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Edinburg North product Garza finding a home by the Bayou

Former Edinburg North baseball standout Saul Garza is now getting things done for the LSU Tigers. Courtesy photo

By KEVIN NARRO
RSL

Saul Garza is a simple kid from a simple family who hails from the ranch lands of San Manuel just north of Edinburg. Garza is the youngest of three boys. stands at 6-foot-3 and has had quite the journey over the last five years.

Garza is currently playing baseball for one of the top programs in the country at Louisiana State University.

Garza graduated from Edinburg North in 2017 and was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 31st round of the Major League Baseball draft shortly afterward. Garza passed on the offer, however, and went to Howard College in Big Spring where he spent a year. He was then drafted a second time by the Kansas City Royals in the 32nd round of the 2019 MLB draft.

In Garza’s brief stint at Howard College, he hit .378 with 53 hits and 23 homers, and was selected to the NJCAA Division I All-Region Team. He was also selected to play in the 2018 Cal Ripken All-Star Game and at the Sun Belt Classic in North Carolina for the Cal Ripken College Baseball League.

“My college coach at Howard got a call from LSU and they were looking for a catcher,” Garza said. “They had gotten a few calls from some scouts in Texas who had seen me while I was at Howard. LSU asked if they would let me leave after a year, usually you stay for two years. Howard told me they would let me leave after a year so I could go to LSU.”

Garza then found himself in Baton Rouge. He briefly hurt his knee while at Howard and in his first fall with LSU he tore his meniscus while blocking a ball. The injury required surgery, but he served as the team’s designated hitter during this time and wasn’t cleared to catch until March where he got his first action at the catcher position on March 20 against Nicholls.

“It was a lot of one-on-one with our trainers and therapy, and just trying to do the extra things to get back,” Garza said. “I was able to start catching in April of last year and started to work my way back into catching. By the end of last year I was able to catch and fully play.”

Since then Garza has become a key cog in the Tigers’ order. In 2019 Garza played in 50 games and made 42 starts. He batted .303 and went 44-for 145 at the plate with 10 doubles, five homers, 27 RBIs and 20 runs.

Garza hit his first LSU career homer against Florida on April 18.

This year Garza swatted a homer on opening day against Indiana and most recently belted a homer at the Shriners Classic at Minute Maid Park against Baylor.

LSU is currently 7-5 on the year and will kick off conference play March 13 against Ole Miss.

“It is unbelievable to play baseball for a program like LSU,” Garza said.

“Year in and year out they compete and are always at the top of the SEC. I know playing all this tough competition will help prepare me for professional baseball one day. I have been able to play with some of the best guys who truly love the game.”

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