Author: Philip Ebert
Tuesday’s game could be characterized as extremely “emotionally draining”. As the heavy, musty fog poured into Coleman Field in Cary, NC the Argos had a commanding 5 run lead over Sonoma State and Jason Postill was cruising. Postill threw the ball well on Tuesday, and definitely gave our team a great opportunity to win the game! The offense got going with a CLUTCH 1 out, 2 strike base hit by Josh Huggins. With runners on 2nd and 3rd, Huggins hit a ball foul that the right fielder intentionally let drop so the run wouldn’t score. A few pitches later, Huggins drove a ground ball into right field to plate the first 2 runs of the game! A great at-bat that really started everything for the team.
Jason Postill: courtesy of PNJ
We eventually scored 5 runs, and Postill ran into a little trouble in the 7th inning. With one out and the bases juiced, Coach Jeffcoat called to the bullpen and brought in the Bearded Giant, Jordan “Big Beard” Raskinski. Jordan came in throwing gas, but let one slip and drilled the hitter in the hand. I would imagine his hand did not feel good after a 94 mph fastball off the knuckles. Jordan settled down and threw a jam sandwich to the next batter and he grounded out for a huge out. Another runner scored, and the Coach brought in the All-American Closer, Shane Waller.
With 2 outs in the 7th, a shallow fly ball was hit to left, and Taye Larry dropped the ball. Taye wears clear prescription oakley glasses during the games, and with the foggy conditions he has constantly had to wipe his glasses off and this could have been the reason for the drop. Regardless of what happened, the next batter got out and the score was 5-4.
Both teams failed to score any runs in the 8th, and the stage was set for the top of the 9th! Waller had already thrown more pitches than he had all year, and he was far from over. Lets fast forward to runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out, Waller walked the teams best hitter. The next batter struck out, and Waller was running on E! Based loaded, with Sonoma State’s all-time hits leader up to bat, and a 2-2 count. Waller took a deep breath, channeled his inner beard strength and delivered a fastball on the black that the batter took, and STRIKE THREE! GAME OVER! We rushed the mound to celebrate with an exhausted Waller. With sweat pouring from every part of this body, it took Waller 67 pitches to get his toughest save of the year, and the biggest win of our lives.
Shane Waller: courtesy of PNJ
We used our much needed off-day to rest, and we worked out at Duke University. After our workout we toured Cameron Indoor Stadium, which was awesome! It’s hard to imagine a tougher atmosphere to play in for college basketball. After Duke, we returned to UNC Chappel Hill to view the Smith Center, and recently opened North Carolina Basketball Museum. After seeing that, I’m glad I decided not to play basketball at Duke or North Carolina.. It would have been too difficult of a choice. P.s. I’m an awful basketball player…
Big Game against Mount Olive College on Thursday! It is going to be a hot day, and everybody will need to be ready! One more win and we play for a National Championship! Loving all the support we are getting from Pensacola, and my Twitter followers! Keep it coming!
Philip Ebert 36
In true Argonaut fashion we came out with great pitching and defense. All-American Danny Vargas had his Roy Halladay mojo going and tossed 8 shut out innings allowing 2 hits. A dominating performance once again, and he improves his record to 15-1. Zach North came in to pitch in the 9th and escaped with no runs. It was great for Zach to get into the game because his family was only able to stay for the first game, and as a senior this would be the last time his family got to see him pitch. They should be very proud.
During the game, All-American Greg Pron broke the record that most people thought wouldn’t be broken for a long time. Pron broke the career hits record with his 288th career hit! Pron is my roommate on the road, so I continually reminded him how many away he was and that the power of my sock will bring him to the promise land. He’s used about 4 of my socks throughout the last 2 months. They were my socks when I was an outfielder, so the only thing that makes sense to me is that with each pair of socks, there is a certain number of hits in each pair… and I barely used up any of them, so there are plenty left in them! The same goes for Taye Larry wearing number 2, I’ve told him all year that there are plenty of hits still left in that number.
It was a GREAT team victory, winning 13-0 against a team with the best ERA in the country, and against a pitcher was voted First team All-America. It was obvious who the better team was, and that Danny deserved that honor. Dustin Lawley had a great game with 4 hits, and everyone in the lineup did something to help us win the game. I also have to give the Latino Sensation, Justin Bennett some credit for a great pinch hit 2 RBI single in his CWS debut!
The team is off today, and we are going to UNC Chapel Hill to do some sight seeing and continue to soak in everything that there is to offer at the College World Series! Thanks to everyone in Pensacola who was watching the game last night! I hope my Stache looked good on T.V.
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Philip Ebert #36
In true University of West Florida fashion, the bad weather has followed us to The College World Series. Day 1 consisted of waking up early, and traveling to North Carolina State (NC State) for a quick workout. Strength Coach, and former Argonaut Pitcher, Nick Presley was able to make the trip with the team to Cary, and used his networking skills to land us an hour in the Wolfpack weight room. Coming from a smaller school like UWF, it was cool to see a bigger ACC facility and compare it what we have. We were able to work out in the Basketball weight room, and honestly, I would have picked UWF’s weight room over NC State’s The strength team at UWF has done a great job with not only the baseball team, but all athletes at UWF!
Friday night was the annual Team Banquet, and that was when this whole experience really kicked in. Right when we got off the elevator, there it was…. The National Championship hardware! It was beautiful, and it just reminded us all of when we were rushing the field in chaos on Monday when we won the regional.
During the banquet, an award was given to Senior, Zach North. The award was called the NCAA Elite 88 award. This award is given to the top Student-Athlete at the Championship level. A extremely prestigious award, and Zach deserves it. With a cumulative g.p.a. of 3.97 it was hard for anyone else to really have a chance. Zach is a prime example of a STUDENT-athlete, and I emphasize the student part, because that’s what makes a truly successful athlete. Zach always put the same effort into his school work as he would baseball. That is why he has been successful in the classroom, on the field, and there is no doubt he will be a success in the working world. Congratulations Zach!
While at the College World Series, we will be taking part in a Kids Baseball Clinic. This is a great opportunity to help with younger students of the game, and be role models to kids who dream of being in a position that we are lucky enough to be in this week. I’ve always enjoyed doing baseball clinics, because when I was younger I went to every camp I could because there was always something new to learn. It should be an exciting day in Cary, and I’ll do my best to get some pictures for my next update.
My Stache is still going strong, but my blonde roots have started to grow in, so the blackness has worn off. It is still magical and majestic, but I am still not even close to the beauty of Jordan Raskinski’s bearded masterpiece!
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Philip Ebert 36
Greetings baseball enthusiast! Excuse my excitement but……. WE ARE GOING TO THE COLLEGE WORLD SERIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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South Regional Champs!
What a unbelievable experience that took place on Monday! Winning the way we did made everything so much more exciting and worth the stress! Losing the first game was tough, but with both teams basically running on fumes, it really came down to who wanted to win more! Throughout the entire game, and especially the last 5 innings our team was talking about how all of the hard work we’ve put in during practice and the countless hours being pushed to exhaustion in the weight room would help us now! WE NEEDED TO DIG DOWN DEEP!
In game 2 on championship day we sent the true freshmen Kevin Peters to the mound to start the biggest game of his life, and the biggest game in school history! He had great stuff, and we were all very proud of the way he competed! He eventually came out of the game after giving up 2 runs, but did everything he could during the game to help us maintain the lead! He has been better than anyone could have imagined this year, and has an incredibly bright future at UWF! As a freshmen, he’s seen the way a winning team has worked together, and the way the game should and will be played at UWF!
4 Amigos: Hawk, Danny, Peters, Postill
In relief of Peters was Danny Vargas! Danny came in on 2 days rest and was not going to be beat twice in one day… especially at home! Danny gave up a jam job single down the right field line, and 2 of the inherited runners scored. Tied 4-4, we had to dig deep and scratch across a run! We did just that…. and again in the next 2 innings!
With one out in the 7th, we called on “The Bulldog” Shane Waller, the nations best closer, and he was never going to pitch in a bigger situation than this! Shane got out of a bases loaded 1 out jam in the 7th, and we all knew it was over after that! Shane got through the 8th with little trouble, and the stage was set for the final inning!
With a three run cushion, and Waller on the mound, there was no way we going to lose that game! With one out remaining, Waller got the batter to 2 strikes…. with over 700 people on their feet going absolutely crazy the stage was set to experience every kids dream, rushing the field because you are going to the COLLEGE WORLD SERIES!
When Shane struck out the final batter, everything just went blank…. All I remember is standing next to Coach Gierke, shaking him for a second before I rushed the field, running with my arms in the air, and screaming as loud as I could! We didn’t actually dog pile, because we didn’t want anyone to get hurt, but we embraced each other as we jumped up and down. It was a perfect moment! It has been funny watching video and seeing pictures of when we rushed the field… Its all just a blur when you are in the moment, but its a feeling that I’ll never forget! It was the first time I’ve been on a team that won something that was worthy of rushing the field!
Go Crazy folks, GO CRAZY!
After we rushed, our President, Dr. Judy Bense presented us with the championship trophy and we all huddled up while Coach Jeffcoat held it up high! What happened next was something that still gives me chills when I think about it! With all of our screaming fans still going crazy, we decided to circle around home plate, and Coach Jeffcoat gave me the trophy and I did our pregame pump up routine on center stage! I started with trophy on home plate, flailed my arms, in a way that only I can… and picked up the trophy and held it up high and kept right on dancing! It was so special for me because it showed me how much I really meant to my teammates! They wanted me to the be the one to get the trophy first, and being able to perform that routine was something special!
The fan support during the tournament was great, and really made the moment that much more special. I know if there wasn’t someone to restrain the fans from jumping the fence they would have been right there with us in the pile! At a smaller university like UWF, you get the chance to know the people in the stands! They were our friends before they were ever fans!
That's me, doing my thing!
In wake of winning the regional, there is still an important message to be known… We can’t be happy just to have gotten to the World Series, we have to keep the same mentality and energy that helped us win all year! If we do that, and lay it all on the line the possibilities of this team are endless!
I want to thank everybody that made this possible! Our President, Dr. Judy Bense, AD Dave Scott, Assistant AD Tony Nguyen, Melanie Burke (kept us all alive), every body who put in all the hours to prepare the field for the tournament, all of the families that made the trip to Pensacola, and the over 3,200 fans that came out to Jim Spooner Field throughout the tournament to support us! Without all of you, this wouldn’t be possible!
Wish us luck while we continue to make history, and try to bring a National Championship to UWF and the city of Pensacola!
Philip Ebert 36
Freshmen from 08' Its been a long ride!
Roomie Pic! Ebert (stache), Bennett, Day
Coach Jeffcoat and Lawley
Coach Cottrell and Coach Brown
Great fan support!
Red Shirt Society!!
Coach Gierke and Coach Jeffcoat
Pron and our trainer Mel!
Going into Saturday’s game, pitcher Jason Postill had something to prove. After starting 11-0 on the year, Jason’s last two starts had been rough. His last start in the conference tournament was his worst start of the year, and for someone who is so fired up to pitch, it was difficult for him to sit around and wait two weeks to get the chance to get back on the mound and prove himself!
Well, in the biggest game of my life, his life, and the programs history he came with his best stuff! The stage was set for a rematch against conference rival North Alabama, and Pensacola came out in full force! The stands were packed with the Argonaut faithful, and Postill gave them a great show!
After going down 1-0 in the top of the first, Dustin Lawley came up and blasted a two run bomb into the oak trees! Postill never looked back, and went into Lawn Care mode… mowing down North Alabama batters! The defense came ready to play as well, with a few spectacular plays made by gold glove shortstop Brandon Brewer! He’s been a solid catalyst at the Prime Time position all year!
We have been playing a great style of baseball throughout the tournament, keeping great energy during all parts of the game! The offense came ready to prove that the conference tournament was a fluke, and that we were ready to make a push to be the first team to dog pile on Jim Spooner Field!
Brandon "Prime Time" Brewer
The Argonauts are prime to make that a reality on Monday, when we play in the regional championship! Our pitchers are fresh, and whomever we play will be running on fumes, because they’ll have to eventually beat us twice on championship day! Its been a great four years for me at UWF, but nothing could be better than winning this regional in front of our fans and going to the College World Series… well… maybe one thing would be better, but you’ll have to stay tuned until next week to see how that ends up!
Thursday was the beginning of the South Regional and it was difficult to get a good night of sleep! I was up early, around 7:30 to get up to the field. One of my responsibilities on the team is to put up the American Flag before each game with Houston Brown. Only the freshmen were supposed to be at the field early, but I wasn’t going to allow anyone to touch the flag… bad voodoo!
On the 18th, Jordan Rasinski and I bought black beard dye to make our facial hair stick out better. Jordan has been growing his beard all season, and resembles All-Star closer, Brian Wilson. I don’t have the good fortune of growing a thick beard, so I settled for a solid mustache. For a blond guy, a black stache sticks out and while walking around town I’ve been getting a lot of double takes. Five words for everyone to absorb: FEAR THE BEARD and STACHE!
Game 1 ended in a 10-1 victory over Stillman College. For the first time in a while, the team had a different energy that most teams experience before their first game! Any athlete knows what feeling I’m talking about. The feeling of being nervous, anxious, and ready to prove something!
Korey Domenick and Brandon Brewer were the offensive leaders in game one, while Ben Hawkins shut down the Tigers. Hawkins allowed 1 run over 8 innings! We scored 2 runs in the first inning, and the team kept great energy throughout the rest of the game! The attitude of the team felt like how it was when we were trying to prove to the country we were the number 1 team! Rankings don’t matter now, but the energy we brought was contagious! Pensacola stepped up and came out to the ballpark! It was easily the most people we’ve had at a game this year, and I hope the support continues!
Tuesday’s practice was the last real practice we were going to have before our game on Thursday. While workers were putting the last touches on the field to make it as perfect as it could be before the tournament, we were forced to have to work around all the chaos.
We started practice by hitting on the field, but had to stop because of the workers in the outfield. Hitters were sent to the cages while pitchers got to hit fungos to infielders. I think it would be safe to say that I am the best fungo hitter on the team. There are many people out there that think they are better, but the infielders wouldn’t lie when they say they prefer me hitting to them.
With that being said, I’m taking fifty percent of the credit for our stellar defense! Twenty-five percent goes to Coach Pat Cottrell, twenty percent to Coach Jeffcoat for our 21 out drill, and the final five percent will be the errors that are attributed to Coach Kyle Brown.
Pitchers then did some PFP’s (pitchers fielding practice). Everything that we do on the field during practice is done at game speed. This is what has set us apart from all of the other teams we’ve played this year. We will never face a situation in a game that we haven’t prepared for during practice… we may not make the play every time, but there’s no doubt that we have prepared like champions.
As we closed out practice, we took some time to reflect back on some funny memories we’ve been apart of this year. It was fun for me to hear some of the things that have happened throughout my four years at UWF! Our team is ready for Thursday, and with a 30-1 record at home, I like our odds! GO ARGOS!
Philip Ebert #36
While sitting in the Argonaut Athletic Club on Sunday, waiting to find out if our baseball team would be hosting its first ever NCAA Division II Regional, a sense of pride and excitement overtook the room. For me personally, I had the sense of unfinished business.
I want to win! I want to do whatever it takes to win! I want our team to play the way we played while trying to prove we were the best team in the country! We have a close team, the closest I’ve ever been apart of, and I know many other players would say the same!
Our goal all along was to put UWF in a position to host the regional, because history has shown that the hosting team has the best chance of going to the College World Series. It makes sense; we practice there every day, play the majority of our games there, and have put countless hours into making it one of the most premier facilities in all of college baseball!
Our team is full of oddballs and we each have our own individual routines and superstitions. One funny thing we do is screaming “CODE RED,” which means everybody drops to the ground when a plane flies overhead.
A month ago, while playing at the University of Alabama-Huntsville, Greg Pron had a sock that had stretched and would not stay on his leg. So, I offered one of my socks because I brought another pair. Since that weekend, Pron has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball! Coincidence? I don’t think so!
My socks are magical, but only one at a time. Jason Postill found out that wearing two of my socks worked in the opposite way. He had a sketchy start in the conference tournament, but has been adamant in wanting to get back on the mound!
The team was disappointed with the loss at the conference tournament, but don’t think for a second we won’t be ready to compete in the regional for the chance to go to the World Series! We know there are things that need to be covered before Thursday, and we only a few more days to get things right.
One thing that Coach Jeffcoat brought to our attention was during this type of tournament, you cannot worry about who gets the credit! The credit will take care of itself when there is a picture of the team piling up next to the pitchers mound! Everyone needs to be on the same page so we can get the train going in right direction!
There are been a lot of renovations going on at Jim Spooner Field! The scoreboard has been outfitted with new “West Florida” billboards and banners. All of the buildings have been retro fitted with new paint jobs, and best of all we have a brand new professional mound! The mound has been built up and looks legit!
Be sure to follow the Argonauts at WWW.GOARGOS.COM for complete updates throughout the tournament!
After going 2-2 in the GSC tournament, there are only a few things that I can reflect back on. 1: We didn’t play like a team that had won 43 regular season games. Greg Pron said something interesting in our room after the loss. He said “This is the worst we’ve played in the tournament with the best team we’ve ever had.” Its true… we had no energy, no drive, we were waiting for Pron to get the big hit because he had been doing it all year. That’s not what got us to be #1, we had other people helping, with someone different always stepping up.
2: Greg Pron, Danny Vargas, Kevin Peters, Eric Kroll, and Shane Waller had a great tournament. Pron was unbelievable all week, getting big hit after big hit, doing everything he possibly could to carry us to victories. After the game 1 victory, it seemed at times there was only 1 person in the lineup. We had multiple scoring opportunities during the tournament… but just never got the big hit, or even had team at-bats just trying to put the ball on the ground with less then 2 outs to at least scratch one run. Danny Vargas pitched like he has for the past 3 months… dominating, getting ahead, and pitching to contact! Successful pitchers pitch to contact! Danny kept us alive in an elimination game against Delta State going 7.1 innings allowing 3 hits, and 0 runs! Over the season, Danny has allowed 4 hits and 0 runs against DSU over 16.1 innings! Dominating! Shane Waller did what he’s done all year! Shane earned 2 saves in the tournament, and his dominance has been rewarded by being added to the Tino Award Semi-Finalist list. The reward is given by College Baseball Lineup to the top player in Division 2 baseball. The freshmen Kevin Peters did a great job in the 4th game against Harding. He pitched 6.2 innings giving up 2 runs before leaving due to cramping in his legs. The future is bright for this kid! He’s a true competitor and has been a catalyst to our success all year. Eric Kroll also had a good tournament. He hit the ball well, sometimes not being rewarded with hits, but from my eyes he battled every at-bat doing his best to be the other guy to get the big hit! He’s had a winners mentality all year long!
While on the bus ride home I had a lot on my mind, so I just started writing. I came up with a lot of different things I want to write about, and with it being summer I’ll have a lot more time to write about everything baseball! Here’s what I came up with while thinking about what it takes to WIN! I’m going to be doing more blog like this, while also including information about how we are doing leading to the NCAA regional!
Winning… It can mean so many different things to different people. Winning to me is taking everything I’ve learned from the hours put into practice, and being able to compete and fight for the OPPORTUNITY to prove myself on the scoreboard. Baseball is not an independent sport, which leads me to believe that if you have 9 players on the field that BELIEVE that if they can compete and fight using the tools that were learned prior to the game there’s no way they can’t win! Sometimes in baseball you can Win, but not score more than the other team. A lot of people will say, “winning is everything”, and I agree! No one wants to lose, but there is a certain way to win and lose. If you know that you’ve done everything possible to be as prepared as possible to give your team the best chance to win, then you can hold your head high if the score is not in your favor.
How many times have we seen the best players in the game make the final out of a game when runners are in scoring position? A lot! More than they have gotten the hit to win… It’s the game of baseball! You are going to statistically get out more times than you get on base. The difference between the guys that get the big hit is they are better at winning! They are able to do what I mentioned earlier about winning, using the hours and hours in practice to compete and fight for the opportunity to continue to be in that situation where the team is counting on them for the game winning hit, or shutting down the opposing team from the mound. Winning is why people play sports, and if it’s for any other reason there’s a good chance they won’t be winning for long.
Winning makes you a legend, being a winner can make you rich! So why wouldn’t everyone want to win? Our society is consumed with winning, weather it be sports, or in business, people want to be winners! Like I said, everybody considers winning something different! Someone may think winning is having a successful business, and I agree with that also. The basic concept of winning is being more successful than a competitor. People don’t become winners overnight, and in my opinion, its something that can’t be taught! It’s an attitude, a passion to want to be the best that drives people to want to win! You don’t see any team in sports winning championships without having a special attitude while competing. An attitude that NO MATTER WHAT, I’m going to get the job done! Putting forth the best effort I could to do the best job possible. When I was a hitter I put in more hours than most into hitting extra because I wanted to be successful. Now I am a pitcher, so obviously I didn’t get the job done as a hitter. Does that make me a loser? Statistically, yes… but I don’t feel that way. I did everything possible to put myself in the best possible chance to win, but when it came down to it, I wasn’t good enough.
As I mentioned earlier, if you know that you put everything you had into something, and it didn’t work out, you could still be a winner! I had a winning attitude, and the desire to win! I was a winner, despite not being successful. Now as a pitcher, I find myself having the same attitude and mentality. I’ve been pitching for a year, competing with guys that have pitched their whole lives. How could I possibly compete, and have a chance to win? Attitude! I come out every single day with the chance to improve and use the time given to me to do just that. I have a winning attitude, and something like that can be contagious. On a team of almost 40 people, where only 9 play at a given time, it’s hard to have everyone keep a winning attitude! There shouldn’t be selfishness or egos, there needs to be competitiveness and desire. What are you going to do to be the guy that is on the field? Are you going to make excuses about why your not out there, or having a winning attitude to do whatever it takes to get out there? I did whatever it took to get out there, and I feel short at the plate because I just wasn’t good enough. I promise you, when it comes to pitching I feel like I have more potential to be successful, and I have 1 more year to prove that… and I’ll do whatever it takes to win! Winning is everything, but winning the right way is even better!
Conference Tourny/Bat Ceremony
We lost game 2 vs. Southern Arkansas… Not much to say… They won, we lost, and now we’re playing to stay alive. Sticks need to come around! We need someone besides Greg Pron to get a big hit for the team. Danny Vargas will take the bump tomorrow against Delta State at 4:00 pm.
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