If only Pope pitcher Reid Robertson could have finished his senior season as the team’s ace.
He already proved his worth as the No. 3 starter.
The Greyhounds made it to the state championship series last year, with each postseason series coming down to the third game. It was Robertson who was required to take the mound in the series clincher each time.
In Game 3 of the Class AAAAAA semifinbals, Robertson shut out Harrison 5-0, allowing only three hits in putting Pope back in the state finals for the third straight year.
Two rounds earlier, Robertson gave up one hit and struck out nine in a 1-0 win over Dacula, and he struck out three in five innings in Pope’s 9-1 win over Lee County in the quarterfinal clincher.
Although Pope fell in three games to Heritage-Conyers in the championship series, it was Robertson who played a major role in helping the Greyhounds get there.
To no surprise, Robertson was elevated to be the No. 1 starter in 2020.
Signed to play at Dallas Baptist University, he pitched well this season. Pope was 9-4 overall and 3-1 in Region 7AAAAAA before the season was put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic.
At first, the stoppage of play was intended to only be temporary before the Georgia High School Association made the decision to cancel the remainder of the season.
“I was actually at Pope, hitting in the cages. That’s when I heard we weren’t going to be playing for the rest of the season,” Robertson said. “I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was just going to be delayed, but it got so bad to where we couldn’t resume play.”
Robertson, who plans on majoring in marketing, will head to Dallas Baptist in the fall as both a pitcher and a position player, but no one will know how well Pope would have fared in another postseason, now with Robertson as its ace.
Pope coach Jeff Rowland said Robertson was ready to embrace the role, especially after his clutch performances in so many Game 3s. Rowland said Robertson had better command of his pitches as the season got under way, especially with his fastball and change-up.
“He’s been a varsity pitcher since his ninth-grade year, and we have thrown him into some intense situations over the years,” Rowland said. “The older he got, I think he realized how good he was and started believing in himself more.”
Despite an unfinished season in 2020, Robertson did leave his mark at Pope.
He was on the Greyhounds’ state championship teams in 2017 and 2018. He also made the Marietta Daily Journal/Cobb County first team in 2019 and was on the second team as a junior in 2018. In 2020, he was named a Rawlings Perfect Game Preseason All-American and was selected to he all-region team.
“Being a part of that state championship (in 2017) was one of the most special things that happened to me in my life,” Robertson said. “My sophomore year, we found away to make it to the state championship, pushed it to three games (against Allatoona) and got it done. Last year was heartbreaking, but it was one of the most fun years I’ve had.”