Robinson does it all for T'jacks
Shortstop Adam Robinson of the Southern Oregon Timberjacks was a 12th-rounddraft selection of the Oakland Athletics in 1997 because of his defensiveskills.
Robinson dazzled in the field again on Friday night in helping the Timberjacksdefeat the Boise Hawks, 8-2, at Miles Field.
But in the process of playing errorless defense, Robinson gave the Timberjacksan added bonus on offense. He hit a two-run home run in the first inningand added a run-scoring double in the eighth as the Timberjacks improvedtheir record to 2-2 before a crowd of 1,803.
We drafted Adam because of his defense, said Southern Oregonmanager John Kuehl. I don't expect a middle infielder to hit homeruns and doubles and drive in runs. That's a nice plus for us.
Despite his power surge, Robinson, a former University of Virginia shortstop,insists he isn't a power hitter.
I wasn't even thinking home run, he said. I was inthe two-strike approach because it was a 3-and-2 count.
I was looking for a fastball the whole at-bat. He (pitcher MikeHughes) happened to get it up.
Robinson was credited with three assists at shortstop. He made a spectacularplay up the middle in the seventh inning by fielding a ground ball headedfor center field and throwing out Cesar Geronimo of the Hawks.
In the sixth inning, he combined with second baseman Eddie Lara to turnan inning-ending double play on another ground headed toward center field.Robinson went behind second base to field the ball and shuffled a throwto Lara, who was waiting on the bag. Lara whirled and made a strong throwto first to complete the double play.
Fans are going to see a lot of that out of those two this year,said Kuehl. They are both fantastic defensive players. They are sogood, they can switch positions. Don't be surprised if we put Robinson atsecond base and Lara at shorstop in a game. They deserve the chance to showwhat they can do.
Robinson's two-run homer to left field gave the Timberjacks and winningpitcher Tom Knickerbocker a 2-0 lead after one inning.
The Timberjacks added three runs in the fifth to take a 5-0 lead. Larahad a two-run double to right field and left fielder Ed Farris stretchedhis hitting streak to four games with a run-scoring single.
The 5-0 lead allowed Knickerbocker to breeze through five innings andqualify for his first win. He threw 70 pitches, allowing three hits andno runs. He struck out eight and walked one.
I kept the ball down and that made it a lot easier, saidKnickerbocker, who spent part of last season with the Timberjacks. Thekey for me is consistency. If I can do things right nine out of 10 times,instead of just part of the time, it (success) is going to be there.
Kuehl liked the poise he saw from Knickerbocker.
He was fantastic tonight, said Kuehl.
Rico Lagattuta, who also spent most of the 1996 season on the Timberjacks'roster, pitched three innings after Knickerbocker reached his designatedpitch limit for the night. Lagattuta allowed two runs and five hits.
Tim Manwiller pitched the ninth for Southern Oregon.
The Timberjacks built their lead to 7-2 in the seventh with two runs.Nicholas Sosa drove in both runs with a single to right field with two outs.
Robinson contributed his run-scoring double in the bottom of the eighth.
The Hawks scored two in the eighth off Lagattuta on a double by Jay Nunley.
Adam Piatt, Oakland's eighth-round pick out of Mississippi State, madehis first start at third base for the Timberjacks. He was 0-for-2 and scoreda run in the seventh after drawing a walk.