USC baseball earned its first accolade of a roller coaster season on Monday afternoon.
Outfielder Timmy Robinson was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week after hitting .462 (6-for-13) in the Trojans four games last week. Robinson knocked three home runs and had six RBIs, including a two-homer, five-RBI day against UC Santa Barbara on Saturday.
Robinson also had a solo home run in a one-run victory over Southern California-power Cal State Fullerton on Monday. Even though they came in a 9-5 win, Saturday’s long balls proved to be a bigger difference maker for USC.
After the Trojans lost the first two games of the series with UCSB, the seniors called a team meeting before Saturday’s game. But they fell behind 2-0 in Saturday’s finale. They needed a spark and needed it in a big way.
Robinson provided it.
USC had just got out of a big jam in the top half of the third inning with a double play and a groundout. The bats finally came to life as they got their first run and had two men on with two outs for Robinson. He turned on a high 2-0 fastball and hammered a screaming rocket line drive half way up the screen behind the left field fence to put the Trojans ahead.
The Trojans added a run in the fourth inning and Robinson brought out the bomb squad once again in the fifth inning. The Gauchos tried to get him to chase a two-strike slider off the outside corner, but instead the pitcher made a mistake hanging the slider in the strike zone. Robinson crushed a booming blast that the outfielder had no chance on. The scariest part is that Robinson later said he didn’t even fully barrel the ball up, but actually hit it off the end of the bat.
Slowed by a preseason arm injury, Robinson started the year slow while having to be the designated hitter, but he has really started to come on lately, reaching base. In his last 10 games, he is 15-for-38 (.395) raising his season average from .191 to .282. He has reached base in each game, hitting five doubles and three homers while knocking in 11 runs and scoring 12 more. Robinson has been patient at the plate, drawing six walks and has also swiped two bags in the last 10 games.
The hot stretch, which has coincided with Robinson getting healthy enough to return to the field for the last seven games, has pushed Robinson into the team lead for home runs (5), doubles (7) and base on balls (14). He is also second on the team with 20 RBIs.
Last season, Robinson hit .295 with seven homers, 10 doubles and 53 RBIs
This was the first Pac-12 honor for Robinson and the first for USC this season. The Trojans return to action at Dedeaux Field Tuesday against Loyola Marymount at 6 p.m.
Better than Robinson receiving the weekly award is what he gives back:
Here’s Timmy Robinson talking about his big day on Saturday, USC’s players’ only meeting and how he has been able to bounce back from a slow start: