Jake Martin may be requesting more drama classes when registration rolls around again at Bluffton High School.
The shortstop seems to have a penchant for acting, if Friday night's American Legion game was any indication, as he helped turn a game-changing triple play in the fourth inning of Post 185's 3-2 win over West Ashley.
The only problem was, the infielder never initially caught the ball off the bat of Tommy Hornsby, which came with the bases loaded and nobody out in a scoreless game.
"I might have acted it a little bit and played it off," he said, laughing. "But it worked."
Martin acknowledged trapping the ball in the dirt before firing to second to begin the triple play, the first-ever for the Lowcountry Heat. Yet it was one of a bevy of defensive gems that helped Post 185 secure its fourth consecutive victory after an 0-2 start.
"Things are starting to go our way a little bit," right fielder Ryan Ward said. "We're finding ways to win and we're starting to play a lot better."
It was Ward who started the highlight reel, as the outfielder gunned down Carson Porcher -- who led off with a double to left -- at home plate in the first inning. The former Bluffton Bobcat then took the mound with two outs in the sixth and struck out Kouri Jackson on four pitches to leave the bases loaded.
"The defense is definitely picking it up," he said. "We started slow. Everything started slow. ... But we're starting to look good."
The defense also tallied a pair of inning-ending double plays, none bigger than in the final inning. Closer Nic Levy entered with a 3-1 lead, but walked four batters before Robert Polk approached the plate with the bases loaded and a run already in.
But the Heat stuck with the theme of the night, as Polk -- who had already tallied three singles -- hit a grounder to Levy, who fired home to Brandon Johnson before the catcher ended the game with a throw to first.
"We made big plays when we had to," coach Chris Seelbach said. "That's how you win games."
The Heat's defense helped make up for what was otherwise a frustrating night, as Post 185 walked 10 batters and stranded another 11 men on the basepaths.
"There were a couple chances we had to break the game open and we didn't," Seelbach said. "So it made it a little tight. But I thought they played well overall."
It was Martin who delivered the key blow, as his two-run double down the left field line in the fifth inning gave Post 185 a lead it would never relinquish. The hit scored Johnson -- who reached on an error to lead off the inning -- and pitcher Andrew Dill, who had singled.
The Heat added an insurance run in the seventh on Ward's sacrifice fly.
"He had just thrown me a curveball inside earlier in the at-bat," Martin recalled. "I knew he was going to come back to it since he fooled me, and he did. I just sat back on it a little bit and got a piece of it."
Dill picked up the win, his first of the season, after allowing just one run in 5 2-3 innings of work. The right-hander said he didn't have his best stuff due to a long layoff, but thanked his defense for the lone run he surrendered.
He should probably thank Martin's acting teacher, too.
"I never thought that would come in handy on the baseball field," Martin said.
Post 147 West Ashley 000 001 001 - 2 7 2
Post 185 Lowcountry 000 020 10X - 3 8 1
WP: Andrew Dill (1-0) 5 2/3 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 5 BB, 4K.
LP: Robert Polk 6 1/3, 3 R, 2 ER, 7 H, 4 BB, 3 K.
Top hitters: West Ashley - Robert Polk 3 for 5; Jon Sabo 2 for 4, BB; Carson Porcher 1 for 4, 2B. Lowcountry - Jake Martin 1 for 4, 2B, 2 RBI; Ryan Ward 1 for 3, RBI; Taylor Place 2 for 4.