SDSU Baseball News Conference Quotes

Feb. 16, 2012

Watch ASSISTANT COACH MARTINEZ

SAN DIEGO -

Assistant baseball coach Mark Martinez

Opening Statement:

"Obviously this week has been met with some challenges in our baseball program, but our players and coaching staff have dealt with it in an unbelievable fashion per Coach Gwynn's request. He wants to handle everything in a positive way. I think we've done that from our side and I think, hopefully it's paid off based on reports coming from the hospital. It's just been a great job by a team of doctors for Coach Gwynn and we're very excited as we move forward, on what the outcome is going to be."

On Stephen Strasburg being honored at Friday's game:

"The players have something planned and they want to keep it in house and to themselves. To be honest, they haven't shared that with me. I know they have something planned for (Coach Gwynn). I know that a couple of our seniors went up there yesterday and presented him with a video message from the team and some cards from our players. Tomorrow they're going to honor him in some way. That's pretty exciting as well. They want to keep it to themselves, not that the coaching staff is excluded from it, but we will be involved in it come game time."

On it being easy to lose Coach Gwynn for the second time:

"It's different, easier is not a good term. I think anytime you deal with something of this magnitude, you lose your head coach, anytime whether it's in the fall or in the spring, it's a difficult transition. The difference is that Coach Gwynn has been with us throughout the fall, which is our spring training for college baseball. He was up here until Monday, so the standards and the levels that he wants our players to play at are already in place. Now the difference is that we're playing games. All the practice and all of the stuff that we've done up to this point lies in the barn. They're ready to play; we're ready to go. They know the expectations that the program and Coach Gwynn demands of them."

On knowing if Strasburg would continually be involved in the baseball program:

"Absolutely, it's based on his character and he left here an Aztec for life. He's been great for our program, our boys, and our team. Being out there working out and being amongst those guys, teaching them an unbelievable work ethic also unbelievable character. Those kinds of things that he shares with our program, helps our program and helps our kids growing up, 18-to-21-year-old guys. He's a great model for success, we're very happy to have him around our program and I know our players are sponges for his information as well."

On if Coach Gwynn's absence intensifies any nerves for tomorrow's game:

"Absolutely it does. I think they're more outside themselves more than being within themselves, worrying about what they have to do. We're really excited about going out to play and making Coach Gwynn very proud of how they go about their business on Friday."

On concerns going into this season:

"Only a lack of experience in some areas, we're going to start a few freshmen. The core group of our team right up the middle is all guys who have played at the collegiate level. They're all sophomores; we have a couple of freshman All-Americans in Cole Swanson and Cody Smith who are going to be a couple of anchors up the middle. We have two sophomores in the middle at shortstop and second base in Evan Potter and Tim Zier. Then, of course, Brad Haynal will be on the plate as well. They're all guys that have played a bunch for us as freshmen. They're getting tested and they are veterans even though they are our sophomores. We have two seniors that are in our lineup, Jomel Torres and Chris Wilson, that definitely have a calming effect on the younger guys. They're good people to have sprinkled throughout the lineup as well."

On what must go right to have a successful season:

"Nothing in particular, I think our talent level has raised and also I think what has changed is our culture within our program. That was one thing that Coach Gwynn instilled in the guys this fall is that we are going to change the culture. The culture, meaning doing things the right way, being disciplined, being great students in the classroom and being great students of the game on the field. So far, the only win-loss record we have right now is the scholar part of it. We had 14 scholar-athletes in our program this past fall which is again a testament to the change of culture and change in our program."