City College baseball off to hot start

Knights get a win against College of the Desert with conference play around the corner

Chris+Barkley+scores+a+run+in+the+fifth+inning+of+San+Diego+City+College%E2%80%99s+8-3+victory+over+College+of+the+Desert.++Photo+by+Sonny+Garibay

Sonny Garibay

Chris Barkley scores a run in the fifth inning of San Diego City College’s 8-3 victory over College of the Desert. Photo by Sonny Garibay

Sonny Garibay, Editor-at-Large

This time last season the San Diego City College baseball team was struggling and had not yet won a series.

The 2020 Knights have won six out of the last seven games by utilizing timely hitting, sound baserunning and a wealth of pitching talent.

Things are different this year and the players and coaches know it.  

“It’s night and day,” Knights coach Chris Brown said after an 8-3 victory over College of the Desert on Friday, Feb. 14. “We have some true leaders on this club.” 

The Knights opened the season with a 6-4 record, which is tied with Southwestern College for the best record in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, with two games left before the conference schedule begins.

Brown cites the maturity of the squad and leadership as driving factors behind the team’s success. 

“We started fall ball with almost 80 players,” Brown said. “We got after it as far as bringing in the right guys. … We went after certain personality characteristics to give us some maturity.”

Sophomore starting pitcher Chase Martinez threw seven scoreless innings and was relieved from the game with the Knights holding a comfortable 5-0 lead. He saw the start as the product of a combination of personal and team growth. 

“Since last year it’s been a huge pickup,” Martinez said. “Being a leader, being a captain, teaching these younger people has helped me grow as a person. Being with these coaches for a year longer has helped me better myself.”

Chase Martinez Pitches on the mound during a Feb. 14 game against College of the Desert.

Sonny Garibay
City College pitcher Chase Martinez allowed only one hit in seven innings in the Knight’s win against College of the Desert on Feb. 14. Photo by Sonny Garibay/City Times

Martinez is not the only one who appreciates the role that the coaching staff has played.

“We learn new things every day,” catcher Israel Tafolla said. “The coaches do pretty good with that.” 

The personalities of the players on the team also meshed well, which Tafolla noted had become apparent when the Knights went on the road to start the season. 

“We’re getting along good, especially with these last two trips to Palm Desert and Santa Barbara,” Tafolla said. 

It was the second meeting between Desert and City this season. 

The Knights will next face Mt. San Jacinto on the road on Feb. 19. 

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Sonny is on Twitter @sonnywithanoh