Junior hurls no-hitter for Oakville Tigers
Many years from now, Andy Marks can tell his grandchildren or even his great-grandchildren about Monday, May 3, 2004.
Although it was just a regular day for most people, the junior pitcher on the Oakville Senior High School baseball team has a valid reason to keep that day fresh in his memory. It was that day that Marks threw a no-hitter in a 7-0 win over Northwest-House Springs in the first round of the Suburban South Conference tournament.
"I was pretty nervous," Marks told the Call. "The guys on the team were trying to jinx me by talking about it (the no-hitter). But I tried not to think about it and put the ball into play and let the defense do their work."
In seven innings pitched, Marks retired seven batters via strikeout and walked just three in his seventh win of the 2004 campaign. He currently has an impressive 8-0 record with a 1.47 earned-run average.
"Andy's just a great kid who's a hard worker," Oakville head coach Rich Sturm told the Call. "We're just fortunate enough to have him on our team."
Marks also leads the Tigers in strikeouts (59), while keeping his opposing batters to a frigid .173 batting average.
"Andy's not afraid to throw any of his three pitches no matter what the count," Sturm explained. "He's a very confident pitcher and I don't think that hitters have the chance to ever figure out what pitch is next because he's so unpredictable. He's very focused on doing what he can do in order to help this team win."
When he's not on the mound, Marks also swings a big stick at the plate with a team-leading .509 batting average. He has two home runs, one triple and four doubles with 13 runs batted in. He's also known to swipe a base or two through the course of a season as he currently has three stolen bases this year.
"I really didn't expect to be 8-0 at this point of the season," Marks said. "But it was my goal to try and be undefeated."
The second-year member of the Tiger varsity team received his first taste of the game in the Arnold Khoury Leagues when he was 5 years old.
Andy's father, Kevin, apparently jumped on the opportunity to make his son a pitcher when he began to notice that his youngest son was left handed.
"Ever since he saw me throw with my left hand, he always tried to make me a pitcher," Marks said.
One of the reasons for Marks' success on the mound is his training regimen that involves throwing the ball nearly every day along with running from foul pole to foul pole during practice and after games.
"Andy does a lot of running and has a durable arm because he works out a lot.," Sturm said. "He's very good about getting his conditioning and working out in between starts."
Besides his performances on the mound, Marks is solid in the classroom. He's been on the honor roll every semester and currently boasts a 3.8 grade point-average with math and physical education being his favorite classes. Marks also plays roller hockey for Oakville and is a member of the Team USA Roller Hockey club.
"Right now I'm starting to cut down on roller hockey and just concentrate on baseball," he said. "Ever since high school started, I've always wanted to play Division 1 baseball and go to a good school."
Should he keep mowing down batters like he did last week, we may just see him wearing more than just the ole' Oakville black and gold next season.