Robinson pitches, hits Byrd to game one victory over Brother Martin
NEW ORLEANS – It was a long bus ride for No. 10 seed Byrd.
The Yellow Jackets ventured to Kirsch-Rooney Stadium for game one of a best-of-three regional round series with No. 7 seed Brother Martin Thursday.
Suffice it to say that the trip was worth it and the ride back to the hotel was a pleasant one.
East Texas Baptist commit Kevin Robinson pitched a complete game and drove in two runs on a pair of hits to lead Byrd to a 6-2 victory over the Crusaders in the opening game of the Select Division I series.
Robinson allowed two runs, scattering eight hits and struck out five.
“It’s easier to settle in whenever you get a 3-0 lead early and whenever your team gets up big,” Robinson said. “It’s easy to pitch when you get it going. It was important to get it going, to get the bats going and let me start pitching like I normally do.”
Most impressive and perhaps most importantly, Robinson did not walk anyone.
“I just pound the zone, throw strikes and let them put it in play,” Robinson said. “It’s huge knowing you’ve only got to win one (more).”
Byrd used a very fast start to win it.
The Yellow Jackets opened the game in fast fashion against Brother Martin starter Gavin Simeon, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning. Walker Fox walked, Zach Wilburn singled and Robinson followed with a 2-run double. After Brooks Brosette groundet out, Luke Lambert drove in a run with a single to make it 3-0.
Byrd extended the lead to 4-0 in the top of the third as Robinson singled and Tyler Woolridge ran for him. A wild pitch and sacrifice bunt by Brosette advanced Woolridge to third and Lambert drove him home with a sacrifice fly and it was 4-0.
Brother Martin got on the board in the bottom of the third as Egan Prather and singled, advanced all the way to third on a groundout by Gavin Berry and scored on a single by Andrew Sieta to cut the deficit to 4-1.
Byrd answered in the top of the fourth with a single by Dakota Futch, a sacrifice bunt by KD Harris and a two-out, RBI single by Wilburn to make it 5-1.
The Crusaders (21-9) got their final run in the bottom of the fourth as Stan Wiltz reached on an error, advanced on another error and scored on an RBI single by Prather and it was 5-2.
The Yellow Jackets (22-13) completed the scoring in the seventh inning. With two outs, Lambert and Hayden Hoffpauir each walked and Tyler Nichols drove home Lambert with a single.
Robinson tied the single season school record with his tenth win, using 107 pitches. The Yellow Jackets overcame committing three errors while laying down three sacrifice bunts.
Still, it was all about Williams and his outstanding performance.
“Kevin’s a big part of that,” Byrd coach Greg Williams said. “He had a big double to score our first two there. That gave him some breathing room. He’s been solid. He just fills up the zone and pitches to contact. You always want to win the first one. We know obviously that Brother Martin’s a good team and they will come back tomorrow and it will be just as tough.”
Simeon took the loss, going six and two-third innings, allowing six runs on eight hits. Simeon walked five, hit a batter and struck out two. Jude Tingston came on to record an out in the seventh inning.
Game two is set for 4 p.m. Friday at Kirsch-Rooney with game three, if necessary, to follow.
“I thought we had some good at-bats,” Brother Martin coach Jeff Lupo said. “I thought we hit a bunch of balls hard. We hit some balls right at them. They every play they had to. They made big pitches and they got big two-out hits. We have to do that tomorrow. I like the guys in our dugout and I think we’ll have a chance to do that.”
The position that Brother Martin is in is a familiar one.
Last season, the Crusaders lost game one of a best-of-three quarterfinal round series to St. Augustine 8-7 but came back to win the final two games 9-7 and 5-2 to win the series.
The onus is on Brother Martin to do so again and it will be a formidable task against a solid Byrd squad.
Byrd 301 100 1 — 6 8 3, 8 LOB
BM 001 100 0 — 2 8 1, 6 LOB
Time of Game: 2:01
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…