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Author: Philip Ebert

Game 2 Heroics

Ryan Day and Brandon Tyler at the Rays game.

The Argos are still alive!  The team came out ready to extend our season and jumped out to an early 3-0 lead against top seeded Tampa!  Drew Bryson threw a great game, going 8 innings surrendering 4 runs.  He really battled for us, and made some big pitches when we needed them most!  Bobby Parker came into the game in the 9th and earned the save, collecting his 14th save this season, which ties him for the single season record!

Myself and BT at the Trop

The team energy was great, and the rally chicken was clutch!  We got up early, and “held our water” ending Tampa’s season and extending ours!  We play today at 4:15 against Delta State.  For anyone following our season, Delta has defeated us 4 times this year…. Time to change that!!!  Let’s Go ARGOS!

Wish us luck!

Philip Ebert 36

 

Game 1 Disappointment

Greetings Argo Nation!

Mickey and Dickey

Today started the NCAA South Region tournament, and unfortunately the Argos started with a loss to Nova Southeastern.  We fought hard, and had the bases juiced in the 9th, down 3, but ended the game with a double play.  A major disappointment, but none the less, we are still alive.  When you think about how unlikely it is for a team to come out of the losers bracket and win the tournament, you need only look at how unlikely it was for #8 seed Stillman to beat #1 Nationally ranked Tampa.  My point is, it can be done!  We battled until the last out today, and the cards just didn’t fall for us.

We stalked Big Papi at the mall...

Tournament host Tampa lost a stunning upset to Stillman College, which in a way motivates us.  We lost to Tampa in a game earlier in the year, 10-7, in a game that we beat ourselves.  So for now, it is time for redemption, because I am not ready to give up my Argo jersey’s.  Obviously Tampa is a very good team, but we aren’t phased, we will come out and lay it all on the line!

In my last post I said that Jordan Delorenzo and I were trying to find out play-off alias.  Well, the first movie we watched on the bus ride was, “The Fighter”, with Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale.  After the movie is was clear, Delo was Mickey, and I was Dickey.  Two brothers fighting our way to a championship!  I didn’t have to overcome a crack addiction, but it has worked well so far.  We talk in a cool Boston accent, and walk around working on our punch combo (Head/Body/Head/Body).

Rally Chicken

Game time is set for 1:15 tomorrow, and look for something special to happen.  The rally chicken I bought just had to warm up a little before he really gets things going!

P.s.  Special shout out to my sweet baby Jesus, Austin Allison, of Samford University.  The bulldogs have won back-to-back games against the University of Florida and Oklahoma.  Trying to make a push to the play-offs!  Keep it up!

 

Thanks for all the support ARGO NATION!

Philip Ebert #36

Playoff Time

Delo trying to pick up chicks at the Blue Wahoos game.

It has been a month and half since my last post, “April Tools”.  April was a time to make a push to the playoffs, trying to put the team in a good position to make a regional.  Well, the Argos did just this.  After the NCAA selection show on Sunday night, the Argos were selected with the #4 seed in the South Region.  We will take on Nova Southeastern University for the first time in school history.

UWF Athlete Banquet

Throughout the last 6 weeks since my last post, I managed to finish up my student teaching, and graduated college with a Bachelor of Arts, in Elementary and Special Education.  A very gratifying experience, but none the less, a terrifying one.  I have a path in mind; teaching 5th grade in Pensacola.  But………. I have been searching on the NCAA websites for open coaching positions, and will be applying to every one that I see fit.  My ultimate goal is to be a college coach, and I know I can be a damn good one!  I may not be as qualified as most applicants for some of these jobs, but the way I look at it is, I 100% won’t get the job if I don’t apply.  So for now, I’m living the dream… a college graduate, getting to play  baseball everyday and continuing to make memories with my teammates.

Our team has a great opportunity ahead, we know we most certainly have the ability to win this South Region tournament, it will come down to playing 4/5 great games in a row!  We are going to need some luck, and the way I see it, luck generally comes to teams that work the hardest.

My parents made the trip for Senior Day at the Spoon.

On a positive note, Senor Stache has returned, and is ready to lead the way to victory.  Along with my newly dyed mustache, freshmen Jordan Delorenzo’s dyed facial hair is setting the standard this year.  He resembles a 19 year old Carl Pavano.  We are in the process of coming up with our playoff alias, I wanted the “Bash Brother’s” but Delo quickly shot that down.  He said it was already in use by a few players from the Mighty Ducks (circa 1990′s).  One thing is for sure, people will tremble when they see us, and they will beg Delo not to throw his 74 mph fastball high and tight.

Ryan Day has had #swag since day one!

Check back everyday for our regional updates and experiences.  I’ll definitely get a picture of me and Delo with our facial perfection. Most importantly, GO ARGOS!

Philip Ebert 36

http:www.twitter.com/phillybert36

 

“April Tools”

Hello!!!!   It almost seems like I have been in a mid-season slump with my blogging.  I do wish I would write more often, but honestly, by the end of my day I am too drained to do anything other than eat and go to bed.  I do have some pretty good things that have been on my mind throughout the past 3 weeks. Our squad is 22-8, ranked anywhere between 4th-11th in the respected ranking.  CBL has us ranked 4th, much appreciated, but doesn’t really mean a lot to the guys on the team.  I think being ranked 1st last year was a great accomplishment, but being ranked #1 at the end of the year was much sweeter!

Justin Bennett digging deep for the team.

April Tools….

Clever, I know.  But April is the time of the season where you either make a difference, or start planning for next year.  Play your way into a regional, or force yourself to win the conference to get into a regional.  Our goal, as always, has been to host the regional again.  We are still in a good position, we obviously need to take care of business down the stretch.  We have 18 games left, we need at least 15 wins for a realistic chance to host, with a little help from whoever is playing North Alabama.  We just need to play our “Argo Ball” and let the chips fall where they may.

What do I mean by “April Tools”?

Leadership?  That’s part of it.  Coach told us today, “Leadership is doing your part to make everyone better”.  I am a leader.  Am I a stud on the field, HECK NO!  99% chance I don’t throw an inning this year, I don’t deserve it.  I haven’t done anything good enough to get on the field.  Does that mean I sit like a bump on a log at the end of the dugout trying to find someone to pity me?  HECK NO!  I do whatever I can to HELP my teammates get better because they are the ones that are going to help put another ring on my finger. There are plenty of ways to do that.  How have I done it?  I hit fungos to my infielders.  If they want extra work, I wouldn’t hesitate to hit balls until my hands bleed.

Recently our team has had trouble hitting curve balls or sliders.  A pitching machine is great practice, having a consistent slider coming in every time, but as all hitters know, when you KNOW a slider is coming you take a different approach.  So, I have been down in the cages throwing BP mix to anyone who wants to do something different than hitting off a tee.  I don’t tell them what is coming, either fastball or slider.  I’m not contributing on the field, why not throw to the hitters to help them recognize a slider?  It’s amazing that even from 45 feet away, NOT knowing what is coming can completely fool a hitter.  After a few rounds, they start picking it up, they start making adjustments.  THEY ARE GETTING BETTER!  What did I mention about leadership above… “Leadership is doing your part to make everybody better”.

Leadership is letting Jake Stephens use your glove, then dominating!

Make a difference, do something everyday that you can look back and say, “I helped him get better today”.  Maybe you can’t hit fungos or throw BP… You can watch your fellow pitchers, remind them what your coach has been telling them to work on.  Yesterday, Eric Sloan was pitching in an intersquad game.  He did a good job, but with a runner on 2nd his tempo was slower to the plate.  If there was a fast runner on base, they could have walked into 3rd.  Sorry Sloaner! ha  It was something I recognized, and something I know Coach Jeffcoat has talked to him about.  When I told him, he appreciated the critique and worked on it today.

I’m just giving my input on what I do.  Be a leader, use each practice to help someone get better!  Be unselfish, be uncommon!

The Argos welcome Delta State to Pensacola this weekend.  We can’t look past any game, or any series.  Game 1 is the most important game until we get to game 2.  The series is at home, and I’m excited to see how our team comes out to compete against a great team.  Our goal is to host, what are we going to do to make that a reality?  I’ll let you know after this weekend!

Wish us luck!

Follow me on twitter at www.twitter.com/phillybert36

Always looking for incite or ideas to write about, if you have something you’d like to see send me an email!

Philipebertuwf@yahoo.com

 

Philip Ebert

GO ARGOS!!!

New Argo Pregame Pump Up!

 

What does it take?

Greetings baseball and Argonaut followers!!!

There is so much to get into this post because its been a solid 2 weeks since my last post.  There have been some ups and downs for the Argo Baseball team in the last few weeks.  Beginning from the top, the UWF Baseball team faced now top-ranked Tampa 2 weeks ago in the first annual GSC/SSC Baseball Crossover.  It was definitely a game that both teams had circled on their schedule!  I think both teams have a strong understanding that there is a good chance that this years regional host could very well be either one of us.  This was the only shot we had at them to have a head-to-head battle.  Unfortunately, the cookie didn’t crumble quite the way we wanted.  We dropped the uninspiring game 10-7.  Although we fought hard, ultimately we got down by too much, too early.

Ryan Day reading to my 5th grade class

We bounced back quite well, basically dominating Barry University 13-1.  We had our way with every aspect of the game, and it was a great team effort.  We hit 3 bombs in the first three innings, which probably was an Argonaut first.  It was pretty cool to witness, especially considering the way we had lost the night before.  Following Barry was 2 mid-week games against Miles College.  We took care of business, winning both games with little stress.  Now came the weekend, the conference opener against GSC new comer University of New Orleans.

After being rained out on Saturday, we played a double header on Sunday.  After taking the first game in scary 10-9 fashion, we followed the win with a disgraceful 12-3 lose.  It has been quite a while since we suffered a lose like this one.  To give you an idea of how long its been, it was the last time I played a game in the outfield.  It was a brutal 18-0 lose to North Georgia 3 years ago.  Not a good one… Coach Jeffcoat doesn’t tolerate losing, especially at home.

Fr. Mike Tomlison *photo by Chris Nelson

Even though there is a bad taste in our mouths following this weekend, there is always a positive to everything.  The Argonaut bats are coming to life, and some hitters have been mashing the ball!  For starters, Josh Huggins has been coming up clutch with big hit after big hit!  Currently Hugbear is batting .333 with 6 2b, 3 HR, and 14 RBI.   Other Argo’s swinging a hot stick are FR. Mike Tomilson (.440, 3 2b, 6 RBI) and Dustin Saulmon(.357, 4 2b, 1 3b, 1HR, 10 RBI).  They have come up big for us, at the plate and on the bases.  This week will be a big for the team, with a pair of mid-week games again nationally ranked Columbus State, and and weekend series at GSC rival North Alabama, who is also ranked.  If we could come out with 5 wins this week, I think it would boost the team right back in the discussion of hosting a regional, and I think it would really prove to this years team that WE ARE GOOD ENOUGH!  Last year, it took 2 big series wins over Delta State, and Florida Southern to really get us into a groove and gave us a certain confidence that we could hang with the “big boys”.  Well, now its time to put up or shut up… because these 5 games could certainly make or break our chances of hosting.

HugBear *photo by Chris Nelson

A quick update on my pitching progress for anyone who is thinking, “what have you been doing lately?”.  Well, I’m still waiting for my opportunity, and it’s just like it was last year.  I’m not a usual guy out of the bullpen, but I’m always ready to take the ball, and always try my best to stay prepared, just in case!  I got my debut against Columbus State last year, so maybe they’ll have a big time scouting report on me and all their hitters will tremble as I walk to the mound.  (Oops, I just woke up)

The attitude on the team is good, however, there is definitely a weird mojo floating around.  We all see the potential of what we have out there, but it’s taking a little longer than expected to put it all together.  An encouraging way to look at it is, we don’t have our best stuff right now, and are still 13-3.  So it could DEFINITELY be worse!

I hope everybody had a great March 2nd, (Dr. Seuss’ Birthday).  I had my roommates Ryan Day and Justin Bennett along with Ryan’s girlfriend Argo Soccer Superstar Lindsay Foy come read to my 5th grade class, and finished up the day with the movie “Horton Hears a Who”.  A great day, and from a teachers perspective, I definitely love days when I can play a movie!

Wish us luck this week!!!  We are going to need it!

As always, follow me on Twitter: http://bit.ly/TWITTERPHILLYBERT36

Check out or latest YouTube video of our bat ceremony before the Florida Southern series 3 weeks ago. ( http://bit.ly/wnuOAi )

Jordan Delorenzo looking good!

THANKS!

Philip Ebert 36

GO ARGOS!

Return of Senor Stache!

Hola beisbol enthusiast and #Argonation!

A lot has been happening since my last blog.  Life is busy, lots of things going on.  A wise man once told me, that life is a journey, not a destination.  The Argos and myself are trying to enjoy this sometimes stressful journey.  Despite an offensive that is seemingly still in hibernation, we have managed to begin the season 6-1, and currently on a 6 game win streak.

The way in which these victories have come could be mind boggling to some.  To us, they are victories.  Could we do better? Of course, everybody could.  But are we happy to be 6-1? Of course, anybody would be.  Its hard to really judge our season based on looking at the numbers, because when you do you can’t help but think, “wait, are you sure they are 6-1, and not 1-6″?  The team batting average is a whopping .257, but we have been pitching great and playing good defense, which is the backbone of our program.

Jr. Drew Bryson *Photo by Chris Nelson

After 7 games, there has been a definite separation of what some players roles will be at this point of the season.  Junior Lefty, but more importantly one of my “littles” on the team, Drew Bryson (Wallace State-Hanceville CC)  has been strong out of the pen for us!  He comes in throwing strikes and has a mid 90′s fastball.  Also a pleasant surprise out of the pen has been Freshmen Jordan DeLorenzo (Winter Park, Fla.).  DeLo has assumed the role of Luke Skywalker, while I am Master Yoda.  As a baby lion cub must learn from its parents the basic ways of life, DeLo is soaking up my knowledge.  For example, on a crucial strikeout, there needs to be an occasional “TAKE A SEAT, MEAT” from the dugout, and DeLo has hit the ground running.  I see a bright future for this kid, as long as he doesn’t leave school to start giving dancing lessons at the local retirement home.

Zach North and myself at the CWS. Good Times

If you had followed the blogs from last year, you would know based on my descriptive imagery, and occasional movie clip that I am the quote, “Fungo Master”.  For every Fungo Master, there must be a Master Catch-Man.  Last year, the Undisputed Champion was Zach North.  No doubt about it!  If you think its hard replacing 12 seniors, imagine having to pick 1 person out of 40 to replace a catch man like North.  It’s impossible. But despite all odds, I found my guy.  Sophomore transfer, Dan Husum (Wallace State CC).  His potential is limitless, and he can “pick it like a booger” as I say.  That means he is good at catching the ball on a short hop, a tough quality to find in an individual.

Jordan DeLorenzo showing his moves

Previously this week, the Argo Baseball team made a guest appearance to the Azalea Trace retirement community for their annual Valentine’s Day Dance.  It was a great opportunity for the team to do something out of the sometimes monotonous routine of going to sleep at 10, waking up at 6, going to school until 3, then baseball until 5 everyday.  Oh wait…… that’s just me.  But seriously, it was great to go to this event and it really was a great opportunity to socialize and dance with these older women.  Some of the players could definitely learn a thing or two from some of these ladies.  They may be old, but they can still move!  OH BABY!

Coming this weekend, will be the toughest test thus far for the Argo Baseball team.  We are traveling South to Lakeland, Fl to take on Florida Southern College.  FSC always has a very competitive squad, and considering the way we have competed over the past 2 seasons, it is this amateur blogger, and future teachers opinion that this weekend will not be any different.

One last thing……….  THE STACHE IS BACK!!!  BOOM!

Don’t be afraid to follow me on Twitter for updates and a good laugh. http://bit.ly/TWITTERPHILLYBERT36

Thanks,

Philip Ebert “Señor Stache”

GO ARGOS!  #ArgoNation

 

Senior Season!

Yo yo yo!!!  Greetings to all of my followers, and future subscribers.  The 2012 season is underway, and the University of West Florida Argonauts will be working on defending our 2011 National Championship!  First on the schedule was Flagler College, in St. Augustine, FL.  Flagler always has a good scrappy team, and this year wasn’t any different.  For the second consecutive year they handed us our first loss of the year.

Argo Legend Brandon Brewer taking time out for the little people.

The same pitcher that beat us last year, chopped up and diced our lineup into little pieces.  We didn’t hit well, but despite a few pitchers errors we still should have won. We lost the opening game of the year 4-3, and had two more opportunities to win a game and take the series.

Leading the way for the Argos this weekend was Game 2 pitcher, Josh Tanksi.  Tanksi is a JUCO transfer from Pensacola State College, and an Apopka, FL native.  Tank is a lefty pitcher who throws from over the top and from the side.  Most importantly, he is one of my “littles” that we are assigned at the beginning of the year.  After being at UWF for 5 years, my “family tree” has blossomed into a beautiful Palm tree.

Offensively for the Argos, Dustin Sauloman and Andrew Rodriquez led the way.  I wonder what is a bigger thrill, getting your first hit as an Argo, or a first mention in my blog???  Arod almost left in a body bag (3 hit by pitches), but, he cranked a triple in the gap, and a blooper that he hustled out of the box and stretched it into a double.  We surely can’t forget the foul laser bomb show.  Arod has become a newly recruited member of the “Brother’s Union”.  It is an exclusive, and EXTREMELY TOP SECRET cult that meets annually at secret restaurant for a secret “Brothers Zinger”.  I wish I could elaborate more into the specifics of this group, but if I did, every team in the country would benefit, and probably win a National Championship.  Sorry, but I’m not sorry!

Brothers Union during Fall Recruitment! Ebert, Bennett, Arod, Day

A little about the absence of my weekly writings.  For those that didn’t know, this is my last semester of college.  I have been going to school to become a teacher and will be receiving a dual major in Special Education and Elementary Education.  I am currently doing my Student Teaching, which consist of a 15 week program where I basically become the teacher of a class.  I am teaching in a 5th grade class, and loving every minute of it, but time to do anything other than planning or baseball is extremely hard to come by.  I’m up every morning at 6am, teaching until 3:00, straight to practice until about 5:00, then planning for the next day.  Before I know it, its 10:00 and time for bed!  Basically, I have 2 full-time jobs.  On a positive note, my class did well on their Math and Reading test last week. haha  It’s been a great experience! During my fall semester I was taking a tennis class, yoga class, and easy health class, so having a demanding schedule with baseball on top of that has FORCED me to take A LOT more responsibility and be 100% more organized than I ever have before.

This Argo player must be scared of being hit my a pitch at the local 7/11

Baseball really is helping to keep me sane, I don’t really get a lot of time at the field because of teaching.  I’m about 45 minutes late everyday, but when I’m out there I try to make the most of my time out there to get better, and continue to forge the bond that our team needs to become a championship caliber team.  Do we have a team like last year???  NO!  Do we have a team that can be as good as that team???  YES!  We have all the tools, but it will ultimately come down to people accepting their role, and playing for the team, not for themselves.

In deep thought about why the Argos lost!

This weekend we open at home against Rollins College.  They always have a good team, and this will be another tough test on our schedule as we begin our marathon to Cary, NC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep track of how the Argos are doing at WWW.GOARGOS.COM

And as always, follow yours truly on twitter at http://bit.ly/TWITTERPHILLYBERT36

Philip Ebert #36

GO ARGOS!

It’s ABOUT THAT TIME!!

BOOM! BANG! BEEP! YIKES! BAM! ROAR! 

No, this is not a 1960′s Batman Fight scene, but a group of words, we in the teaching profession call, “onomatopoeia”.  To me, it is a culmination of words that are trying to get the point across that the Division II College Baseball season is almost upon us!

Greetings baseball fans!  Welcome to the first addition of my 2012 blog.

A little background for those who are not familiar with my story… First of all, my name is Philip Ebert.  I am a 22 year old sidearm pitcher for the 2011 Defending National Champion, University of West Florida.  This will be my 5th and final year with the Argonauts, and it has been quite the ride.  From my first 3 years of being a struggling outfielder, to last year where I took on the role of sidearm pitcher to give myself a better chance of seeing the field, and now my final year, fighting for the opportunity to come out of the bullpen to get ground balls.

The Terminator (Me)

My career has been rocky, but all the hard work and struggles paid off when we won the DII CWS last year in Cary, NC.  I am an emotional and vocal leader on my team, and anyone who has been around me knows that all I want to do is win!  I only threw 2 innings last year, but my success wasn’t measured in my ERA or any stats, but how I earned my teammates respect.  As the writers of CBLINEUP posted in the DII Preseason Poll, “Perhaps most importantly, UWF has senior sidearm pitcher Philip Ebert back in the dugout. He only pitched in a pair of games, but his infectious optimistic personality helped the Argos gel last season and ultimately win the DII Championship”.  It is my goal to get better everyday on the mound to get myself into the game, but also be able to create chemistry on a team that has a lot of new faces!

How do I do it?  Honestly, I don’t really know… but that is the beauty of having a new team every year.  Let’s be clear about something, this years team is nothing like last years team, or the year before that… this years team hasn’t won anything!  NO ONE HAS!  But this team has as much ability as any team that has ever worn the UWF Jersey!

We had a very VERY competitive fall season.  With 40 players, there is a lot of depth in a lot of areas… especially pitchers, outfield, and corner infield. 

I’m going to try to do something a little different this year, and help everyone across the country get to know the UWF players better by providing a little Q & A session with each player and post it on the blog.  In addition, I’m going to try and continue to post videos on youtube.  This gives people a real chance to see what it is like to be a college baseball player.  That was the original reason why I started this blog a year ago.

For those that have followed since last year, my last post was from Oregon during the middle of my summer league.  What a GREAT experience it was to be able to play baseball in California all summer!  Statistically, not the best pitching performances, but such a great summer!  I have to give a shoutout to all my boys of the Walnut Creek Crawdads!  We had a great summer, and we all stay in touch on facebook.  “BLL for Life”

CRAW!

The season is fast approaching and we have a good squad.  We did lose 12 seniors, and 2 junior signs, but it’s time to turn the page and we’ve started a new chapter.  Key players who are returning for the Argos are 3B Josh “HugBear” Huggins, 2B Leo “Old Man” Lamarche, LF Taye Larry, SP Kevin Peters, RP Jordan “Beard” Rasinski, INF Justin “Boots” Bennett, OF Ryan “Fratboy” Day, INF Korey “Pita Pit” Domenick, and P ERIC “SLOANER” SLOAN.

Coming in to fill the void of the pieces we lost last year are OF Andrew “PACO” Rodriquez, INF J.R. “TeddyBear” Pryor, Jake “GreenApple” Stephens, OF/DH Max “Beast Mode” St. Hilaire, C  Garrett “HULK” Flynn, and P Josh “Tank” Tanksi.

There is no doubt that this team has talent, and that we are all on board to do one thing, REPEAT!

This is going to be a crazy, fun filled year, and weather we win or lose, we’ll do it the right way, THE ARGO WAY!

BLING!

Justin Bennett

Follow me on Twitter:  @Phillybert36  http://bit.ly/TWITTERPHILLYBERT36

Join my Facebook Fan Page:  http://on.fb.me/PEbertFBFanPage

Or Email me:  Philipebertuwf@yahoo.com
Thanks,

Philip Ebert #36

Summer Ball in Cali!

Greetings noble baseball fans!

I am writing from a nice city called Medford, Oregon.  A VERY long way from Pensacola, and even farther from my home in Naples, FL.

I wanted to focus this blog on the topic of what summer ball can mean to different types of players across the country.  It will also include an update on how I am doing, and what I feel I’ve been able to learn so far this summer.

So, lets jump right into it!

While I was sitting in the dugout during our game today in Oregon I was thinking about what summer ball was really all about.  For me, a opportunity to travel the country and get much needed experience so I can put myself in a better position to help contribute to my team next season.  For some, an opportunity to perform in front of scouts to either raise your draft stock, or try to get signed.

When I talk about my experience I have to start with decided the appropriate league to play in.  The league I’m playing in this year is the Sacramento Rural League.  (http://bit.ly/summerleague) A league like this is mostly comprised of college baseball players that are from the surrounding areas.  My team is comprised of players from around the Bay Area in San Francisco.  I am able to play against competition that is challenging for me, but still able to compete.  At the stage in my development as a pitcher, it is important for me to be in a situation where I can be successful!  It wouldn’t make sense for me to travel to a more prestigious league where the main focus is to WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP!  I want to be in a league where the main objective is, getting experience!  Obviously the main objective is to win each game, but being able to be put into certain situations that will help in the development of a player is key in the type of league I am in.

From a different perspective: The player that is a stud, looking to face the best competition.  For a player like this, the goal of summer ball is a little bit different than what I am doing.  Most often in a better league, such as, The Cape, The Valley League, The Alaska League, etc., players are there to be seen.  It is their opportunity to be in a situation where more people can see them.  They are also there to get better, because in my opinion, the more innings you get, the better you will be.  But, the main reason for a type of player of this caliber is to see a higher level of competition to prove they can play at the next level.

Now for my first pitching update of the summer!!

I’m playing for a great team called the Walnut Creek Crawdads.  I’ve been with the team for over a week now and I’m just starting to open up and be able to be myself.  Its funny how no matter where you play the game, baseball players are all the same.  The comrade among a team is always the same.  The group of guys on this team are funny, and I fit in just fine.

When I first arrived there was a lot of questions about what it was like to win the World Series, and at the time it was still hard to describe.  I was put on the mound the first day I arrived, which was after a flight from Pensacola to Atlanta and Atlanta to San Fran.  Needless to say, my flight left at 7:30 in the morning, and my 22nd birthday was the night before I left, so I didn’t get a lot of sleep.  Anyways, pitched the 9th inning and finished the game allowing 1 run.

I have found a lot more consistency with my slider, which has been a big problem for me throughout the whole development of pitching.  My work in the bullpen has been legit!  It feels like one more thing that I can check off my list of improvement.  It starts in the bullpen, and ends on the field.  I have to continue to keep telling myself that if I can do it in the bullpen, I just need to transfer it to the field.  I think as a pitcher, that is one of the hardest things to do.  It’s always different with a batter in the box.  Everything speeds up, and each pitch means something.

In my last outing I was put into a situation like I had never faced before.  Bases loaded, no outs, tie ball game….. yikes!  I was able to block out the situation, and focused on the hitter.  I got the first guy to fly out to shortstop, the second guy flew out to second base, and I had a 2-2 count on the next batter.  I had the momentum, and I just needed to execute one more pitch.  I hit the batter in the leg, run scored.  I was mad at myself, but calmed down before the next pitch.  I got the next guy to fly out to 2nd base.

Down by one in the top of the last inning, we got 2 runs, so I had a lead to work with when I went back onto the field.  I was thinking about how Shane Waller had been so dominant in these situations, and I give him so much credit for being as dominant as he was all year.

A new situation for me, pitching with a 1 run lead to win a game.  I walked the first guy on 4 pitches…. UGHHHH!  So frustrating for a coach, and team.  It was also my first opportunity to experience and umpire “squeezing” the zone.  I am as accountable as any person that plays the game, but the strike zone from the first inning I pitched to the second was a lot smaller.  There were 3 good pitches that were closer to being strikes than balls, but the umpire called them balls.  I guess its just the way the cookie crumbles some times.. I eventually walked the 2nd batter.  Our coach made a pitching change, and I was able to reflect on my outing.

I am throwing the ball well in my opinion, I am around the plate with my pitches, and I feel comfortable on the mound in a tight situation.  The problem for me right now, which has been a problem since I started pitching is I’m killing myself by giving free bases.  The runners that have scored against me this summer have all gotten on base by being walked or hit.  Now its only been 3 runs in 6 innings, but my immediate goal for my next outing is to not hit or walk a batter.  I feel great though, and I’ve loving every minute I have out here!  Most players work during the summer…. I want to play baseball!  I have the rest of my life to work!

Stats so far… (which I DO NOT care about, but some people may be interested in)

4 appearances, 6ip, 4h, 3runs, 3k’s, 5bb, 4hbp, 1 W (which happens to be the first of my career)

 

I will keep everyone updated soon!  Thanks for all your support!

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Thanks,

Philip Ebert

GO ARGOS…. and CRAWDADS!!!

National Champions!

Bulldog

Alright people, I know I’m a slacker… but honestly… did you really expect me to jump right onto the computer after winning the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP?  I’ve been celebrating… and it’s never felt better to be a winner!  Remember that team that lost in the conference tournament, and most people counted us out to compete in the South Region?  The team that people chanted “overrated”, or the team that got “lucky” to win… Well that team is now Division 2 National Champions!  Let it soak in for a second…. National Champions!  Whenever someone says that, it just brings a smile to my face.  It really started to hit me when we got on our chartered flight back to Pensacola and the flight attendant addressed us as, The National Champion UWF Argonauts.

Champs

The experience cannot be matched by any type of winning…  This is the ULTIMATE goal that every player plays for.  It’s the reason why we wake up early for weights, when other students don’t wake up until noon.  The reason why we kill ourselves in the gym 4 days a week, with a intense conditioning day on the 5th day.  It is a combination of every sprint I’ve had to run during team punishment (and I was apart of the 2008 team that could probably compete with most Cross Country teams).  It all paid off on June 4, 2011.

June 4th, the day that will live on in 28 players lives, and over 500 UWF fans, as the day that UWF made history by winning their first ever NCAA National Championship.  Winning was gratifying, but when I take a moment to look at the big picture of what it meant to win, I think about the city of Pensacola.  Before this team started the 2011 season, there was little support for UWF Athletics.  When this team started winning, people started seeing that a UWF baseball game was an enjoyable experience to be apart of.  From the dugout you could see the enjoyment on peoples faces when the bench players would do our LOVE IS GONE dance, or inning stretches.  You started to see the community want to be a part of a winning team, and a sport that most people are fans of, regardless if they had ever picked up a baseball.  It’s the American past-time… We started to see little league teams come out asking for autographs, and watching their coaches say, “watch how Greg Pron hits” or “watch Danny Vargas strike this guy out”.  We had a winning team, but looking back on the year, when the community started coming out, it became a winning environment!  Its obvious when you look at the stats, 33-2 at home!  That’s hard to imagine.

One Last Time Together

Looking back on the World Series victory, you can’t look past 2 main contributors during the post season.  Obviously there was the same production from Vargas, Pron, and Lawley as there had been all year, but Josh Huggins and Taye Larry elevated their games at the right time, and was the defining reason of why we are champions.  Before the regional, Coach Jeffcoat pounded the saying, “If you don’t care who gets the credit, we will win”!  That couldn’t be more true.  Throughout the entire year, you heard about the record breaking performances from Greg Pron, the power display by Lawley, and the down right dominance of the pitching staff.  What you didn’t often hear about, was how Huggins and Taye battled all year going threw hot streaks and cold streaks.  Both players were struggling for the last few weeks of the season and the conference tournament.  Both players took a non-selfish approach at the plate, realized what they needed to do to help the team, and put it into action!  Taye started pounding the ball into the ground and beating out infield hits.  Josh started shooting the ball to right field, which would generally score Pron or Lawley.  These 2 players, among others deserve a lot of credit, because they are the unsung hero’s of a team that was destined to win a championship.

For 12 seniors, their last collegiate game will always be a victory.  They will never have to remember what it was like to lose a game on the biggest stage of college baseball.  It’s my opinion, that it doesn’t matter if we were winning in Cary, N.C. or at Omaha.  It was going to feel the same.  Personally I would have rather won in front of 500 Argonaut fans then 20,000 people that are just at the CWS for the experience.  It was more personable to win it in front of the people that genuinely care about you and UWF.

The 6 Survivors!

For me, I say goodbye to 5 Seniors that I came to school with as freshmen, and 7 others that I have spent 2 years with.  Each and every one of them are life long friends, that have helped accomplish history.  For the 7 JUCO guys, they came into a program that was winning, for the 5 seniors, including myself who were at UWF in 08′ when we were 20-32 its a feeling of gratification.  No one would have ever thought that in 4 short years, we’d be making history on two different spectrum’s of the grid.  From worst to best… and looking back at all of the sprints, all of the bad times, that single moment of rushing the field and flying on top of the pile wipes away any bad memory that we had.  There will only be that numbing feeling of watching Shane Waller strike out the last batter, and sprinting on the field to try and tackle someone and jump on the pile.  The feeling that someone can never get used too, but will never forget.

We won, no one can ever take that away from us.  But after a few days, or for most of us, a week of celebrating, its back to work!  Time to prepare to DEFEND our championship.  A chance to prove that UWF is not a one-year wonder.  Its my responsibility as a 5th year player in this program to continue the legacy of what my teammates are leaving behind.  With winning comes great responsibility.  Regardless of who we have on our team next year, there is a certain way we play baseball at UWF.  It’s blue collar, we play hard, we are humble.  We know that if we get complacent, the game will come back and punch us square in the jaw.  There will be an even bigger target on our back then ever before… do we want that? Of course! We won for a reason, because we were the best.  Coach Jeffcoat will always want to be the best, and he’ll be the first to tell you if he doesn’t feel that way he’ll throw in the towel.  At the beginning of the season Coach Jeffcoat told us his biggest fear was we wouldn’t reach our potential.. well Coach we did!

I’m now in a town called Walnut Creek, CA which is just outside of San Francisco playing summer ball.  A complete change in scenery… mountains and NO humidity!  I’m loving it!  I will keep everyone updated with occasional blogs.  Also, I’ll probably try to write more of a column type blog throughout the summer… Just writing about different aspects of baseball.  Our championship season is over, but a new one starts now!  TIME TO PREPARE LIKE CHAMPIONS!

Thanks for all of the support this season, it has made writing more enjoyable knowing that people actually enjoy reading me rambling on about baseball.

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Go ARGOS!

Philip Ebert 36

 

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