La Jollan makes his mark on Italian baseball team
Sep 05, 2012 | 4519 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Giovanni Garbella
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Giovanni Garbella, an alumnus of Bird Rock Elementary and Muirlands Middle schools, is currently competing in the World Junior U18 Baseball Championship in Seoul, South Korea.

Garbella is representing the Italian National Team for the tournament, which attracts elite baseball teams from countries all over the world who, after extensive tryouts, send their best players to compete.

Twelve countries have sent their best players to compete in the 2012 championship, being held from Aug. 30 through Sept. 9. Italy is in a group competing with Canada, Panama, Japan, Taipei and the Czech Republic. Teams competing in another group are the United States, Venezuela, Colombia, Korea, Australia and the Netherlands.

Garbella started playing baseball at the age of 5 with the La Jolla Youth Baseball, where he was selected to the La Jolla All Star team that won the Tecolote Baseball Citywide Championship in 2004. He currently plays football, soccer and baseball at Cathedral Catholic High School, following in the footsteps of his older brother Nicola, who was voted the Don’s MVP of their 2011 CIF Championship baseball team.

Being of Italian American heritage and holding dual citizenship, Garbella spent numerous summers playing baseball in Italy with the local team of Aosta, north of Turin, where his father, Orlando, is from and where his grandmother lives.

Garbella was selected to the alternate list of players for the U14 USA baseball team, pitching 5 perfect innings in the quarterfinals of the 2010 Junior Olympics in Peoria, Ariz., then the following year played for the Italian National Team when he won the European U15 Championship, securing the win in the final against the Czech Republic with an inside-the-park Grand Slam (final score 9-8). This year, at 16 years old, he was selected to the U18 Italian National Team and is representing his father’s home country in the XXV 18U 2012 Baseball World Championship.

So far in the championship, he is averaging .287 in batting and OBP of .416. His latest hit was against the highly regarded pitcher Yu Kambara of Japan.

Garbella plans to continue playing baseball at Cathedral, where he is also the starting soccer goalie and back-up football kicker. His interest in sports is coupled with serious academic pursuits, as he holds a 3.75 GPA and his leadership was recognized this year when he was selected to be a member of the ASB as Commissioner of Athletics.

He hopes to receive college offers after a good showing at the championship tournament, and is planning to study engineering or physics in college.

— Staff and contribution
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