CARTERVILLE — Cam Robinson wasn’t Louisville baseball’s intended target when one of the Cardinals’ scouts recently attended a John A. Logan fall game.
That scout traveled to watch Luke Seed, a left-handed pitcher for the Volunteers.
But if there’s one aspect Robinson, a 2018 Champaign Central graduate, has learned on the diamond, it’s always being prepared to grab the spotlight.
“You have to make the most of your chances,” the 6-foot-5 right-handed pitcher said, “and play like everybody’s watching you. It’s definitely something I’ve grown to appreciate it.”
Even more so now that Robinson is committed to the Louisville baseball program, a decision he made public on Sunday afternoon.
It marks the latest addition in the Champaign-to-Louisville pipeline, with Robinson following in the footsteps of Central alumnus Jake Snider and Centennial graduate Luke Smith.
“I went down there (Saturday) for the Clemson (football) game and fell in love with the campus and program the second we arrived,” Robinson said. “The fact they’re in the ACC and a top-10 program every year spoke to itself.”
Coach Dan McDonnell’s Cardinals are coming off a historic campaign, in which the team compiled 51 victories and was one of the last four squads remaining in the College World Series.
Former Illinois assistant Eric Snider, now the Louisville recruiting coordinator, connected with Robinson not long after that aforementioned John A. Logan fall game.
“About two weeks ago they ended up calling me and saying they saw me throw and that they liked what they saw,” said Robinson, a two-time News-Gazette All-Area first-team selection who helped the Maroons reach the Class 3A state tournament in 2017. “They wanted to get me on campus as quick as they could. It all kind of happened really fast.”
Robinson said he was also fielding interest from Kansas State, Purdue, Indiana State and Charlotte.
He still has one more spring season with John A. Logan, of course. Robinson’s freshman stint resulted in a 1-3 record and 5.24 ERA in 22 1 / 3 innings, shifting between starting and coming out of the bullpen.
“I came down here and I didn’t really know what to expect,” Robinson said. “Tanner Gordon was a guy I worked out with (at Central). Seeing him come here and just the success he was able to have after transferring to Indiana, I kind of wanted to follow the same path.”
Robinson anticipates jumping back to a regular starting role as a Volunteers sophomore after logging 22 innings this fall.
He also knows his work isn’t done in preparation for Division I baseball.
“I want to put on some weight and get stronger and clean up some mechanical stuff,” Robinson said, “so hopefully I’ll see another velocity jump and be able to compete in the ACC.”
The cherry on top: Robinson’s John A. Logan teammate Seed will join him at Louisville, having committed earlier this month.
But it’s hard for Robinson to ignore the Champaign ties associated with his next stage of baseball.
“It’s special,” Robinson said. “Growing up throughout high school and stuff, watching those guys play on the big stage ... it’s definitely special to carry on the tradition the guys before me have laid in stone. I’m excited for the opportunity.”