Riverside baseball players sign with WBC
Riverside senior teammates Izzy Garcia and Charlie McClure are excited about the upcoming Rebel baseball season and very happy to have the opportunity to take their skills to the next level.
Garcia and McClure signed letters of intent to play baseball for Williams Baptist College at a signing ceremony on Wednesday at Riverside High School. Teammates, coaches, teachers, and family members were present for the special occasion.
McClure and Garcia have played baseball together since they were in the second grade.
“We became cousins when his dad married my aunt when we were in the second grade,” Garcia said. “They got me into playing baseball and we have played together since.”
Garcia plays shortstop and second base and McClure pitches and plays center field. The duo has been part of many Rebel wins throughout their high school career.
Garcia was named 2015 Best Under the Sun Newcomer of the Year and All Conference three consecutive years. Garcia finished his junior year with a batting average of .315; on base percentage .476, doubles 9; runs scored 29.
McClure was named All Conference two consecutive years. Stats for McClure's junior year are batting average .290; on base percentage .467; runs scored 20, base on balls 18; and pitching stats record with 6-2; ERA 1.24; strike outs 46; only gave up 8 earned runs all season.
Both have received numerous team awards throughout their high school careers.
Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Jason Durham said he is excited for the young men.
“This is my first year here and I have not had the opportunity to watch them play, but from what I have seen in the hallways and observing how they lead in the clubs and organizations they are part of I know Williams Baptist could not get two better guys,” Durham said.
High school coach Ben Hogard said Williams is getting quality players on the field and quality people off the field.
“We've been fortunate to be able to send several guys on the past couple of years and it is always kind of bittersweet to me,” Coach Hogard said. “Izzy and Charlie have been a part of my life every day for five years. I feel like I'm losing family. Both of these guys have played in huge state tournament games, two state semifinals, and won a ton of games. We will miss their energy and I will miss their leadership, but I could not be prouder for them. I am happy they will get a chance to continue playing baseball.”
Williams Baptist College baseball coach Stephen Abanathy was on hand for the signing ceremony and to welcome them to the team.
McClure said from his first visit to Williams campus it seemed like a good fit for him.
“The school has a great atmosphere,” McClure said. “I liked Coach Abanathy and I got to meet some of the players and visit the field. I think Williams is going to be excellent for me.”
Garcia is also looking forward to played at Williams.
“Coach Hogard played baseball there and he liked it,” Garcia said.
Like McClure, Garcia said Williams felt like home on his visit.
Garcia said he wants to go to state one more time during his high school career.
Both are looking forward to their senior season with the first game scheduled for March 2.
A reception was held following the signing.