A short time after it began, the coronavirus pandemic forced the CIF to cancel the rest of the spring sports season, which meant an abrupt ending to the high school careers of spring sports seniors around the central valley. As a way of honoring some of these outstanding seniors, our Sports Central team will be presenting a series of stories called “Senior Standouts” each Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday through the end of June.
TULARE, Calif. — If “speed kills,” as the saying goes, then Tulare Western senior center fielder Nathan Marroquin would be on the Most Wanted list.
“I’m not trying to question any Fresno State players, but I think he’d give them a run for their money running 60 yards right now or 90 feet down the line. I mean he’s that incredibly fast,” said Ken Searcy, Tulare Western’s head baseball coach.
The Fresno State commit says his 60-yard dash has been clocked at 6.48.
“Ya know, both my parents were pretty fast, as they have told me,” Marroquin laughed.
“I just loved to run when I was little. I developed some good technique and with me playing a lot of sports,” Marroquin explained.
Marroquin was on the hunt for setting a career record in stolen bases at Tulare Western. As a junior, he set the program’s single-season record 27. This year, he had eight stolen bases in just nine games before the season was cut short.
“I think it separates me from other ballplayers, and I think that coaches can see that,” Marroquin said. “They know that I’m an aggressive base runner and I just love to steal bags and I think that can come in handy.”
His smart base running and speed perfectly translates to the outfield.
“Being able to see the whole field from center field. That’s what I love the best,” Marroquin explained.
The center fielder is in charge of the entire outfield, and that comes with a lot of pressure which Marroquin enjoys.
“Searcy always says ‘pressure is a privilege,’ and I totally agree with him on that. Being in a pressured situation will better you. He always says big time players make big time plays and I want to be that big time player,” Marroquin said.
He’ pretty good at the dish as well. Last year, he hit .347, scoring 27 runs. This year, he was off to a hot start hitting .520 and his head coach Ken Searcy says he’s improved every year on varsity.
“Just his work ethic,” explained Searcy. “I mean it was always good, but it improved every year, he wanted to be a better leader, and he wanted to be a good teammate.”
Something that the Diamond ‘Dogs can look forward to in the future.
“It excites me, but I just want to make sure that I take one thing at a time,” said Marroquin. “Make sure I get school work done and make sure that I’m a great teammate first, and I’ll take it year by year over there.”