As a junior, Aidan Martinez was a pivotal part of the Hays Rebels baseball team’s success. Now that he is a senior and the leader of his team, Martinez has set his sights high.
Hays High had a solid 2017-18 season with the Rebels finishing 16-12 overall, 7-10 in district play. Despite the solid record, the Rebels missed the playoffs. While recognizing his team had some strong moments, Martinez wants to lead his team to the next level.
“As a team, we want to make a deep playoff run. We know that we can do it,” Martinez said. “We, as a team, believe we can win a district championship, make a deep playoff run, and potentially win a state championship.”
The Rebels started off last season by winning nine of their first ten games. The early surge kept them in the race for the playoffs all season, but a late season struggle ultimately held them back. Martinez believes his team can improve and take that next step during his senior season.
“We started off last season well. We had a lot of confidence going into each series,” Martinez said. “I know we have a good group of guys and if we can stay focused, we know we can do a lot.”
If the Rebels are to take that next step, Martinez figures to be a big factor in doing so. Last season, the junior was a bright point both at the plate and on the mound. Martinez usually hit in the three spot of head coach James Howard’s line up. The junior, while mostly playing first base, finished the season with a .363 batting average, as well as slugging nine doubles, two home runs, and 22 RBIs in 101 plate appearances.
Martinez also logged 49 innings pitching for the Rebels, going 6-3 with a 1.86 Earned Run Average, 47 strikeouts and only 19 walks.
Despite these gaudy numbers, Martinez knows what areas of his game he can improve.
“Try and cut down strikeouts. That was something that frustrated me the most,” Martinez said. “Just find ways to help the team out. Try to help on and off the field and try to do as much as I can to succeed.”
The Hays Rebels are adjusting to a new district with some familiar foes in Bowie, Austin, Del Valle and Anderson high schools all returning to the district. Martinez and his teammates are up to the challenge, however, and are looking to achieve new heights in 2018-2019.