Garner named to all-star teamPublished 9:38pm Thursday, July 26, 2012
By BILL TEMPLETON
Niles Daily Star
The mercurial rise through the baseball ranks has continued at warp speed this summer for 2010 Niles High School graduate David Garner.
Playing this summer for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks in the prestigious Cape Cod League, the right-handed pitcher was recently selected to the West Division all-star team. The game will be played Saturday at Whitehouse Field in Harwich, Mass.
Garner, who will be a junior in the fall at Michigan State University, is currently 2-2 and ranks fifth in the West Division with a 2.54 ERA. In eight appearances, including four starts, Garner has struck out 28 batters in 28 1/3 innings.
The soft-spoken Garner was thrilled and humbled to be named to the elite squad.
“Last Tuesday, I came to the field and another pitcher who made the all-star team came up to me and said the votes were in,” Garner said. “I asked him if he made it, and he said, ‘Yeah,’ but that I had made it, too. We shook hands and we were both really happy, because it’s a pretty big achievement for both of us.
“I got in the locker room and coach called me into his office and he told me (I had made the all-star team). The feeling that I had was kind of like when I came to Michigan State. I knew that going to the Cape (Cod League) would allow me to play against the best players, and making the All-Star team was a goal I had.”
Garner had a breakout sophomore season during the 2012 season at MSU, posting a 6-3 mound record, with a 3.28 ERA. He recorded 75 strikeouts in 74 innings, was 4-0 with a 3.22 ERA in his six Big Ten starts, and was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week after tossing a complete game, five-hit shutout at No. 13 Purdue on April 29. In that game, Garner struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter during his first career complete game.
Beyond his considerable talents as a pitcher, MSU head baseball coach Jake Boss said Garner is an even better person.
“David, first and foremost, is just a phenomenal kid,” MSU head baseball coach, Jake Boss said about Garner. “He represents Michigan State, and our program, in an extremely positive way, and we’re extremely excited about his future.”
Garner was drafted in the 33rd round of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft by the Cincinnati Reds, but elected to play college baseball and attend Michigan State University. In his senior high school season in 2010, he posted an 8-2 record with an ERA of 1.73 and struck out 82 batters in 48.2 innings to earn All-Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference West Division honors. Offensively, he batted .500 with two home runs, four triples and 32 RBIs.
A three-sport standout at Niles High School, Garner also played football and basketball, earning a total of eight varsity letters. On the gridiron, he caught 20 passes for 607 yards and 10 touchdowns to garner all-league accolades in 2009. As a basketball player his senior year, he averaged 18 points a game and was named first-team all-division after leading the Vikings to their first conference title.
Regarding the possibility of playing professional baseball right out of high school, Garner admitted his decision was a fairly easy one.
“Getting drafted out of high school had never even popped up in my mind,” he said. “I got drafted, and my mom was behind me, 100 percent, with whatever choice I made. She wanted me to go to school, and I wanted to go to school, so I would say that going to school was the No. 1 option all along, but getting drafted and having a chance to start my professional career early was exciting, too.”
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