Martinez looks to carry on a baseball tradition

Kyle Cortez, Reporter

Luis Martinez is hoping to follow in all of his brothers’ footsteps by continuing to play baseball, but he wants to make sure that he can get his education paid for.

“Hopefully I can get a scholarship to go somewhere, but if not, I’ll just go to school at CSUB. It would be cool to get a scholarship, but school is the most important thing,” said Martinez.

Martinez starts for the BC baseball team and currently leads the team in hits (22), doubles (7), RBIs (19), batting average (.361), and he is tied for first on the team with two home runs.

Martinez has four older brothers, three of whom have played baseball at BC.

Octavio Martinez was drafted out of BC by the Baltimore Orioles in the 10th round of the 1999 MLB Draft as a catcher. Octavio made it to Triple-A with the Dodgers organization before he got released. Now, Octavio is a bullpen catcher for the Washington Nationals.

Juan Martinez played two years at BC and then transferred to Oral Roberts University to continue playing baseball. Juan was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 46th round of the 2009 MLB Draft from Oral Roberts University. Juan made it to Single-A with the Giants organization before he started to deal with injuries. He is now playing in the Mexican Baseball League.

Rolando Martinez is currently a senior at Oral Roberts University after transferring from BC. Rolando is currently starting in the infield for Oral Roberts and is hoping to get drafted after this year.

Martinez says that his brothers don’t want him to focus too much on playing baseball after BC, but they just want him to try and focus on the current season.

“They just want me to stay within myself and to not think about the next level, only think about right now,” said Martinez.

Martinez started playing baseball at the age of 6, but he really didn’t start getting into it until the age of 11.

“Watching my brothers play got me into it,” said Martinez. “My brothers helped me out with everything, from fielding to hitting to my attitude. I really look up to my brothers.”

Martinez felt as though he had to try and keep up with his brothers since they were known for being really good baseball players. He had to continue to live up to the expectations that his brothers had set. Martinez started playing on a travel baseball team at the age of 9 and continued with that team until he got to high school. He also played on another travel baseball team, which allowed him to continue playing when the other travel team would take a weekend off.

Martinez went and played at Cooperstown Dreams Park when he was 12, and he considers it his favorite childhood memory of baseball. The travel team that he played with finished seventh out of one hundred and two teams.

“Who wouldn’t want to go to New York and just play baseball for a whole week, rooming with your teammates and just having fun?” said Martinez.

Martinez went to Ridgeview High School and graduated in 2014. He played on the varsity team all four years of high school, but he felt as though going from high school to junior college was a bigger jump for him since Ridgeview is in a weaker conference than other schools. Martinez feels like the guys who went to Liberty High or Frontier High were a little more ready for junior college baseball since they play in a more competitive conference in Bakersfield.

“I don’t feel like the jump from high school to junior college is that big of a jump, but you can certainly tell the difference,” said Martinez. “The pitching is definitely a lot better. We’re facing guys who were aces in high school almost every time we play. Everyone is bigger, faster, and stronger than they were in high school.”

Martinez said that he’s probably most improved on his hitting from high school to now. He said that his brothers helped him improve his stance and made minor tweaks to help him improve.

Martinez had a lot of success in high school, and so far has carried that same success to BC. When asked how he’s been able to continue playing at that high level, he said, “The pitchers we have are really good compared to other teams that we’ve faced. Playing a lot of intersquads and just facing our pitchers definitely helps.”

Right now, the BC baseball team is 9-6 overall, and Martinez feels like they have a really good team.

“We’re doing good offensively and defensively. The pitching staff is pretty young, but they’re definitely doing their job. I feel like we’re doing a pretty good job right now,” said Martinez.

Martinez has been one of the most consistent hitters on the team so far. When asked on why he’s having so much success right now, he said, “I just feel like I’m seeing the ball well right now and I’m making decent contact.”

Martinez has been the DH for most of the beginning part of the season, but he’s also played at third base a few times. He said that he doesn’t mind what position he plays because he knows that head coach Tim Painton is playing the best guy he can at every position.

“It feels a lot better being out there on the field defensively as well, but obviously you have to put the best guy out there so if that’s not me, then it’s not me,” said Martinez.

Martinez has been playing baseball for 13 years and says it’s still fun for him to play every day. He says that it’s good to get a break every now and then, but that he can’t really stay away from it for too long.

“It’s definitely good to get a break from baseball every now and then, but I do love playing the game. It’s still fun to play. I mean, it gets to your body after a while, but I enjoy playing the game,” said Martinez.

For now, Martinez is just focusing on the season at hand and not worrying about trying to keep up with his brothers. Martinez just wants to continue the strong season that he’s having and continue to build on it.