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Triton Baseball in the Professional Ranks

It's time to take our annual look at the current whereabouts of former University of California San Diego Tritons in professional baseball.
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Eric Newman

 

Head Coach

Eric Newman is in his sixth season as the head coach of the University of California San Diego baseball program in 2017. He was named to the position on Aug. 29, 2011, becoming UC San Diego's second leader since the school moved to NCAA Division II status for the 2001 season.

The 2012 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Coach of the Year has compiled records of 164-106 overall and 119-74 in arguably the toughest conference nationally in the NCAA Division II. Newman has directed the Tritons to two CCAA tournament titles and one CCAA regular-season banner, compiling five straight winning campaigns, four of them with 30-plus wins, upon arriving in La Jolla. UCSD has earned three NCAA Championship berths, advancing to back-to-back West Region finals in 2014 and 2015, and made four trips to the CCAA tournament, including three in a row.

In 2015, Newman's pitching staff set new single-season program records for lowest earned run average (2.84), shutouts (13), strikeouts (469) and strikeouts per nine innings (8.72). The All-American ace of that unit, Justin Donatella, became UCSD's highest Major League Baseball draft pick in almost three decades, earning selection in the 15th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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Justin James

 

Assistant Coach

Justin James joined the University of California San Diego baseball staff as an assistant coach in January of 2017. The 2017 season is his first in the Triton dugout.

James makes the short trip over from his alma mater, Point Loma Nazarene University, and takes over as UC San Diego's pitching coach. He served in that capacity at Point Loma for the past two seasons, transforming the Sea Lions' staff into one of the best in the Pacific West Conference (PacWest) and NCAA Division II. James also aided in recruiting, camp coordination and opponent scouting.

Under James' direction, Point Loma posted a 3.15 earned run average in 2016, good for No. 10 nationally and second-best in the PacWest and West Region. The Sea Lions also ranked among the country's top 10 in three other pitching categories, finishing second in walks allowed per nine innings (2.16), eighth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.23) and ninth in WHIP (1.20). Point Loma's ERA dropped in successive years, going from 4.17 in 2014 to 3.83 in 2015.

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J.T. Bloodworth

 

Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator

J.T. Bloodworth was promoted to assistant coach and recruiting coordinator of the University of California San Diego baseball program in July of 2014. He is in his fifth season with the Tritons in 2017, having joined the staff as a volunteer in September of 2012.

While taking over the recruiting operation and as the hitting instructor, Bloodworth continues to direct a stellar Triton defense that has ranked in the top 10 in the NCAA Division II in fielding percentage in each of the last two seasons. The 2014 squad that went 38-16 overall and brought home the California Collegiate Athletic Association tournament banner, was fifth nationally in fielding (.974) and eighth in double plays turned (54). In 2013, UCSD fielded at a .972 clip.

Leading up to his arrival in La Jolla, Bloodworth was the top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Lon Morris College in Jacksonville, Texas, for the 2012 season. In that same year, he also served as an instructor at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., developing high school players from around the country.

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Jeff Calhoon

 

Assistant Coach

Jeff Calhoon joined the University of California San Diego baseball coaching staff as an assistant in August of 2015. The 2017 season is his second in the UC San Diego dugout. He directs the Triton catchers and is the first base coach, while assisting with recruiting, camps, field maintenance and operations. Calhoon coached third base through the early part of the 2016 campaign.

In his first go-around in La Jolla, Calhoon mentored starting catcher Steven Coe to All-California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) honorable mention, as the redshirt sophomore broke the single-season program record for the Division II era by throwing out 19 would-be base-stealers, while improving his totals in virtually every offensive category. Back-up catcher Michael Palos was selected to the New York Collegiate Baseball League (NYCBL) All-Star Game during the 2016 summer.

Calhoon is a fourth-year collegiate coach, having previously spent two seasons as an assistant at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, where he contributed to the two winningest seasons in program history. Calhoon was heavily involved in recruiting, camps, scouting and day-to-day operations for the Warriors.

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Tony York

 

Assistant Coach

Tony York joined the University of California San Diego baseball coaching staff as an assistant in late August of 2015. He is in his second season back in the Triton dugout in 2017. He handles the Triton outfielders while assisting with recruiting, camps and field maintenance. York also coached first base for parts of the 2016 campaign.

York was a right-handed pitcher in the UC San Diego program during the 2011 and 2012 seasons, compiling 10 saves, tied for fifth on the all-time career list. All 10 of those saves came as the Triton closer in 2012, current head coach Eric Newman's first year in charge. That total is tied for second in the school's single-season record book.

Over 24 appearances in 2012, York compiled a 2-1 record with a stellar 2.10 ERA. His 10 saves ranked second in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) and tied for 22nd in all of the NCAA Division II. He surrendered no runs over his first 14 trips to the mound, and held opponents scoreless in 19 of those 24 outings, striking out 24 in 30.0 innings of work. For his efforts, York was an All-CCAA First Team selection and consensus All-West Region Second Team pick, by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), Daktronics and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA).

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