Martinez brings power to Renegades

MJ Inguito

Catcher Justin Martinez heading back to the dugout.

Jason Reed, Sports Editor

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By Jason Reed

Sports Editor

 

The Bakersfield College baseball team is on track to make it to the playoffs and a big part of that has to do with catcher Justin Martinez.

With three games remaining, the Renegades are 16-4 in the Western State Conference and 24-8 overall.

Martinez leads the Renegades with seven home runs on the season. He also has 32 RBIs to go along with 28 runs scored and is batting .317 on the season.

“My dad didn’t want me to play baseball,” Martinez said when asked how he got into baseball.  “My mom wanted to get me involved with sports and she signed me up.”  Martinez said his dad didn’t agree with his mom signing him up for baseball in the beginning because his dad was always a workingman and wanted him to walk in similar footsteps.

“Once he realized that I was good enough to play, he wasn’t so mad about it,” Martinez said.

Martinez, a Centennial High School graduate, said he enjoyed all four years of his time playing baseball with the Golden Hawks.

After being red-shirted last season, Martinez has now taken on a full-time role as BC’s starting catcher and has provided a great spark for BC.

Martinez leads BC with five home runs and has given BC a lift batting fourth in the rotation.

“I just try to stay as relaxed as I can,” Martinez said when asked how he prepares for a game.

“I feel that academically it has definitely prepared me to know what to do for school, and baseball wise it has definitely taken me up a couple notches from high school to now,” he explained when asked how BC has helped him prepare for the next level.  Martinez said he does a lot of stamina workouts to keep himself in shape.

“I’ve definitely seen a lot of things that have opened my eyes to the wrongs and rights about coaching,” Martinez said referring to how much of a help coach Tim Painton has been to him over the course of the season.

“He’s a great coach, I could never say anything bad about him.  He’s there for our players and he’s never going to go against one of his players. He’s just a good guy in general and a great coach.”

Martinez also talked about the experience of being around his teammates and the fun they have with traveling on the road.

“It’s great,” he said.  “The clubhouse chemistry is good; we don’t have to worry about one guy complaining because someone else is starting.  Everyone knows their role, and they just stick by it.”

Martinez said his great-grandmother as had a big impact on his life, she passed away when Martinez was a freshman in high school.

“She’s given me a lot of my values and morals that teach me to do things in the right way,” he said.

Martinez said he wants to bring more intensity to the players in the last few games of the season and hopes that it gives his team a great push going into the playoffs.

Martinez, a business major, said he would like to take over his dad’s trucking business one day and that’s why he chose business as his major.

He said he also enjoys working on trucks in his spare time when he’s not doing baseball.

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