Matadors’ freshman three-position student-athlete named as conference’s top utility player
Yuma, Arizona – May 1, 2013 -- Arizona Western College is proud to announce that AWC baseball player Travis Garcia-Perreira (gahr-SEE-uh peh-REH-ruh) has been named to the postseason All-Region I and All-ACCAC teams. Garcia-Perreira earned 1st Team honors on both squads, earning a spot as the utility player on the All-ACCAC squad (the All-Region I team doesn’t specify positions). It’s the second time in as many years that a member of the Matador Baseball pitching staff has earned 1st Team honors on the two squads after Kahana Neal earned the same accolades in 2012. The announcements were made following the postseason coaches’ meetings in Chandler.
For many Matador fans, hearing that Garcia-Perreira made the team as anything other than a pitcher would likely be considered a surprise. After all, it was what the native of Alea, Hawaii, did on the hill during his freshman campaign that made fans across the state take notice much of the season. From the moment he first stepped on the mound to pitch six innings of one-hit ball in his first start against 2012 Region XVIII semifinalist Southern Idaho at the Coyote Border Battle in late January, Garcia-Perreira has been in command of just about every hitter he faced, and at the forefront of the nine-freshman contingent that made up the 2013 Matador pitching staff. From there, Garcia-Perreira never pitched less than four innings in any start, and on the other side of the coin, if there was extra innings to be pitched in a game that was tied after seven innings, he never shied away from the challenge. The CSI performance during the opening weekend was one of four shutout performances that Garcia-Perreira would throw for the Matadors (with two other appearances in which he didn’t allow an earned run), and he went the distance a whopping six times in his 14 starts in 2013. That complete-game stat also included going extra innings on April 9th in Prescott against Yavapai, when he allowed 2 runs to the Roughriders in the second inning, then shut them out for the seven remaining innings until the Matadors got a run in the top of the 9th inning to win the game. That stat doesn’t include Garcia-Perreira’s longest (and finest) performance of the season, though, since in a classic pitching duel of the two top pitchers in the conference at that time, Garcia-Perreira & Cochise’s Zach Rodgers (who both came into the game with identical 9-0 records) went toe-to-toe at Kammann Field, with Rodgers lasting eight innings, and Garcia-Perreira going a stunning ten innings of 5-hit shutout ball, but neither getting a decision in a marathon 14-inning game that didn’t see a run scored until the final frame. Garcia-Perreira won his first nine decisions of the 2013 campaign, just missing out on the ten-win plateau when he suffered his only loss of the season in his final performance against Pima last Tuesday. For the season, Garcia-Perreira’s 9-1 record was 3rd-best in the conference, and his 1.49 earned run average ranked 6th in the ACCAC. Travis went 90 1/3 innings, allowing just 20 runs (15 of them earned) on 85 hits, and his strikeouts-to-walks ratio was stellar at 3˝-to-1 (53 strikeouts (tops on the team), 15 walks).
Lost in the glare of those marks was the fact that even though he only played in 36 of the Matadors’ 55 games this year, Garcia-Perreira wound up as one of the team’s best hitters, and finished the year usually starting either in the outfield or at first base when he wasn’t pitching. Garcia-Perreira made the most of his 47 at-bats as well, with a team-high .298 batting average (14 hits in 47 at-bats), with 6 runs batted in, 3 doubles, nine runs scored and even a stolen base. His versatility wound up being a strong asset as the Matadors made a late-season push for the playoffs, and it certainly opened his head coach’s eyes to the possibilities for Garcia-Perreira next year as a sophomore. “Travis’s stats speak for themselves, and they also show the hard work that Travis puts forth on the field,” said AWC Head Baseball Coach Drew Keehn. “It’s great to see Travis get some well-deserved honors for the dedication that he has to the game.” The Matadors finished the regular season with an overall record of 31 wins and 24 losses.