Joliet Central's Carlos Garcia shuts down Joliet West
Carlos Garcia assured Joliet Central of having bragging rights for the immediate future in its longtime rivalry with crosstown foe Joliet West.
The Joliet Central right-hander was the winning pitcher in Central’s 4-2 opening game win, then game back to notch a save in the nightcap as the Steelmen finished off the sweep of Joliet West with a 3-2 victory.
“He’s our man,” Steelmen starting pitcher Jared King told the Herald-News of Garcia. “In a close-game situation, he is the best reliever out of our pen. This was probably my best outing of the year, but it was nice having (Garcia) to come in.”
The Steelmen got King out on the right foot early, scoring three runs in the first inning on the strength of Johnny Slattery’s long two-run double. From there, King tossed five shutout innings, allowing two hits, two walks and hitting two batters. He left with a 3-1 lead, and Garcia came on to close things out.
Garcia relieved for Central (12-17, 2-14) just as rain was beginning to fall and promptly walked two batters to load the bases. Then lightning was sighted, forcing a 30-minute delay, during which time Garcia regrouped to the point of being unhittable once he returned.
“Jared (King) has come a long way on the mound,” Central coach Kevin Fitzgerald told the Herald-News. “He put in a lot of work. He can get himself in trouble, but he grinds it out. And with Carlos (Garcia) being able to do what he does, it’s nice. As a starter, it’s nice to know you have a dominant guy behind you.”
And even nicer when he's getting the job done against your biggest rival.