Having topped the 2017 Warrior lineup in hits, RBI, doubles and home runs, J.J. Robinson entered the NAIA World Series title game with little lacking in his senior-year resume at Lewis-Clark State College.
The powerhouse lefty from Colfax was true to form Friday night at Harris Field as he led the team (along with Micah Brown) in hits and runs at two apiece while delivering a key RBI in the seventh inning – and in the process, he removed the last “0” from his storied batting stat sheet with his first triple of the season.
Robinson’s seventh-inning slug sent Brown home for a second run of the evening and pushed the Warriors into the lead at 5-4, after which Robinson took advantage of a Faulkner wild pitch to close the gap from third base to home, completing the final run of the game, the season, the NAIA World Series and his college baseball career.
It was only natural, then, that the post-game ceremony saw a euphoric Robinson named Series MVP.
“Great, in one word,” was his unsurprising response when asked how he felt afterward. “It was awesome.”
Robinson, who has been a committed player and fan “since I can remember” and was in attendance at LCSC’s title-winning game as a middle-schooler in 2008, had stints at Washington State and Walla Walla Community College before joining the Warriors as a junior.
“It’s amazing – I wish I would have come here from day one,” said Robinson in summing up his experience at Lewis-Clark State. “It’s a great program. They expect a lot from you, and that’s how it’s supposed be.
“We succeed because of that, because of our coaches,” he continued, his voice hoarse from a raucous evening of competition and celebration. “They’re like our dads away from home.”
Robinson, who graduates with two World Series titles and two NAIA West Player of the Year honors in as many seasons at LCSC, considers the Series MVP award the “icing on the cake” of his illustrious record.
LCSC center fielder Raymond Pedrina claimed the Charles Berry Hustle Award, which he earned as much for playing with fractured bones in his face as for his wide-ranging defense in the outfield.
Charles Berry Hustle Award – Raymond Pedrina, Lewis-Clark State.
Gold Glove Award – John Price Jr., Faulkner.
Most Valuable Player – J.J. Robinson, Lewis-Clark State.
All-tournament team – 1B, James Land, William Carey. 2B, Ryan Rosa, Faulkner. 3B, Tra’mayne Holmes, Faulkner. SS, Seaver Whalen, Lewis-Clark State. INF, Jerame Littell, Oklahoma City. C, Tyler Graves, William Carey. C, Paolo Montezuma, Faulkner. OF, Jared Baker, Oklahoma City. OF, Tyler Odom, William Carey. OF, John Price Jr., Faulkner. OF, Logan Griffin, Lewis-Clark State. DH, J.J. Robinson, Lewis-Clark State. P, Ivan Pelaez, Faulkner. P, Connor Brogdon, Lewis-Clark State. P, Jose Hildago, Science and Arts. P. Matt Young, Oklahoma City.