It was quite a weekend for UNO outfielder Jay Robinson.
A day after scoring the decisive run in a game-winning rally past Northwestern State, the sophomore blasted a game-winning home run in the ninth inning Sunday to down the Demons 5-4 at Maestri Field, clinching a series victory for the Privateers (20-15, 6-9 Southland).
“I knew it was gone as soon as it left my bat; I was just hoping it would stay fair,” Robinson said. “God was with me the whole way. I knew it, I felt and I’m just happy to help the team get the win.”
UNO came into Saturday having lost seven straight, but Robinson’s clutch play gave the Privateers a much-needed boost of confidence.
Coach Blake Dean said the day Robinson had at the plate would be a good way for his team to approach the rest of the season as each conference series becomes more and more important.
“I just told the guys that (Robinson) had opportunities to drive in runs earlier in the day, but he had two horrible at-bats,” Dean said.“But you never count yourself out, and you have to believe in yourself, because now he’s the hero. If you make the plays when they matter, nobody remembers the bad plays.
“And the same goes for our season: If we win the games that matter here down the stretch, nobody will care how bad we played these past few weeks. We just have to stay confident.”
Northwestern State’s Matt Alford tied the score at 2 in the fifth inning with a solo homer, but the Privateers responded in the bottom half with a two-run single from Chaz Boyer.
The Demons bounced right back in the sixth with a solo home run by David Fry — Northwestern’s third home run of the day. Two batters later, Daniel Gardner hit an RBI single that tied the score at 4.
The score remained that way heading into the bottom of the ninth. Two pitches into the inning, Robinson sent a soaring fly ball over the left-field wall that sent his teammates charging onto the field.
“I was struggling the whole day, but I came through when my team needed me, and that’s what it’s all about,” Robinson said. “One through nine, we feel like we all can hit and we believe in each other.
“We know if we don’t get the job done that somebody is coming up right behind us that can get the job done.”