Lonoke shortstop headed to Arkansas

By: Tim Cooper
Published: Thursday, November 10, 2016
Lonoke infielder Casey Martin fields a groundball during the 4A East Regional semifinals on Friday, May 6, 2016, in Lonoke.
Lonoke infielder Casey Martin fields a groundball during the 4A East Regional semifinals on Friday, May 6, 2016, in Lonoke.

LONOKE -- Casey Martin's lifelong dream of playing baseball for the University of Arkansas came closer to reality Wednesday afternoon when the Lonoke senior signed a national letter of intent with the Razorbacks.

"It's been something I've wanted ever since I've been able to hold a baseball bat," said Martin, a 5-11 shortstop who earned Arkansas All-Preps honors as a junior. "I've been a Razorbacks fan since I was 3 or 4 years old."

Martin batted .508 (30 for 59) as a junior, belting 6 home runs while driving in 30. He also had 9 doubles, scored 25 runs and stole 11 bases. In 67 plate appearances last season, he struck out three times.

"He's fun," Lonoke Coach Chris Foor said. "He's one of those players who's going to go 900 miles per hour to do something, and everything he does he's going to smile while he's doing it. He's a joy to have, both practicing and in games."

Foor said Martin's speed and knowledge of the game set him apart.

"Most coaches can sit down and talk for hours about the game," Foor said. "He can jump right into the conversation and not miss a beat. ... His biggest strength on the field is his speed. He's got some pop in his bat, but his speed is a level above all. And defensively, he's well advanced."

Martin also has pitched for Lonoke -- going 3-0 with a 0.70 earned run average -- and he has spent some time in the outfield. Wherever he plays, Martin says he just wants "to be a good teammate."

"I'll play wherever I'm needed to help the team out," Martin said. "Whether it's in the outfield, sitting on the bench, being a cheerleader in the dugout, I'll do it."

Martin pulled off a rarity last season, hitting for the cycle in an 11-9 victory over Jonesboro Westside during the 4A-North Regional tournament.

"You usually don't get that many at-bats in a high school game to pull that off," Foor said. "But that goes back to the fact that he has a lot of teammates around him that are very talented as well. He leads that group and he takes everyone under his wing."

Sports on 11/10/2016

Discussion

Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.