Boise State Football

Ex-Boise State linebacker Martarano already moving up the Cubs’ ladder

Joe Martarano scoops a ball out of the dirt while playing first base with the Eugene Emeralds on June 20 at Memorial Stadium against the Boise Hawks.
Joe Martarano scoops a ball out of the dirt while playing first base with the Eugene Emeralds on June 20 at Memorial Stadium against the Boise Hawks. kjones@idahostatesman.com

After a sizzling start to the season, the Chicago Cubs promoted former Boise State linebacker Joe Martarano to their Low-A affiliate in South Bend, Ind.

The Fruitland High graduate started the summer with the Eugene Emeralds of the short-season A Northwest League. Despite nearly two years away from baseball, he hit .366 with one home run and eight RBIs in 12 games.

The 22-year-old Martarano (6-4, 235) left the Boise State football team in March to focus solely on his baseball career after trying to juggle both sports the past three years. He was expected to be the Broncos’ starting middle linebacker this fall.

“Balancing them was really tough,” he told the Idaho Statesman two weeks ago. “I could do it. It’s just, I couldn’t reach my full potential when I was balancing them.

“I would start doing good in baseball and then have to go back to football. Then I’d have to leave my football team to go play baseball, which would hurt me there.

“That’s why I just figured I should make the decision and work on one of them and be the best at it that I can.”

Michael Lycklama: 208-377-6424, @MichaelLycklama

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