Camped in center field Wednesday, Poly High outfielder Shad Martinez looked over at teammate Eddie Chavez in left and shook his head in admiration. Chavez entered the game with a team-high three home runs, which seemed a tad much for Shad, who had not homered in his two years on the varsity.
“I was standing out there wondering what it must be like, just how good it would feel, to hit one,” Martinez said. “I looked over at Eddie, and he’s hit so many of them, I couldn’t help wondering.”
A half-inning later, Martinez found out what the thrill is all about. And an inning after that, he slammed another for good measure to lead Poly to a 21-4 rout of Grant in an East Valley League game at Poly.
Martinez, who three weeks ago was batting ninth in the Parrot order, rapped a two-run, inside-the-park home run in the second to help give Poly an 8-0 lead. In the third, Martinez lined a leadoff home run over the fence in left to open the gates for a 10-run inning in which Poly scored seven runs before an out was recorded.
Martinez, who was two for two with two walks, four runs batted in and four runs scored, raised his average to .500 (13 for 26) with nine RBIs.
Moving Martinez turned out to be a boon for No. 9 hitter Roy Lozano, too. Lozano, a junior third baseman who batted in the leadoff position before league play began, was two for three and cracked a three-run double in the fourth.
“It was an easy move to make,” Poly Coach Jerry Cord said. “Shad was hitting and Roy wasn’t, so we flip-flopped them.”
Grant (3-2, 3-2 in league play) pulled a similar move with senior right-hander Javier Delahoya who was expected to start but was benched after missing practice Monday. Jason Parker, who started in Delahoya’s stead, flopped indeed, surrendering eight runs in two innings.
Hugo Valenzuela, who relieved Parker in the third, allowed 11 runs in two innings, including home runs by Martinez and Chavez, his fourth.
Eight Poly players drove in runs and four drove in three runs or more. Poly (6-2, 4-1) pounded out 20 hits, nine for extra bases. In a word, the Parrots were breezing.
“It wasn’t a typical Grant-Poly game,” Cord said. “The wind had something to do with that, but we did hit the ball real well.”
It could have been even more lopsided--Poly stranded 14 runners in six innings.
Adulfo Hernandez, Chavez, and Lozano each finished with three RBIs. Hernandez, a second baseman, was three for three and scored three times.
Poly senior right-hander Mario Gomez (3-1) pitched four innings, allowing three hits and one unearned run. Gomez struck out two and walked two.
With the score 19-1, Gomez was relieved by Eddie Castellanos, who allowed one earned run in three innings.