Inside Baseball with Martin Baez

Martin

“A huge step forward for us”

We just played our biggest rivals from the Bay Area, our nemesis Bishop O’Dowd. Prior to this game, our team was shaken up by a loss to them earlier in the week, our head coach being gone, and a couple of players gone on the day of the rematch at O’Dowd but that didn’t stop us from keeping our eyes on the win.

Our team really came together during the days were we faced some intense adversity with our coach being gone because of pain and four players being absent from disciplinary issues. We kept our heads up, looking forward to the game. With those four players gone, it opened up some opportunities for some juniors including me and the thrill of knowing I was going to start at second base was amazing.

On the day of the game, as we were changing in the team room, we got word that our coach would meet us at the game and that was an even bigger motivational factor for the win. Head coach Randy Green had missed a week of practice with a health problem. We wanted the win for coach and as a team together, not just individuals. When we got to the field, we stretched and played catch and then after that we saw Coach Green come and he was welcomed with warm greetings from all the players and the opposition.

When it was game time, our dugout was louder than ever before, I have never been part of a dugout that loud. We kicked off the inning with a hit but couldn’t do anything. Then in the second inning, junior shortstop Joaquin Soto hit a two run home run to give us the lead, 2-0. A couple of hits and a bunt later, I came to the plate and doubled off the right center field wall to drive in two runs making it 4-0. Then Christian Merriweather drove me in with a hit, making it 5-0. The game was intense and everyone was into it. Our pitcher Ryan Rosellini threw a complete game, allowing four runs in 120 pitches over seven innings along with some fantastic defense behind his back.

This win meant more than just a win, it was a huge step forward for us and it really set the tone for the rest of the season for us. We are more than ready to play any team that comes our way, our confidence couldn’t be better along with the effort from everyone.

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“An inside look at the sport”

A lot of people say that baseball is a really boring sport and that there isn’t much action. In reality, those people that say that are the ones who have never even set foot on a baseball field and that is why I want to give an inside look at the sport through my eyes so you can understand and feel what it’s like to be a baseball player at the varsity level.

What I go through every day, six days a week and sometimes all seven days, is get up, eat breakfast, go to school, practice right after school, go home, eat dinner, do homework,and then sleep. It’s a cycle which I’ve gotten used to and addicted to. This week at practice we really have been emphasizing practicing at game speed meaning that we better not be out there being all nonchalant and lackadaisical about our drills like ground balls and fly balls. We really do get pushed mentally in this sport unlike the others.

My coach Randy Green has made me realize that to be a successful player, you have to be relaxed on the field but at the same time know what you are doing out there. You can’t be playing or practicing while being really tense, you have to loosen up. Recently we won our second league game against Encinal to make us 1-1 in league and we beat them again a couple of days after to make us 2-1.

In order to win out there, we need to play as a team, not individuals, but our team is pretty good with team work. During practice while everyone is shagging fly balls is when we usually all talk and we just crack jokes and get closer as a team so it really helps our chemistry. There is nothing better than knowing you will go to practice with some great people and know that you will work hard and improve your skills and then you get to have fun with some of your best friends.

My experience at the varsity level has been great and it taught me that you have to be patient and work hard for what you want and be able to adjust to anything. Just go with the flow and you will be able to succeed.

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