MISSION — Tears of joy, lots of laughs and plenty of love filled the La Joya Palmview library on Tuesday as La Joya Palmview senior pitcher Jonathan Martinez signed a national letter of intent to play baseball at Texas State University in San Marcos.

Surrounded by friends, teammates, coaches and family, Martinez was overcome with emotion while thanking those who helped him reach this point.

“They’ve been a part of this journey. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have pushed this hard. They motivated me to be a better me and it made me a better person and who I am today,” Martinez said.

Martinez’s parents have been a part of his baseball journey every step of the way, supporting him whether he had tournament games in California, Florida or all the way in Puerto Rico.

“Even when we were struggling, whatever, they were there supporting me, giving me everything I needed to be the best player I can be on the field,” Martinez said. “I could have a tournament in California and they’ll be there, and that’s sacrifice. That’s what families about — we sacrifice for each other because we’ve been through a lot.”

Last season, Martinez was named to The Monitor’s All-Area first team after starting 14 games for the Lobos and compiling a 9-1 record with 93 strikeouts and four complete game shutouts. His 0.62 ERA was also the lowest by a pitcher in the Rio Grande Valley. Martinez also won all three of his starts in the playoffs as the Lobos advanced to the 5A regional quarterfinals.

Palmview head baseball coach Manuel Garcia said Martinez is as good off the baseball field as he is on it.

“He’s a great kid, a great athlete and a great student. As you can see, he’s got a lot of friends. He’s very easy-going with people, he’s never said no to a picture,” Garcia said. “As an athlete, you pray for a kid like that to come onto your team.”

While Martinez is popular amongst his peers, he’s different on the mound. He approaches the position with a fire and intensity.

Martinez will look to carry that over to the diamond at Texas State next year.

“I think I’m bringing my leadership and competitiveness. I feel like when I get there, people will respect me because I want to get the job done,” Martinez said. “I’m not there to mess around. School’s first, but I want to take care of business on the field.”

bramos@themonitor.com