Lucas Martinez had stewed and vented between innings. A ball had popped out of the Paul VI Catholic second baseman’s glove in the top of the third inning, the error allowing the game’s first run to score. He wanted an opportunity to make up for the mistake in Sunday’s Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship game.
“He was upset, in there yelling and throwing his glove,” Panthers Coach Billy Emerson said. “There was no point in me saying anything. He got himself back together.”
Martinez failed to capitalize on his first chance, flying out with two runners on and two outs in the bottom of the third. But in his next at-bat, with the bases loaded and Paul VI still trailing by a run in the bottom of the fifth, Martinez flicked an 0-2 pitch down the right field line for the game’s decisive hit.
Two runs scored on the single and a third came home on an error on the play. By the time Martinez slid safely in the third base, the Panthers were on their way to their third WCAC title.