"Double down the line, it doesn't get any better," a smiling Dominic Robinson said Monday following Florida State's 18-5 victory over Duke at Dick Howser Stadium.
Robinson, the Seminoles' latest two-sport athlete, ended his initial baseball season on a dramatic, theatrical note, lacing a double down the right-field line for his first collegiate hit with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Upon reaching second base, a grinning and giddy Robinson raised clenched fists above his head -- and then bowed three times in the direction of cheering fans down the right-field line, behind home plate and down the left-field line.
Prime Time II indeed.
"I just swung. It wasn't a strike," said Robinson, who knocked in two runs on the slicing liner. "I knew I wouldn't get a decent pitch because the guy had been kind of wild. But I had decided before even he threw it, I am swinging at this one. I didn't really care whether it was a strike or ball or where it was at. I was hacking at it. I swung and it stayed fair, thank God for that. It's a great feeling."
Robinson, who won't be on the Seminoles' travel squad for the postseason, has decided to head home to California to rest and recover before beginning preparations for the upcoming football season. Robinson, a reserve cornerback and punt return specialist, has been nagged by a lower back strain since mat drills.
Still, Robinson's flight west should be far more festive following his first hit in five at-bats this season. Robinson, a reserve outfielder, appeared in 15 games and was a favorite among his teammates, including coach Mike Martin. Martin admits there was a time when he would have punished players for antics such as Robinson's. Robinson admitted he didn't dare peek into the dugout before taking his bows.
"Too much emotion was wound up inside of me," Robinson said. "The fans started cheering and it got a little louder. I couldn't leave it to just one side. I had to delegate it all three sides. They were all going crazy."
Of course, everyone in the park knew what was in store. Duke reliever Colin Bagley sailed a high fastball under the chin of the Seminoles' next batter, Chris Hart. "If I was on the mound, I am definitely ear-holing everybody who steps up to the plate," Robinson said. "I wouldn't blame him." Of course, a good-natured Martin couldn't blame Robinson's excitable, infectious personality.
"He has been a fine representative of our program -- I kind of wish he wouldn't have bowed," Martin said and chuckled.
"I am glad we didn't have the new stadium because we would have had three more (sections to bow at). I think Chris (Hart) knew that (pitch) was going to get close to him when he got in there and, sure enough, it was. But he (Robinson) hasn't done anything to embarrass the program, the uniform. He's an excitable young man who is very popular with our guys. He was a fun kid to work with."
Robinson said he hopes to return to the baseball field next year for the Seminoles.
"It has been a great experience," Robinson said. "There are no words to describe how good the guys have been to me. There's just mutual love around the clubhouse. Mutual respect. It has been a wonderful experience and I hope to come back next year and do the same -- and hopefully do a little bit more. For now, I am just going to enjoy it.
"But it was tough at times, too. It takes a lot of discipline. I knew it was going to take some discipline. There were times when I would wake up in the morning and say, 'Man, I am telling 11 (Martin) it's over.' Then were other days when I couldn't wait to get to the park and get better. It goes up and down. Overall, I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. It was fun. It was a great experience."
Robinson, nicknamed Prime Time II after hero Deion Sanders, also wants to make sure his second football season is a great experience. The 190-pounder admits he needs to improve his quickness if he wants to crack the Seminoles' starting lineup. He was listed third on the depth chart at left cornerback behind Stanford Samuelsand Malcom Tatum and second behind Samuels in nickel coverage following spring drills. Robinson plans to return to Tallahassee in mid-June to participate in a speed camp.
"All summer, everything I do will center on improving my quickness," Robinson said. "The first thing I am going to do when I walk in the door is I have to get my quickness up. I think that's the X-factor here. Everybody thinks of Florida State and it's 'Yeah, they are so fast. They are so fast.'
"But nowadays everybody is fast. Everyone thought Deion (Sanders) was so fast. Well, Deion was fast but there were some other guys who were out there who were so fast, too. But he was so quick. And that's what separated him from everybody else. You look down the line at our DBs and our linebackers, we are all going to run the same, close to the same 40 times. But it's hard to measure the quickness and the little things. The explosiveness, the change of direction, the quickness. That's what I am going to be harping on."
Robinson also says the Seminoles are determined to erase last season's struggles, saying, "We are on a mission. We are pissed at the world. That's a nice way to put it. I don't think there's anybody that we are not going after. I haven't been around for a very long time obviously but you can really tell. The coaches are taking a different approach. We look different and feel different."
But Robinson's fun approach probably will never change, which is a good thing. Just ask Seminole baseball fans.
"They come out here -- we have noble fans," Robinson said. "They come out every game, and it's just amazing because we play so many games. So I definitely try to give them something entertaining, something to keep them going, something for them to leave the park talking about. That's what I did in my last day. Just having fun."