TJ GARCIA | SPECIAL TO THE MONITOR
McALLEN — Giancarlo Servin is a contact hitter by the very definition of the term.
The Texas A&M-Kingsville third baseman has 60 hits in 167 at bats. Fifty of the hits are singles. But that’s what Servin does for the Javelinas baseball team, and he does it well.
The Edinburg North product sports a .359 batting average, ranking him in the Division II Lone Star Conference’s top 10 and second on the team. Meanwhile, he leads the team in hits (60) and RBIs (39). Also, Servin has scored 41 runs and has been hit by pitch 10 times – by far the most on the team, and he’s a conference leader.
The 6-foot-1 Servin typically bats near the top of the lineup and his production helped the Javelinas race out to a 25-13 record before losing their last six games. Note that as Servin goes, so go the Javelinas. The super sophomore went just 3 for 15 in TAMUK’s last four games against division-leading Angelo State and the Javelinas were swept.
Servin, a right-hander, has posted 21 multi-hit games in 2019 and has had a 10-game hitting streak. He has started all 44 games for the Javelinas. Last year, Servin started 22 games and finished the year batting .295 with 26 hits in 88 at bats.
SOUTH’S GONZALEZ EARNS HONOR AT ST. MARY’S
St. Mary’s University junior Jeremiah Gonzalez went 5-2 while facing the nation’s No. 7, No. 10 and No. 16-ranked teams during a week in mid-March. His performance earned him the Division II Heartland Conference Tennis Player of the Week award. The junior from Harlingen South is the reigning Heartland Conference Player of the Year and an All-American. Gonzalez is 13-4 in singles competition in 2019.
That week, March 11-17, Gonzalez was 2-2 in No. 1 doubles, defeating Auburn-Montgomery and No. 10 Southwest Baptist, while falling to No. 16 Hawaii Pacific and No. 7 Hawaii-Hilo. In No. 1 singles, Gonzalez was 3-0, defeating Auburn-Montgomery (6-1, 6-2), No. 10 Southwest Baptist (4-6, 5-3, WR) and No. 7 Hawaii-Hilo (6-2, 6-0). It was Gonzalez’s first player of the week award this season.
MISSION’S GARCIA ON A MISSION FOR BLINN JC
Mission High School’s Maria Garcia is excelling for a star-studded Blinn Junior College team that is 39-12 and on a 20-game winning streak. Blinn is ranked 18th in the country among DI junior colleges. Garcia, a sophomore, is batting .351, fifth best on the team. Listed as a utility player, Garcia has mostly played first base for Blinn, located in Brenham just northwest of Houston.
The right-handed Garcia has 38 runs off 47 hits. Also, the 5-foot-4 infielder has 26 RBIs, three home runs and four stolen bases in 43 games played. She started the season on fire, posting 10 RBIs in the first five games while going a near-perfect 12 for 13 at the plate. She’s posted a .977 fielding percentage and has helped turn 12 double plays this season. She has 284 putouts. Garcia was an All-Valley selection for Mission.
MERCEDES’ CLOSNER SHOWING OUT FOR UTRGV
Former Mercedes star Oliver Closner is no longer a freshman at UTRGV. He’s a solid sophomore and with that he’s left behind last year’s scuffling stats. Closner, a catcher, has started 21 games and is batting 150 points better than last year, now at .288 through April 29. He’s doing almost everything better for the Vaqueros. In fewer games played this year than last, the right-hander has nearly triple the hits (21), double the runs scored (15), and more RBIs and walks.
The 5-foot-10, 195-pound Closner has also been stellar behind the plate. He’s posted a .989 fielding percentage with just two errors, 152 putouts and 24 assists. Closner is a former District 32-5A MVP and played varsity for four years at Mercedes. UTRGV baseball is having one its best seasons in years, and is atop of the WAC conference with a 14-4 record in the WAC Conference and 28-14 overall.