High School Sports

George County’s Walker Robbins belts walk-off homer in 2017 debut

Former George County Rebel Walker Robbins hit his first professional home run Thursday to lift the Johnson City Cardinals to a 6-5 victory in 13 innings.
Former George County Rebel Walker Robbins hit his first professional home run Thursday to lift the Johnson City Cardinals to a 6-5 victory in 13 innings. Special to the Sun Herald file

Former George County standout Walker Robbins picked a perfect time to belt his first professional homer.

Known as a power threat for the Rebels in high school, it took Robbins until his second professional season to tally his first round tripper — but boy did he pick his moment.

Hitless heading into the 13th inning Thursday night, the new Johnson City outfielder belted a 1-0 pitch over the center field wall to lift the Cardinals to a 6-5 walkoff victory over the Bristol Pirates.

Robbins finished the night 1-for-5 with a walk in the thrilling 2017 opener for the St. Louis Cardinals’ Rookie League affiliate.

The Mississippi State signee told the Sun Herald last week that he was hopeful for a sophomore surge after a disappointing pro debut in 2016 where he hit .185.

“If you just have good plate appearances, swing the bat and make good contact you’ll be fine. You don’t have to get a hit every time you’re at bat,” Robbins said. “I need to be more selective. Last year I chased too many pitches being anxious at the plate.

“This year I’m trying to slow the game down, see the ball better and not swing at so many bad pitches.”

So far so good for the former Cardinal fifth-round selection.

The JC Cardinals return to the diamond at 7 p.m. Friday.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

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