By: JOHN CANNON
(EDCOUCH) – Prior to his baseball season, Edcouch-Elsa pitcher Jacob Martinez made it a point to dedicate each and every game he was involved in to his father who passed away in the fall.
“Every time I stepped on the mound, I made sure to always dedicate the game to my father,” said Martinez. “I always envisioned my dad being right there beside me and giving me some advice before I threw my first pitch.”
“Prior to the season, I asked Coach (Xavy) Acosta if I could change my number to 22 in honor of my father who wore that number while playing at E-E. Lucky for me, I was able to get that number and I felt that it was truly my good luck charm.”
That jersey may have well been Martinez’s lucky charm as he had the season for the ages in 2016. Martinez ended up with a 9-4 record while posting an eye catching 1.54 ERA. Besides the impressive ERA, Martinez racked up a whopping 101 strikeouts in the process.
Due to his outstanding numbers, Martinez was selected the Pitcher of the Year in District 32-5A.
For all of his accomplishments, Martinez received the honor of a lifetime as he received an opportunity to play college baseball in Arkansas.
On Thursday, Martinez made it official as he signed his letter of intent to play at Ecclesia College which is located in Springdale, Arkansas.
“This is a dream come true,” said Martinez. “I have always wanted to play college baseball and am so happy and honored to receive this opportunity.”
“I can’t wait to get up there and start on phase two of my baseball career.”
Acosta, who was Martinez’s head baseball coach at Edcouch-Elsa, said that his former hurler is very deserving of this great opportunity.
“Jacob Martinez is the essence of Yellowjacket baseball,” said Acosta. “He is one of the biggest reasons we made the playoffs for the past two years and is one of the hardest working and most dedicated athletes I have worked with.”
“He squeezes every inch of his body to compete and I am so proud to see him get rewarded with this tremendous opportunity to play college baseball. I am so proud of him and know he will do well up there.”