High School Sports

Nipomo High's Garcia commits to Long Beach State

Tribune photo by Jayson Mellom: Nipomo High's Andrew Garcia runs during the Pac 7 finals at the Fairbanks course in November.
Tribune photo by Jayson Mellom: Nipomo High's Andrew Garcia runs during the Pac 7 finals at the Fairbanks course in November. The Tribune

Nipomo High senior distance runner Andrew Garcia has verbally committed to run at Long Beach State, he said Monday.

Garcia won the past two championships at the PAC 7 cross country finals, completing the 5K Cuesta College Fairbanks Memorial Course in 16 minutes, 3.4 seconds, one year after clocking a time of 16:46 at the same site. Garcia plans to compete in both cross country and track for the 49ers.

“To run at a Division I school has been a dream of mine since middle school,” Garcia said. “I’ve put in a lot of hard work, thousands of miles and countless hours of workouts.

“I just want to improve,” he added. “I feel like I still have a lot of untapped potential.”

Long Beach State placed fifth this past October at the Big West Conference cross country championships. Garcia’s personal best in a 5K is 15:40, while in track, he has run the mile in 4:25 and the 3,200 meters in 9:52.

“He’s the best distance runner we’ve had,” Nipomo track and field coach Russ Edwards said. “He’s just going to continue to improve in that kind of an instructive, intensive program.”

BASEBALLAtascadero Easter TournamentMission Prep 11, Santa Clara 5; Mission Prep 6, Nipomo 4Kevin Laird had a standout day for the Royals (4-6), picking up the win in the first game by striking out seven batters, walking one and scattering six hits over five innings. He added a 3-for-5, four-RBI performance at the plate as well, and in the second contest was 2 for 3. Mission Prep’s Ray Hurwitz went 3 for 5, with two RBI in that win.

Against the Titans, Eli Balaban earned the win, striking out seven in 42⁄3 innings of relief while yielding five hits. Cole Holloway was 3 for 4 with an RBI for Nipomo.

Nipomo 9, Morro Bay 6Senior shortstop Jeff McNeil, a Cal State Northridge signee, blasted his PAC 7-leading third and fourth home runs of the year, finishing 3 for 4 with four RBI.

Ryan McNeil and Joe Gutshall each added two-run doubles for the Titans (6-6). Holloway picked up the win, tossing four hitless innings, striking out two.

Troy of Fullerton 5, Paso Robles 4 (8 innings); San Clemente 8, Paso Robles 2Jesse Horne hit a two-run homer in the first game, finishing 2 for 3 for Paso Robles (7-7), which got four strong innings on the mound from Scott Plescia.

Against San Clemente, a four-run fourth inning doomed the Bearcats.

SOFTBALLBest of the West Tournament:Simi Valley 2, Paso Robles 0; Downey 3, Paso Robles 1Amanda Searcy pitched in both games at the Righetti-hosted event for Paso Robles (5-11), striking out two batters in the first, in which the Bearcats were no-hit. Against Downey, Lauren Redberg went 1 for 2 with an RBI.

BOYS GOLFEaster Invitational at LompocArroyo Grande had the best showing of a handful of area schools, shooting a 250, led by Matt McAustin and Eric Skelton, each of whom carded an 80.

Nipomo shot a collective 254, as Rory Doll led the way with an 83. Atascadero, meanwhile, had two squads close behind at 256, with Greyhounds senior Austin Kaiser posting an individual third-place 78 and teammate Alex Aguiar adding an 81.

San Marcos took home the team title.