Justin Garcia Signs With Royals

NEW ORLEANS – University of New Orleans senior pitcher Justin Garcia has signed a free agent contract with the Kansas City Royals, it was announced Sunday.

The right-handed pitcher recorded a career-high 73 strikeouts in 2008 and won his first six decisions of the year. The senior tossed his second career complete game in a March 28 win at Troy and carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning.

Garcia went 6-2 with a 5.77 ERA on the year, having at least seven strikeouts five times while reaching nine K’s on two separate occasions.

The native of Violet, La. will report to Idaho Falls, Idaho on Wednesday where he will join the Idaho Falls Chukars. The Chukars, who play in the Pioneer Baseball League, begin their season on June 17.

Garcia becomes the seventh player on the 2008 Privateer baseball squad to be drafted or signed to a free agent contract, one short of the school-record established following the 1979 season.

He will join teammate Johnny Giavotella, selected in the second round of the Major League Baseball draft on Thursday as members of the Royals organization.

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