All-American Taijeron ends great career

By Andre Karimloo

Having only two years with the Cal Poly Pomona baseball team
didn’t stop him from breaking ground and records.

Senior center fielder Travis Taijeron earned All-American honors
and was recognized as the National Collegiate Baseball Writers
Association and Daktronics West Region Player of the Year during
the 2011 season.

He was also named to the NCAA Div. II West Region All-Tournament
Team after helping the Broncos to the regional championship
game.

“He works hard,” said junior catcher Jenzen Torres. “Everyone
sees it, everyone knows it. He was really thankful for winning. I’m
very happy for him.”

Taijeron finished his Cal Poly Pomona career with 32 home runs,
ranking him second on the All-time Bronco list for career home
runs.

This season, Taijeron led the team in batting average (.392) and
RBIs with 51. Additionally, he hit 16 home runs this year – tying
the school record he set during his junior year – on his way to
being a three-time CCAA Player of the Week.

“I try and go out there to beat myself everyday,” said Taijeron.
“If I go 4 for 4 one day, I want to go 4 for 4 with two doubles the
next day.”

After transferring from Southwestern College to Cal Poly Pomona
his junior year, Taijeron was quick to make an impact on the
team.

He led the Broncos in batting average (.345) and collected 48
RBIs on his way to earning the American Baseball Coaches
Association All-West Region Second Team honors as an outfielder,
along with being chosen for the All-CCAA Second Team, during the
2010 season.

“We were surprised he didn’t get drafted last year,” said
Torres. “This year solidified it for him. He’s definitely a
next-level player.”

Taijeron’s senior campaign began with uncertainty up until
January when current head coach Randy Betten was brought in.

“It was kind of weird,” said Taijeron. “I played for two years
and had two different coaches.”

Betten was pleased with Taijeron’s work ethic and willingness to
improve even more as an athlete.

“I challenged him from what he did last year,” said Betten. “I
told him, ‘Hey, these are some things you should work on,’ and he
answered those challenges.”

The center fielder is characterized by his quiet but strong
demeanor while on the field.

“I try to lead with my actions,” he said. “I felt like if I went
out and played hard, then the rest of the guys would do the same. I
think of myself as someone trying to push this entire team.”

Taijeron’s performances had a profound effect on the team and
the program alike.

“I think for years to come, his impact will be felt by this
program,” said Betten. “You don’t replace him – you can’t replace
his presence or personality. You try to replace a little bit of his
numbers with three or four other guys.”

As Taijeron sets his sights on finishing his schooling and
playing professionally, he said he wanted to be remembered as a
member of a team who pushed for something greater than simply
playing the game.

“I want to be remembered as someone who wanted to make the
program better,” he said. “I wanted our group of seniors to come in
and push the team in the right direction.”

Travis Taijeron

Ana Brenda Ibarra

Travis Taijeron

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