At this time last year,
Garton came into the season with high expectations, but the death of his grandmother just as the season began threw him out of rhythm mentally and physically.
“He had a rough death in the family and got him off to a rocky start. It threw him off-kilter for the entire year,” FAU coach
Garton went 5-4 with a 5.17 ERA, and a year after winning the Sun Belt regular season title and earning a spot in an
But all that is behind Garton now, and the senior is having his best season. He heads into Friday’s game against
"He deserves the success he is having," McCormack said. "This is not a fluke. He worked at it, he added a third pitch. He did what he was supposed to do."
For Garton, his success has come from experience and his desire not to be satisfied with where his game is.
"It is being able to command the pitches I have," said Garton, a right hander who has added a changeup to go along with his fastball and curveball.
At 5-11, 170 pounds, Garton is not imposing, nor is he a power pitcher. But he can hit his targets and finish batters off with a nasty curve.
"It starts with the fastball. Being able to throw a good fastball sets up every other pitch," Garton said.
As FAU's Friday starter, Garton has the pressure of getting a win in the critical first game of the three-game conference series and he is usually against the opponent's ace.
So far FAU has won six of its seven conference series and is on top of the Sun Belt standings at 14-5.
Garton is averaging 6.24 innings per game, so he is not just getting wins, but letting the bullpen rest so more arms are available for the final two games of the series.
"I love it," Garton said about being the Friday starter. "The first year I was nervous, but not anymore."
And Garton said he feels the Owls will win the Sun Belt title again and go to another regional in his final season.