Stellar year no shock to Westminster ace

May 20, 1994|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Staff Writer

Call Jeremy Robinson anything but surprising.

He'll even settle for Jell-o arm or rubber arm.

But the mere mention of the word surprising when talking about his 1994 pitching performance for Westminster rankles the senior right-hander. Robinson openly admits he was upset at the start of the season when North Carroll left-hander Mike Huller received top billing among pitchers in Carroll County.

"I don't understand that," said Robinson, who became known this season for route-going, 136-pitch, seven-inning efforts. "I guess people forgot about me or were just guessing on Huller."

Robinson took it as a snub and went out and pitched well enough all season to win acclaim as the best pitcher in the county.

He had a 7-1 record, 2.20 ERA and struck out 24 batters in back-to-back games against North Carroll (13 strikeouts) and Liberty (11). He has used a fastball, knuckleball and curveball to frustrate hitters.

Liberty's best hitter, Josh Gursky, told Robinson in the 11-strikeout game: "You have a knuckleball from hell."

The curveball wasn't too bad, either.

"I think the reason Jeremy became a big winner this year is that he threw his curveball for strikes consistently," said Westminster co-coach Guy Stull. "Also, his fastball was livelier because he was stronger."

Robinson said he was 20 pounds heavier this season than he was during his junior year (150 pounds compared to 130), when he was 1-1.

There were two reasons he was able to gain the weight: he gave up wrestling in the 130-pound weight class after three years on the varsity and he worked out all winter at the YMCA.

"I lifted weights for tone and it made me bigger and stronger," Robinson said. "I used 5-pound weights to improve my muscle tone and stretched surgical tape to make my arm stronger."

Also, Robinson passed up football last August to play fall baseball. Baseball suddenly had become No. 1 with him.

Who knows what might have happened to Westminster this season if Robinson had not won seven of the nine games won by the Owls (9-9 overall, 5-1 in the county and 7-5 in the Central Maryland Conference).

He not only pitched with incredible consistency but also hit .350 with a homer and 10 triples.

Now, it's on to summer baseball with the 16-18 Liberty Road team. Later, Robinson will enroll at Division II Carson-Newman in Jefferson City, Tenn., where he hopes to play a major role in the school's baseball fortunes.

"I just want to go somewhere, play ball and get experience," he said. "If I went to a big school like Clemson, Duke or North Carolina, I'd probably sit on the bench for three years before I played. Carson-Newman has a good baseball program, and they play a lot of big schools, such as the University of Tennessee."

Thanks to his mother, Linda, Robinson has two games on videotape to show Carson-Newman coach Gary Rundles.

"My mom has given me so much support this season," said Robinson, who will double as a center fielder for Liberty Road. "She has helped me a lot mentally and was more than ready to videotape two games of me, since I thought it might be good for college."

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