Andy Martin of Escondido High School would prefer forgetting the events at last week’s 36th Annual Lions/Mike Morrow Invitational baseball tournament.
Martin, a 15-year-old sophomore, isn’t trying to hide a string of strikeouts or blunders at the plate. Martin, The Times’ Player of the Week, broke a CIF San Diego Section record with his 12 consecutive hits on his way to a 15-for-18 appearance to lead Escondido to the tournament’s A Division title.
Martin wasn’t even aware of the streak or the record until it was mentioned after the championship game.
“I didn’t think about it while I was playing,” Martin said. “I was sort of surprised that I had done as well.
“I’m not trying to get real excited about it now, that would put a lot more presure on me.”
Pressure is something Martin, one of only two sophomores on the Escondido team, has come to live with this season. He was advanced to the varsity for his pitching. Last season, on the Cougar freshmen team, he was named the Most Valuable Player with a .537 batting average and 7-0 pitching record.
‘It’s a big difference playing on the varsity,” said Martin, who is 3-0 as a pitcher this season. “You can’t just throw the ball past anybody anymore; you have to let your defense help you out.”
Cougar Coach Bill Kutzner said he couldn’t be happier with Martin’s performance last week, but what impressed him most was Martin’s selectivity at the plate.
“He waited for his pitch and never got anxious,” Kutzner said. “When he did get his pitch, he didn’t try to do much with it. He just wanted to make good contact.”
Martin had three triples and two double during the streak.
Perfecting his pitching takes precedence over hitting; Martin said he would rather work on his curveball than spend time in a batting cage.
“I wish I could go out and find five more like him,” Kutzner said. “But I don’t think he’ll be able to duplicate the hitting streak.”
Said Martin: “I’m not going to be thinking about it. I’ll be looking for hits but I won’t always get one. It happened once and I know it won’t happen again.”
Escondido High School
Position: Pitcher, third baseman.
Last Week: Had 12 consecutive hits in the 36th Annual Lions/Mike Morrow Invitational baseball tournament to lead the Cougars to the A Division champion ship.