Graduating Athletes: Baseball


Jeffrey Davis

Left to right: Clinton Perez, Emilio Esquibel, Manny Barragan, L.A. Gamo, Cameron MacKenzie, Jon Putnam and Brandon Bentson celebrate their awards on Senior Day with family.

Layda Galvan, Assistant Sports Editor

Manny Barragan, Pitcher

Major: Computer Science

Stat: Struck out 39 batters in the 2015 season

Best win in 2015-2016 season: “Our last game of the season … Getting the win in front of family and loved ones on Mother’s Day, that really was the icing on the cake.”

Post­-graduation plan: “I plan on working as a programmer, software engineer, or developer. Eventually, I want to begin my own mobile app/software business.”

Ideal graduation trip: “There are a lot of places in the world I would love to travel to, but I would have to go with Bora Bora.”

Advice to teammates who have yet to graduate: “Enjoy every moment of being a student athlete. I just played my final game yesterday and I already miss it.”

L.A. Gamo, Outfielder

Major: Communication

Stat: In 2015 he broke the CSUSM record for most walks in a season with 38

Best win in 2015-2016: “Our last game. Because everyone played as if it was their last game. Proud to see Manny pitch his best game and see Jordan Kuntz shove for 3 innings.”

Post­-graduation plan: “ I’ll be starting my own sports company.”

Ideal graduation trip: “Italy. I love the food, love the history and love the scenery. I need that after a long season.”

Advice to teammates who have yet to graduate: “Enjoy baseball. Everyone has an expiration date, it can be next year, or your senior year, or it can be when you make the next level … Don’t let that thought come to mind. Leave it on the field and enjoy it with the brothers that share the same gift.”

Clinton Perez, Outfielder and Pitcher

Major: Business Finance

Stat: Had a .382 batting average with 18 runs and 15 RBI in the 2015 season

Best win in 2015-2016 season: “The best win from this past season was walking off against Chico State.”

Post-­graduation plan: “After graduation I hope to get a job at a financial firm.”

Ideal graduation trip: “I would take a grad trip to Ireland, my homeland.”

Advice to teammates who have yet to graduate: “Cherish every moment of your college career, you will miss every second of it when it’s over.”

Jordan Kunz, Left Handed Pitcher

Major: Business Finance

Stat: With 32 appearances as relief pitcher he tied the CSUSM record

Best win in 2015-2016 season: “The best win for me has to be the last game against UCSD. Everyone played so well and it was a great game to end my baseball career. It will be one to remember.”

Post­-graduation plan: “I plan on looking for a job in the police department.”

Ideal graduation trip: “I would like to go to German. I have studied German and would like to see where my ancestors lived.”

Advice to teammates who have yet to graduate: “Getting the degree is the most important thing. Baseball is a great but in the end Education is what really matters.”

Brandon Bentson, First base

Major: Mass Media

Stat: Became CSUSM Career Hit King with his 227th hit on March 11, 2015

Best win in 2015-2016 season: “The most special win would have to be this past Sunday on senior day. We played such a great game and there couldn’t have been a better way for us seniors and Coach Pugh to go out on.”

Post­-graduation plan: “My plan is to continue to go forth with my dream of playing professional baseball. Whether I get a call from the MLB or an independent league I don’t think I am ready to give the game up just yet.”

Ideal graduation trip: “I would love to get away from the stress and craziness of graduation and go somewhere relaxing on the beach like anywhere up or down the west coast to start working on getting rid of the baseball tan.”

Advice to teammates who have yet to graduate: “Play every game like it’s your last. Keep working hard, put in extra time, be thankful for your opportunities. I love my teammates to death and know they are capable of big things in their future. Benny out.”

Emilio Esquibel, Right Handed Pitcher

Major: Sociology

Stat: broke CSUSM single season record with 12 wins

Best win in 2015-2016 season: “Personally I think the best win was against Chico when Clint Perez hit a walk off home run. Also, getting a win for Coach Pugh’s last game was a really memorable experience.”

Post-­graduation plans: “I will be looking a for a job and soon be going back to school to receive my masters degree and teacher’s credential.”

Ideal graduation trip: “I have so many places in the world that I am dying to travel to. So to pick one place is too hard, but I really would like to take a trip to Costa Rica.”

Advice to teammates who have yet to graduate: “[Don’t] take any moment for granted. Really enjoy the time you have playing baseball and going to college. It’s all over in the blink of an eye, so make sure to take it all in.”

Jon Putnam, Catcher

Major: Social Sciences

Stat: nine walks and seven doubles

Best win in 2015-­2016 season: “I think our best game this year was at UCSD when Hayden Weir threw the complete game. We came out after not playing well in the first game and got a good win against a good team.”

Post­-graduation plan: “I am planning on getting my credential and Master’s, and teaching and coaching at the high school level, and eventually the college level.”

Ideal graduation trip: “I really wanted to go to Cabo this summer for a week. Somewhere tropical!”

Advice to teammates who have yet to graduate: “Enjoy your last season(s)! Don’t have any regrets when you get to the end, and always work hard to better yourself everyday. Keep the family together! Roll Cougs, baby!”