Santa Maria Sun / Athlete of the Week
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 12
Athlete of the Week: Lucas Martin
BY JASON BANANIA
It’s natural for athletes to hit walls and experience setbacks while they work to improve their game—the hurdles can range from minor to massive.
The setback for Lompoc High School’s Lucas Martin, 17, was a devastating car crash in 2010 that left him with more than a 1,000 stitches on his face.
Less than a year later, standing on the pitcher’s mound, he would prove the setback was of the minor kind.
For Martin, this season has been his best yet.
“I went into this season with a goal of getting more than 100 strikeouts. I think I’m at 109 right now,” he said.
Martin has helped the Braves finish the season 21-6, and as the team prepared for their CIF playoff game against the Village Christian Crusaders on May 25, his coach Jim Allen said he expects Martin to perform to his usual high standards.
“He’s thrown great for us all year. He’s been outstanding and has had a lot of double digit strikeout games,” Allen said. “This year he’s been much more consistent in the strike zone. He’s not afraid of hitters and not afraid of contact. He’s done a good job of challenging hitters.”
Added Martin, “My pitching has been on in every game. It hasn’t failed me yet.”
Martin started playing on the Braves’ varsity team his sophomore year, but was only able to play half that season. On his way home from a baseball tournament at Righetti High School, the truck he was riding in flipped over while going 80 miles per hour.
“My seatbelt didn’t tighten up, so I was like a rag doll flying in there,” Martin said. “It took 2 1/2 hours to get me out of the truck. The whole time I never lost consciousness, but my face went through so much trauma—I felt like my whole face was on fire.”
Despite the injuries to his face, he was back at school a week later. Less than a year after the accident, Martin was back in uniform and “pitched outstanding” his junior year, according to his coach.
Martin has been a vital component to the Braves success this season. During their playoff game against Arrowhead Christian on May 22, Martin came through during a clutch moment. The Braves were down 4-3 in the sixth inning. With a runner on second, Martin hit a double over the left outfielder’s head that tied up the score. Then, in the last inning, it was Martin who scored the game-winning run.
When Martin’s final season of high school baseball comes to an end he wants to continue playing baseball at Cuesta College and take baseball “as far is it will go.” There, he plans to major in business and surf in Santa Barbara on weekends.
“I just want to thank my coaches for pushing me,” Martin said. “My team is great and I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
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