Few athletes in modern Arizona Wildcats history can say they ended their collegiate careers in storybook fashion.
Haley Moore is one. Miles Simon is another. Throw in Taryne Mowatt as well.
Then there’s Robert Refsnyder.
A junior outfielder on the 2012 national championship team, Refsnyder put together a remarkable College World Series performance, batting .476 (10-21) over six games and delivering the series-clinching run.
Refsnyder entered the postseason as a well-known commodity in college baseball. He batted .352 as a junior and recorded 63 RBIs and 12 stolen bases.
That was enough to woo over the New York Yankees, who drafted the Seoul, South Korea-born prospect in the fifth round.
Refsnyder served as the clean-up hitter on a loaded lineup that included future MLB players Alex Mejia, Seth Mejias-Brean and Joey Rickard.
It took the whole team, particularly the pitching staff, getting hot at the right time for Arizona to make its magical, unblemished run through the postseason, but no player had a bigger role in winning the championship than Refsnyder.
Refsnyder reached base in each of Arizona’s final 38 games and did so with aplomb.
In game one of the CWS finals against South Carolina, Refsnyder delivered a first-inning two-run opposite field homer that set the tone for the rest of the series.
He produced the defensive play of the game as well when in the seventh inning he threw out a South Carolina runner trying to take third and cut into Arizona’s three-run lead.
Refsnyder delivered again the next night when with the game tied 1-1 entering the ninth inning, he hit a single that turned into the game-winning run. Refsnyder finished the CWS with six runs and five RBIs, earning the CWS Most Outstanding Player.
His name deserves to be etched in Arizona fans’ memories for bringing Arizona baseball back to the promised land.