Dillon Robinson, who plays first and third base as well as bats as a designated hitter, was named West Coast Conference Player of the Week as BYU heads into a three-game series at Gonzaga. (Photo by BYU Photo/Mark Philbrick)
Senior Dillon Robinson was named Rawlings West Coast Conference Player of the Week on Monday as BYU (9-11, 2-1 in WCC) baseball now prepares for this week’s series at Gonzaga (10-10, 1-2).
“After Dillon tweaked his ankle at Utah Valley Tuesday night we were concerned he wouldn't even be able to play against Pepperdine,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “Not only did he play, he was a dominant presence our lineup all weekend long and a major factor in us taking two of three from Pepperdine.”
Robinson, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound, first/third baseman from Pleasant Grove, raised his batting average from .323 to .360 by batting a team-high .538 in the four games last week. He scored BYU's seventh run in the 10-7 victory at UVU. He had six hits, two of which were doubles in the Pepperdine series where he batted .545 to lead the team.
“It was really important for us to jump out to a good start as we move further into conference play,” Littlewood said. “Gonzaga is a confident, well-coached team and we will definitely have our work cut out in Spokane.
“Our hope as a coaching staff is that we can reflect on the first three weeks of the season when we played tough teams on the road and realize we have been in these situations before.”
Junior Kolton Mahoney (1-2, 4.38) and senior Jeff Barker (1-1, 3.99) will be BYU’s starting pitchers in the Gonzaga series Thursday and Friday, both at 6 p.m. PDT. Senior Brandon Kinser (1-1, 2.51) will be the Cougar starter for Saturday’s noon game.
“It's imperative we get solid starting pitching performances from our veteran starters and limit free bases,” Littlewood said. “On the offensive side we are getting better each week, our approach at the plate has been really good the past two weeks at home – we just need to take that on the road with us and we'll be fine.”
Infielders Parker Starr and Hayden Nielsen each have seven-game hitting streaks to lead the team. Nielsen also leads the team with four game-winning RBI, including a bases- loaded single in last Saturday’s 10-inning win against Pepperdine.
The BYU-Gonzaga games will be broadcast live locally over Radio 960 AM, with Thursday and Friday's games being on live audio stream and on Sirius Satellite 143 radio. All three games will be on live video stream on theW.tv.
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