophomore Aidan Wilde, who led the league as a freshman in batting last year. He hit had 36 hits and hit .537 with 21 RBI and was selected as the Underclassman of the Year. Junior Blake Hill has batted .360 over the past two years and will also be a key part of the Scarlet Hawks pitching staff.

Junior Alex Macek will be one of the more experienced pitchers in the Davenport and will be relied upon as Milford tries to replace Griffin Lynch and Alex Croteau. Brian Ireland, who also is the starting third baseman, will also get innings for Milford this season.


2016 Record: 15-7
2016 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Leo Duggan

Losing arguably the two top players in the league will be tough for Oliver Ames but the Tigers have been the class of the league in recent years and have reloaded year after year.

Oliver Ames has won six straight league titles but this season might be the biggest challenge. Hockomock MVP and Player of the Year Brendan Welch is off at SNHU now and Mike Ferrara, who set the single season hit record for the Tigers, is out at Worcester State.

However, Leo Duggan has infielder Chris Romero back to lead OA after batting .474 last year, good for fourth in the league. Romero gets it done at the plate, in the field and on the bases – stealing 18 bases last year. Romero will be joined by Josh Minuskin, who saw time all over the field last year and will settle in behind the plate in 2016.

Ryan Adams will be another key piece, playing in 18 games last year and batting .404 with 10 RBI. Sophomore Matt Muir also returns after a standout freshman year. Sam Burr, Kevin Geary, Mitchell Goulet and Nick Zwerle should all see some innings on the mound this season.


2015 Record: 6-14
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Kee Arguimbau

For the first time in nearly a half a century, there will be a new head coach for the Sharon Eagles baseball team. After 44 years at the helm, Joel Peckham retired after last season and assistant Kee Arguimbau has taken the reigns.

Senior Isaac Miley will be a leader that Arguimbau will rely on all over the place. He’s been on varsity since his sophomore year and is returns as the starting shortstop this season and will be one of the program’s top pitchers.

Senior Mark Botaish will also see a lot of time on the mound and will man third base when he’s not pitching. Arguimbau noted Botaish’s strong junior season and is hoping that will be built on this year. Andrew Filipkowski is back in the outfield for his third season and will be relied upon to get the offense started from the leadoff spot.

Junior Jake Marglous is back at catcher again this season and classmate Aiden Arnold is back to man first base. Arnold was also one of the Eagles’ top hitters last season and will help pace the offense this year. Arguimbau also expect contributions from Rob Bayha, Mike Dumont, Jordan Chabot, Ryan Crooks and Spencer Singer.


2015 Record: 9-11
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Mike Armour

The Black Knights came up just short of the postseason last year but return a strong core and are poised to punch their ticket to the playoffs in 2016.

“With a mix of experience and youth, we are looking to field a competitive team this season that should be able to compete with anybody,” head coach Mike Armour said.

Jake Gibbs has been one of the top players in the league the last two seasons and will look to do the same during his senior year behind the plate. Junior Ryan Sullivan showed a lot on the mound last season and will see a lot of innings along with juniors Justin Hutchinson and Nico Parmeggiani and senior Barry Cooke.

Armour is looking for Doug Seaman to take on an expanded role during his senior season after being limited to just hitting last season. Junior Jack Connelly will man first base for the Black Knights while Joe Piana will see time at third base. Expect Chris McNulty, Nick Quattrucci, Matt Gallagher, Luke Johnson, Michael Batte to all see time in the field while Jared Maher will log some innings on the mound.