David Martinez named baseball coach at Cal State San Bernardino

The chance to come home was too much for David Martinez to pass up.

Martinez, 39, who had spent the last three years as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Dixie State (Utah), has been named head baseball coach at Cal State San Bernardino, the school from which he graduated in 2004. It was also the first place he coached, having served as a volunteer assistant there for a year.

Displaying Martinez_mug.jpg“This is home. It’s where I grew up so there is a lot of familiarity,” said Martinez, who is still wrapping up loose ends at his previous job and plans to make the move next week. “I think it will be a quick transition. I am excited about the opportunity.”

Martinez is a 1994 graduate of Redlands High School and still has family in the area while wife Saraya has family in Yucaipa.

He is also familiar with the community colleges that have helped serve as a feeder program for Cal State in the past. Martinez played at Riverside City College under head coach Dennis Rogers, and later returned to Riverside as the Tigers’ pitching coach and co-recruiting coordinator for two seasons (2006-07). He left Riverside for UNLV after it won the California state title in 2007.

Martinez also has Division I experience, having helped the University of New Mexico to the NCAA Tournament in both of his seasons in Albuquerque (2011 and 2012) and three seasons at UNLV (2008-10). At both positions he served as pitching coach and at UNLV, led recruiting efforts.

Martinez admits this job has little in common with the job he just left and it’s isn’t just about climate. Dixie State is a fully funded program with a six-figure operating budget, not to mention a spiffy on-campus facility, all things Cal State does not have, But he likes the vision of the administration and thinks those things will get better moving forward.

“I choose to look at the positives,” he said. “There is a lot of baseball talent in this area so there is no reason we can’t be successful.”

Martinez replaces Don Parnell who had headed the program for 24 years and was the second-longest tenured coach in the conference.

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Cal State San Bernardino pitcher Matt LeVert lands contract

Matt LeVert

Senior right-hander Matt LeVert woke up Wednesday morning to the most important phone call of his life.

LeVert, who spent all four seasons of college baseball at Cal State San Bernardino, has agreed to a free-agent minor league contract with the Tampa Bay Rays.

He reports to the Rays’ Gulf Coast League affiliate in Port Charlotte, Fla., on Sunday.

“When I heard who was on the phone and what it was about, I woke up pretty quickly,’’ he said. “He asked me if I was interested and in shape and ready to go. Right after I said, ‘Yes’, he told me I had a contract.’’

The Gulf Coast League plays a 60-game schedule that begins Monday through late August.  Teams are comprised mainly of players drafted in this month’s entry draft and free agents.

LeVert led the Coyotes in saves (three) this past season and ended his career with eight.

 

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Cal State San Bernardino’s Warren Fishback is best of the week

Warren Fishback

Cal State San Bernardino senior Warren Fishback has been named California Collegiate Athletic Association Baseball Player of the Week for Apr. 6-12.

The Rancho Cucamonga High School graduate helped the Coyotes take three of four games against San Francisco State the past weekend.

Fishback hit .692 and recorded a 1.231 slugging percentage after going nine-for-13 with six runs scored, four doubles, one homerun, and seven RBI in four contests.

He was outstanding in Friday’s 9-5 series-opening win, connecting for four hits, three of which were for extra bases. The following afternoon he totaled two more extra-base hits, a double and a home run, to help CSUSB to a 12-5 blowout in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.

Defensively, the infielder was perfect with 46 putouts and three assists.

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