BRADENTON - Bobby Martin has played on the varsity baseball team since his freshman year at Bayshore High. Through his first three seasons, Martin hit a total of five home runs.
But it's amazing what a little bit of growth a lot of work in the cage can do for a kid's power stroke. With two home runs Thursday night, Martin now has four in only four regular-season games this year.
Martin, who also hit two home runs in two exhibition games, had eight RBIs in the Bruins' 15-3 victory over visiting Palmetto.
"With the wind blowing out, we were thinking it was going to take a lot of runs to win and thinking there was going to be a lot of fireworks," said Bayshore coach Charlie Smythers said. "Luckily we had some guys do it. (Martin) is on a hot streak right now, and you try to ride that as long as you can because it won't last forever."
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With the wind blowing out to left, and the Bruins playing in already cozy dimensions, Bayshore hitters enjoyed a huge night. Tony Colon had a home run and four RBIs, and Tripp Powell added a three-run shot.
The Bruins scored 15 unsanswered runs after Palmetto opened the game with three runs in the first inning.
Martin's first homer, a three-run shot, tied the game in the first inning, and his second, a grand slam, was part of an eight-run sixth.
"We knew there would be some home runs, but we didn't think there would be bombs," said Martin, who never had eight RBIs in a game at any point in his baseball career. "I'm just glad I can help my team win. That's the most important thing."
All the offense overshadowed what Smythers called an "outstanding" performance from Johnny Robertson. With starter Zach Avery experience some stiffness in his forearm, Robertson came on in in relief in the second inning to shut down the Tigers.
He allowed the Bruins' bats to take over.
Martin said his two home runs and eight RBIs were nice, but he was more impressed with Powell, who finished the game off in the bottom of the sixth inning with a blast that curled around the foul pole and over the 300 foot sign in left.
Powell is one of the smallest Bruins. His teammates smothered him at home plate, celebrating the home run.
"He's the hardest worker we got the weight room," Smythers said. "He's not known a home run hitter, but I'm glad to see him hit it."
Palmetto 300 000 - 3 5 2
Bayshore 340 008 - 15 12 1
WP - Johnny Robertson. LP - Jordan Ziegler. HR - Bobby Martin (B) 2, Tony Colon (B), Tripp Powell (B). Team records: Palmetto 3-4, Bayshore 3-1.