Martin spins Game 2 gem for Corpus Christi

No. 5 Astros prospect allows two hits over 5 2/3 shutout frames

Corbin Martin picked up 122 strikeouts in 122 innings between two levels this season. (Tammy Tucker/

By Andrew Battifarano / | September 7, 2018 1:50 AM

After watching Ryan Hartman hang a zero in the run column into the eighth inning Wednesday night, Corbin Martin wanted nothing more than to follow up with a gem of his own. On Thursday, he delivered. 

Houston's fifth-ranked prospect allowed one hit and one walk while striking out nine over 5 2/3 scoreless innings as Double-A Corpus Christi topped San Antonio, 5-1, to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-5 Texas League semifinals.

Video: Martin picks up ninth K for Corpus Christi

With the Houston native's mother and stepfather -- Barbara and Archie Bennett -- in attendance at Whataburger Field, Martin turned in his first shutout outing since July 31, also against San Antonio. 

"Pitching in the playoffs, especially after yesterday's outing by Ryan Hartman, I kind of wanted to follow that up and give the guys a chance to win," the 22-year-old right-hander said. "I was just throwing a fastball when I wanted to tonight, and I think the biggest thing is being able to pitch off that and get swings-and-misses. Late in the count, I was hitting my spots with it and having a catcher like [Lorenzo Quintana] calling the game ... we were just comfortable together." 

Gameday box score

Having allowed three runs -- one earned -- over 5 2/3 innings against the Missions on Aug. 25, Martin expected the team to be aggressive from the get-go. The 2017 second-round pick threw 66 of 98 pitches for strikes and faced two over the minimum.

Martin set down the first 11 batters before No. 15 Padres prospect Josh Naylor singled with two outs in the fourth inning. Taylor Kohlwey worked a one-out walk two frames later, but he was the last one in the Missions lineup to touch base against the Texas A&M product. Following the base on balls, Martin fanned No. 13 Padres prospect Buddy Reed to cap his evening.

Complete postseason coverage »

"They're a really good hitting team. You can't make mistakes, or they'll hurt you," he said. "Up and down their lineup, they don't have a flaw. Last outing, I was kind of spraying the ball and they were making me pay for missing my spots. So I had to really focus on locating the ball, and I think I did a better job of that today than I did last time."

Martin, who was promoted from the Class A Advanced Carolina League to the Texas League on May 1, posted a 7-2 mark with a 2.97 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP in 21 appearances (18 starts) with the Hooks. Starting in the postseason, especially during a homecoming season of sorts, has been the cherry on top of a fun year.

"Pitching in front of [my family] and this team is awesome," he said. "We've had so many guys in and out -- called up to the bigs, called up to Triple-A. We've just never looked back. We get a new guy and they're just as quick to help out this team."

Backing Martin, Chas McCormick socked two homers as part of a three-hit, three-RBI night, and Stephen Wrenn also went yard for his first home run of the playoffs.

MiLB include

No. 25 San Diego prospect Austin Allen hit a solo sot in the ninth for San Antonio.

The Missions are scheduled to host Game 3 at 8:05 p.m. ET on Friday. Top Astros prospect Forrest Whitley is expected to start against Jesse Scholtens.

In other Texas League playoff action: 

Drillers 6, Travelers 0

Ben Holmes yielded a hit and four walks while striking out eight over 6 2/3 innings as Tulsa tied up the series in Game 2. Second-ranked Dodgers prospect Keibert Ruiz picked up another three hits and has gone 6-for-9 with four RBIs through two postseason games. Cael Brockmeyer and Jacob Scavuzzo both hit homers. No. 27 Mariners prospect Anthony Misiewicz (0-1) took the loss, allowing four runs on eight hits and one walk in 3 1/3 frames. Gameday box score

Andrew Battifarano is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter, @AndrewAtBatt. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

View More