NCAA Baseball News

Mike Garza Elevated to Hitting Coach

Mike Garza Elevated to Hitting Coach

“Mike will enter his third year in our program and will take over the primary hitting responsibilities with our team,” head coach Steve Owens said. “As he did with our infield, Mike will establish strong relationships with our hitters and develop specific plans to help them perform consistently. He is excited to get to work on evaluating our strengths and building our 2024 offense around them.”

Garza earned the promotion after two seasons as a volunteer assistant with the Scarlet Knights, where he was responsible for turning RU into one of the premier defensive teams in the country, while also assisting with hitting, baserunning and recruiting.   


In 2023, Garza helped lead the Scarlet Knights to their second straight 30-win season and oversaw a defense that ranked fourth in the Big Ten with a .976 fielding percentage, despite new starters at all four infield spots. RU also turned 54 double plays, which led the Big Ten and was sixth in the country. 


Under Garza’s guidance, shortstop Josh Kuroda-Grauer was named a semifinalist for the Brooks Wallace Award, which is given annually to the top shortstop in the country. After moving from second base to shortstop, Kuroda-Grauer saw increased offensive production across the board and established himself as an elite defender at a premier position, committing just six errors on the season and posting a .973 fielding percentage. After the season, Kuroda-Grauer received an invitation to USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team training camp. 

In his first season on the Banks in 2022, Garza played a critical role in Rutgers having the best defense in the Big Ten. The emergence of an elite defense helped RU set a program record with 44 wins. The Scarlet Knights led the conference in fielding percentage, finishing the campaign with a mark of .980, including a .985 fielding percentage in the infield. 

The middle infield duo of shortstop Danny DiGeorgio and second baseman Josh Kuroda-Grauer proved to be one of the best in the country, with DiGeorgio being named a finalist for the Brooks Wallace Award, given annually to the top shortstop in college baseball. Kuroda-Grauer committed just one error the entire season, while serving as the team’s every day starter at second base. Additionally, Tony Santa Maria and DiGeorgio each earned a spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays for diving catches made in the series against Indiana. 


Before arriving at Rutgers, Garza spent the three seasons…

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