NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ -- Piscataway High School junior Jordin Martell was chosen to play in the Greater Middlesex Conference Baseball Coaches Association 2018 Underclassmen Showcase on Saturday at North Brunswick Community Park.
Martell, a first baseman and pitcher, played for the “American” team which ultimately fell to team “National”, 9-3. Though his squad of 20 players lost, Martell, who went 0-2 at the plate and was robbed in his second at-bat as he hit a line drive that was caught, enjoyed his time on the field and with participants from around the county.
He also pitched a scoreless inning on the mound.
“It was fun,” Martell said of being able to take part in the game. “I got to play with all the guys from different towns. I got a few at-bats. It’s fun to be with all the guys because you’re with your own team all year and you never get to really talk to players from other teams. Doing that is what it’s all about.”
In the top of the first inning, National scored four runs and American couldn’t come back.
During the 2018 season, Martell finished at or near the top of every offensive statistic for the Chiefs, which ended the year 11-14. Martell led the team in home runs with three, tied for first in RBI (26), was second in hits (24) and sluggin (.577), sported a solid .338 batting average, and walked 10 times. Martell hit .316 with runners in scoring position and totaled 10 extra base hits with seven doubles as well. Of his 71 official at-bats, 45 of them were of quality, which is seeing three more pitches after two strikes are on you, seeing six or more pitches in the at-bat, hitting a double or great, being hit by a pitch, walking, or hitting a sacrifice fly or sac bunt.
Martell performed well on the bump, winning a team-best four games to just two losses with three saves. He struck out 27 batters. Defensvily, he finished second on the team with 91 putouts and had a .933 fielding percentage.
His standout efforts on the diamond allowed him to be chosen to play in the special game, which meant a great deal to the 6-foot-2, 270-pounder.
“It was good. I was very happy with myself,” Martell said about his spring season. “It feels pretty good knowing what you did during the season, somebody was actually watching, and your hard work paid off.”
Martell said he anticipates playing baseball again next spring for the Chiefs and will strive to play in the 2019 Frank Gavigan Senior All-Star game.
But before that, Martell will play travel baseball with Upper Deck, which is located in Berkeley Heights and is coached by former PHS star Corey Smith, who was selected in the first round of the 2000 MLB Draft by the Cleveland Indians and finished his professional baseball career with the local Somerset Patriots. Smith’s number and jersey are retired by the school.
Besides baseball, Martell is also a standout on the football team. In between travel baseball this summer Martell will camp at different colleges hoping to earn a scholarship offer. So far, he’s earned one from Robert Morris.
Throughout the two all-star games on Saturday, donations were welcomed to help the family pay for medical expenses for four-year-old Michael Grzankowski of Laurence Harbor, who just recently was released from the the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia after his third open-heart surgery. The South Amboy baseball team has made Grzankowski an honorary member of the Rams and recieved gifts before the senior game began. Grzankowski also threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
A moment of silence also occured in memory of former Old Bridge standout pitcher Zach Attianese, who along with his dad was killed in a six-car crash in Michigan on Friday. Attianese was set to continue his baseball career at Florida State after transferring from State College of Florida and North Carolina.
Piscataway’s James Ingram and Matt Peterson played in the senior game. Stay tuned to TAPinto Piscataway for more on them.
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