Robinson 4, Herndon 3
Not too tall, without much of a leg kick, and covered in dirt from the top button of his jersey to the bottom of his pant leg, Robinson junior Spencer Wiggins hardly looked like an ace starting pitcher.
But last night in the visiting Rams' 4-3 victory over No. 10 Herndon in a AAA Northern Region first-round baseball game, Wiggins pitched a masterful four-hitter, stole four bases and scored two runs.
Robinson (11-8) will face top-ranked Madison game at 1 p.m. Monday at Fairfax in one quarterfinal. Herndon's season ended at 15-5.
"He doesn't get much respect because he's just not that tall and isn't a hard thrower," Robinson Coach Bill Evers said of Wiggins. "But for the past two years, that's what you get from him -- a great effort."
The 5-foot-10 Wiggins's jersey was soiled as a result of his first-inning, headfirst slide into second base on a stolen base. He was hit by a pitch to open the game, and came around to score as part of a two-run first inning.
"You've got to run the bases well in the regionals, because you are always going to be going up against a top pitcher," said Wiggins, whose defense turned three double plays. "You have to take advantage of every chance you have. You have to be aggressive."
After walking to lead off the third, Wiggins stole two bases and scored to make it 3-0. The Rams pulled off a double steal in the fifth as part of a rally that increased their lead to 4-1.
"We haven't hit well all season, and we really haven't played great defense, either," said Evers, whose Rams were region runners-up a year ago. "For us, we had to come up with another way to score. We put it all together tonight."
Second baseman Jeff Gregory had two hits and scored two runs for Robinson, which averaged just 2.5 runs in eight games prior to last night.
The Rams were retired in order only once -- in the second inning -- by Herndon starter Steve Youngquist (7-3), who gave up five hits and walked three. Herndon threatened in the seventh inning by putting runners at second and third with two outs, but a groundout ended the game.
"We haven't hit much lately," said Herndon Coach Al McCullock. Robinson "figured out a way to win."
Senior third baseman senior Brandon Guyer, the Hornets' top hitter, went 1 for 3 with a double and hit the ball hard in his other two at-bats; teammate junior shortstop Eric Krzniak had two hits.