Setters Profile: Josh Garran, A Major in Baseball

James Miranda, Sports Editor

If there was one word to describe Pace junior Josh Garran, that word would be baseball. Baseball defines Garran as a person and as a player.

Garran hails from Old Tappan, New Jersey (part Bergen County and about an hour from New York). He was born to Gary and Joy Garran, an ex-parole officer and a worker in an insurance agency, respectively. His dad coached him pretty much his whole life until high school, forming a special bond between the two. He also has an older sister, Jenna, whom he’s really close with.

His family has played an important role because they’ve been behind him 100 percent in whatever Garran has pursued in life, always supporting him.

But baseball has always been his number one pursuit. He’ll never forget the moment he fell in love with the game.

“I was in third grade and there was a fly ball over my head, I ran out into center field, and I dove and made a back-handed catch,” said Garran. “I hit a home run in Little League and I didn’t even know I was capable of doing that; I thought to myself ‘this can’t be real.’ It was awesome.”

Baseball has always been part of the Garran family, with Garran starting out by playing tee ball. He’s always loved it and played shortstop for most of his career until making the transition to a pitcher.

“I’ve played since I was in kindergarten and I was mostly a shortstop until sophomore year of high school,” Garran said. “I started to realize I had a pretty good arm. I didn’t come into myself until junior/senior year.”

His senior year at Northern Valley Regional was his best. He posted a 7-3 record with a 1.66 ERA while striking out 66 in 54.2 innings pitched. He won playoff games and earned a Big North Conference First Team Award, while being named to the Bergen County Coaches Association All-County Second Team.

Garran exclusively pitches now and that’s what Pace wanted him for. Many Division-I schools such as the University of Delaware, which gave him his first offer, and Marist College scouted the young baller. Ultimately, it was Pace which caught his eye, due to the coaches adding a bit of a personal touch by coming to his own home and taking the time to get to know him as a person.

“It is tough to turn down coaches that pursue you that much,” Garran said. “They come to your house and have coffee with your parents to come get to know us; that was the deal breaker.”

Garran won NE-10 and ECAC (Eastern College Athletic Conference) Pitcher of the week this past week. He earned the title for his complete game shutout against Dominican College on Mar. 18 where he went nine innings, allowing three hits and striking out 10 as the Setters (6-9, 1-2 NE-10) won 3-0. He stayed hot earning another win in an 11-1 rout of Adelphi pitching five shutout innings. He hasn’t allowed a single run since his first outing on Feb. 15 where he allowed seven runs, five earned.

Garran’s success didn’t just happen overnight though. As he said, baseball is a game of failure. And it’s taken sometime to become the mentally tough player he is. He’s been a confident, humble, and hardworking player, but it hasn’t been easy.

Baseball has helped him mature both athletically and personally. Personally, it has taught him responsibility and time management. He has not spent a summer off since his freshman year at Pace. Garran partakes in a summer league called the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL). This was only the beginning of his maturation.

“I went there and thought I can just blow my fastball by [players],” said Garran. “I did horrible. I got back and my coach was upset that I didn’t do well. I went into the league thinking I was going to do the same thing that I had done my freshman year. That’s when I learned at the college level that I need to become a pitcher as oppose to a thrower.”

With that maturity he returned to the PGCBL before junior year and was around top five in the league in strikeouts and ERA. He was featured in the All-Star Game where he got to play in front of 6,000 people, in a minor league stadium, and got to feel like a real ballplayer.

“Playing in front of that many people was an unbelievable experience I’ll never forget,” said Garran. “We signed autographs for little kids and there were 15 MLB scouts. It was like a dream come true.”

He compared it to Derek Jeter’s final hit at Yankee Stadium. Just like how that was a fantasy that became reality, playing in a minor league stadium in front of 6,000  people was his fantasy becoming reality.

Garran’s thought about the Major Leagues, but definitely does not want to be caught in the position where he chases a fantasy that won’t become a reality.

Baseball’s meant a lot to Garran. From the moment he dove for that ball in Little League to the shutout he threw against Dominican.

Garran says, “Baseball is my major, but my minor is criminal justice.”