By Mason Nesbitt, Sports Information Director
In the ninth inning Friday, with Master’s well on its way to a 15-7 season-opening win over Marymount California University, coach Monte Brooks sent Josh Robison to the plate if for no other reason than to see what would happen.
In light of Robison’s three previous swings, it was a bit of a letdown: a triple.
The senior slammed the first three home runs of his TMU career, finishing 4-for-4 and driving in five runs. And not in a Cracker Jack box, either.
Brooks estimated the dimensions at MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Marymount’s home park, to be around 325 down the lines, 380 in the gaps and 401 to center.
Robison, who tallied six hits total in his first three seasons, launched a solo shot to left in the third. He followed with frozen-rope homers to left center in the sixth and seventh innings.
“I don’t remember a game like that in my coaching career,” said Brooks, who took over several years after Andy Martin set the single-game TMU record with four home runs in 1992.
Robison, though, got absolutely all of the three he hit. The second baseman said he knew each was gone on contact, each long-ball lending credibility to the confidence Brooks has always had in Robison.
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior has flashed this kind of power in practice, and he hit something like five home runs in batting practice at the NAIA World Series last spring, according to Brooks.
Friday, Robison relaxed and connected.
“It didn’t really feel real,” Robison said. “But it’s settling in a little bit.”
Robison wasn’t the only Mustang to have a big day.
Center fielder Max Maitland went 3-for-6 with a triple and three RBIs. He scored twice.
“I just wanted to have good at-bats,” Maitland said. “I didn’t want to chase pitches or get out early because I need to get on base so we can score.”
Aaron Shackelford, Preston White, Jaiden France and Adam Rubio each knocked in a run on a day when the Mustangs were actually outhit, 12-9.
But all of Marymount’s runs came in the bottom of the ninth, long after starter Scott Savage tossed six shutout innings for the win.
Savage struck out five, walked none and allowed five hits. Meanwhile Robison hit, and hit, and hit.
“Unreal,” Maitland said of Robison’s outburst. “I know he has that pop, but to hit three is pretty insane.”
Master’s will host Marymount on Saturday in a double-header. First pitch at Lou Herwaldt Stadium is set for 11 a.m.