Senior pitcher Kiko Garcia of the Pepperdine baseball team tells us about the intrasquad Blue & Orange World Series that recently took place and what he hopes for moving forward with his baseball career:
Q: What's the atmosphere of the Blue and Orange World Series like?
A: This year, the team decided to make the Series very competitive so it is more game-like than a normal scrimmage. It ended up being pretty heated toward the end but we play better like that.
Q: What was it like being both a coach and a player at this year's series?
A: It made me be more engaged in the games because I had to constantly be mapping out our pitching throughout the game along with making sure I was ready to play. It also made winning the Series feel even better!
Q: How does it feel to be going into your final season of Pepperdine baseball?
A: It's definitely a weird feeling knowing that there's not going to be another season after this but it also makes me incredibly motivated to try and go out on a positive note.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish in this upcoming season?
A: Obviously, the goal every year is to go to Omaha, for the NCAA Tournament, but it has to start with coming back out here in the spring and doing everything we can to put ourselves in a position to be successful.
Q: How have you improved as a player in your four years at Pepperdine?
A: I think the biggest difference is my mentality. The improvement I have noticed there has 100% translated into better performances on the field, which I have to thank Coach Garza for. He places a large importance on having a positive mentality when most coaches completely overlook that component. Baseball is such a mental game and a positive adjustment there can really take your game to the next level.
Q: How has the team as a whole improved in your time at Pepperdine?
A: I think the team has gotten closer over the last few years. Each year, the upperclassmen increasingly push for the team to do things together on a consistent basis. This year's team is as close as I have ever seen a baseball team here and I am excited to see how that carries over into the season.
Q: If you could go back and tell your freshman-self one thing, what would it be?
A: I think it would be to know that I am here for a reason and to not hold anything back. I was very tentative my freshman year and that does not work when baseball revolves around conviction in what you are doing. Also, to seek more advice from the older guys on the team. The best source of advice would be the guys who went through the exact same thing you did.
Q: What do you hope to do after graduation?
A: Ideally, I would like to continue my baseball career for as long as I can. If that does not work out, I want to finish my MBA at the graduate school here and see where that takes me.