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Archive for May, 2011

2011 DII Baseball Regionals

ATLANTIC
1. Millersville
2. Mercyhurst
3. Seton Hill
4. East Stroudsburg
5. Winston-Salem State
6. Concord

CENTRAL
1. St. Cloud State
2. Mesa State
3. Minnesota State
4. Nebraska-Kearney
5. Winona State
6. Augustana SD

EAST
1. Adelphi
2. Franklin Pierce
3. Wilmington
4. Southern Connecticut State
5. UMass Lowell
6. Dowling

MIDWEST
1. Grand Valley State
2. Southern Indiana
3. Northern Kentucky
4. Quincy
5. Missouri S&T
6. Wayne State (MI)

SOUTH
1. West Florida
2. Southern Arkansas
3. Harding
4. Barry
5. Nova Southeastern
6. Tampa
7. North Alabama
8. Stillman

SOUTHEAST
1. Mount Olive
2. Francis Marion
3. UNC Pembroke
4. Columbus State
5. Catawba
6. Wingate

SOUTH CENTRAL
1. St. Mary’s
2. Central Missouri
3. Emporia State
4. Southeastern Oklahoma State
5. Tarleton State
6. Incarnate Word

WEST
1. UC San Diego
2. Western Oregon
3. Cal Poly Pomona
4. Sonoma State

DII Field of 48 Predictions

ATLANTIC
1. Mercyhurst (PSAC) 2. Millersville 3. Seton Hill 4. California (Pa.) 5. Concord (WVIAC) 6. Winston-Salem St (CIAA)
Last team out: Slippery Rock

CENTRAL
1. St. Cloud St (NSIC) 2. Minnesota St 3. Mesa St (RMAC) 4. Neb-Kearney 5. Winona St. 6. Augustana
Last team out: Metro State

EAST
1. Adelphi (NE10) 2. FPU 3. St. Con St 4. Wimington (CACC) 5. UMass Lowell 6. Dowling (ECC)
Last team out: Molloy

MIDWEST
1. Grand Valley State (GLIAC) 2. Southern Indiana 3. Northern Kentucky 4. Wayne State (MI) 5. Quincy (GLVC) 6. Missouri S&T
Last team out: Bellarmine

SOUTH
1. West Florida 2. Barry 3. Southern Arkansas 4. Tampa 5. North Alabama 6. Nova Southeastern 7. Harding 8. Stillman
Last team out: Florida Southern

SOUTHEAST
1. Mount Olive (CC) 2.UNC Pembroke (PBC) 3. Francis Marion 4. Columbus St 5.Catawba 6.Wingate (SAC)
Last team out: Georgia College or Armstrong Atlantic

SOUTH CENTRAL
1. St. Mary’s (HLC) 2. Central Missouri (MIAA) 3. Emporia St 4. Southeast Oklahoma St (LSC) 5. Cameron 6. Incarnate Word
Last team out: Nebraska-Omaha

WEST
1. UC San Diego (CCAA) 2. Western Oregon (GNAC) 3. Cal Poly Pomona 4. Dixie State (PWC)
Last team out: Chico State

Goal Failed… Gut Check Time!

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!

Enjoy:

Winning:

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

Thanks,

Philip Ebert

Philipebertuwf@yahoo.com

www.twitter.com/phillybert36

Tino Martinez Award Semi Finalists Announced

The Semi Finalists for the 2011 The Tino Martinez Award have been named today by College Baseball Lineup. The award is presented to the most outstanding player in DII college baseball. The annual honor is named after the former University of Tampa Spartan, United States Olympian, first round draft pick and MLB All-Star, Tino Martinez.

The forty-seven semi-finalists represent forty-one different schools from across the nation. Each of the eight geographic regions are represented, with a minimum of five players selected from each area. Five players comprise the semi-finalists from the Atlantic, East and West Regions, six student-athletes make up the list from the Midwest and Central, and six players have been included from the South, South Central and Southeast.

Initial nominations for the award were made by baseball sports information contacts and media members. A panel of media, coaches and sports information officers will be polled to finalize the candidates. The group will once again vote on the finalists, with a fan Internet vote also contributing to the crowning of the winner.

The finalists are scheduled to be named on Thursday, May 19th. The winner will be announced after the conclusion of the DII Baseball Championship held in Cary, NC from May 28th to June 4th.

Last year, Bryan Fogle of Erskine won the first edition of the award after batting .430 and leading DII with 28 home runs, 103 RBI (the second most in NCAA history) and 203 total bases. Fogle was drafted by Tampa Bay following the season and is currently in the Rays’ minor league system. Runner-up Hayden Simpson of Southern Arkansas was a first round draft choice of the Chicago Cubs.

2011 Tino Martinez Award Semi Finalists

ATLANTIC REGION
California PA Randy Sturgill
East Stroudsburg Jeremy Gigliotti
Mercyhurst Nick Gillung
Shepherd Nathan Minnich
Slippery Rock Matt Howard
CENTRAL REGION
Concorida St. Paul Bryan Lippincott
Metro State David Fox
Minnesota State Danny Miller
Nebraska-Kearney Andrew Hakke
St. Cloud State Ryne Schwenke
St. Cloud State Jordan Smith
EAST REGION
Franklin Pierce Derek Ingui
Franklin Pierce Ryan Thompson
Molloy Chuck Fontana
Southern Connecticut State Chris Zbin
St. Anselm Robert Kelly
MIDWEST REGION
Ashland Ajay Meyer
Grand Valley State Steve Anderson
Grand Valley State Kyle Schepel
Northern Kentucky Andy Heston
St. Joseph ‘s College (IN) Sean Estand
Wayne State University Billy Hurley
SOUTH REGION
Arkansas Tech Matt Johnson
Barry Dean Green
Florida Tech Jonathan Cornelius
Nova Southeastern Andrew Durden
West Florida Greg Pron
West Florida Jason Postill
West Florida Shane Waller
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION
Cameron Chase Larsson
Central Missouri Nick DeBiasse
Emporia State Dillon Hazlett
Southeast Oklahoma State Justin Miller
Southeastern Oklahoma State Heath Wyatt
St. Mary’s (TX) Sammy Rivas
West Texas A&M Jess Cooper
SOUTHEAST REGION
Franics Marion Buddy Sosnoskie
Franics Marion Don Sandifer
Georgia College State Univ Shawn Ward
Mount Olive Michael Knox
Mount Olive Carter Capps
UNC Pembroke Braxton Lewis
Wingate Dodson McPherson
WEST REGION
Cal Poly Pomona Travis Taijeron
Cal State LA Gabriel Asakura
CSU San Bernardino Josh Pond
UC San Diego Tim Shibuya
Western Oregon Daniel Dillard

Year 1 In the Books: One Big Step Forward

With everything so new and with so much work to be done, it was extremely tough for the new coaching staff to put a realistic expectation on their new team in early Fall. As Fall progressed we were constantly prodded with questions on how many wins we were going to get and what we wanted to accomplish this year. We stayed consistent with our answer… we were just looking to find a way to take a step forward every day, every week, every game and eventually we would be in a good spot at the end of the year. Well here we are, a historic season done and a massive step forward for this baseball program.

We walked into a situation where the team went 8-41 (ranked 222 out of 232 Division II schools), the will of the players was broken, and the expectation of the future of the program was uncertain at best. With the end of the season upon us, we have broken the school record for wins in our first season with 21. We have recruited one of the best classes to be seen in recent memory at the D2 level.  Our pitching staff shattered the school record for Earned Run Average.  Danny Nelson broke the single season record for doubles. Jake Paolinetti now holds the single season record for wins by a pitcher. Paul Brock will go into his senior season as the all times Saves leader. 2011 was a year of first for the Otters baseball team and we strongly believe next year will be the biggest first of them all… the baseball program’s first ever CCAA Championship.

The 2011 team will not be remembered for its talent or flashy play, it will be remembered for its cohesiveness and it’s undying will to never quit despite the circumstance. For the first time in school history the Otters were never swept in a CCAA series and beat Sonoma State in a series. We were 8-7 against the top 10 teams in the nation, which shows our true colors… we stepped up and played when everyone thought we didn’t belong on the same field as the other guy.

As we head into our first offseason we can look back and be very proud of the direction this program is going.  We have a few more weeks of recruiting and then we should be able to hopefully enjoy some time off.  We already cannot wait to get on the field next Fall, where our recruits will mix in with our returners with one goal in mind… Win a Championship!

 

….

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.

Game 1 Victory!

Game one was a stressful event for the Argonauts today!  The game vs Arkansas Tech was dramatic and emotionally draining.  Jason Postill took the bump for the Argos and didn’t have his best stuff.  Postill battled to find his command, but was unable to consistently find the strike zone.  Postill allowed 5 runs in 2 innings.  In tournament play its important to get good starting pitching to allow the bullpen to be used later in the tournament, but this wasn’t the case for today.  We all have faith in Postill, and I know he will find his confidence and be effective for us in his next start.

Zach Jadofsky came in for Postill and had his best outing of the year in my opinion.  He came up clutch for the team when we were down 5-1.  We needed someone to come in and hold the Ark. Tech offense at bay while we were able to mount a comeback.  Zach threw 4 innings allowing 1 hit!  He was throwing the ched, topping out at 95mph!

Freshmen Kevin Peters came in for Jadofsky in the 7th and got 3 quick outs.  The freshmen has been a big part of our success this year, being able to come out of the pen and start games as well.  As we advance threw the tournament, Peters may have to start a game, and I know he’ll be ready to compete!

Down 5-4 in the 7th, Brandon Brewer led off with a double down the left field line, and Leo Lamarche gave us a huge team at-bat by hitting a ground ball to advance the runner.  Dustin Lawley stepped to the plate, and on the first pitch, BOOM, a 2 run BOMB that put us up 6-5.

In the top of the 8th, Peters gave up a lead off triple, and then it was closing time!!  Shane Waller came in and got out of a 1st and 3rd with NO OUTS jam!  Waller would eventually finish the game, picking up his 11th save of the year!

We are back in action tomorrow at 7:30 pm(Saturday) and will face GSC West opponent Southern Arkansas.

We are all enjoying our time in Millington and starting off with a victory was big for us!

GO ARGOS!

10 Games At A Time

The old adage, thrown out there during just about every sports interview ever done, is that teams and players and coaches need to “just take it one game at a time.” That’s junk. Well, maybe not total junk. But it certainly doesn’t give you the whole picture of how your team is playing and how they are progressing as athletes. Especially with 18-21 year old young men there is often a massive amount of uncertainty with regards to how they’re going to play each day. Just when you think a guy has turned it around and is playing like you thought he would, he drops an 0-4, with 3 punchouts. Conversely, just when you start wondering if you’re going to have to recruit a replacement for somebody, he goes out and runs a ball out of the house and makes a diving catch in the outfield. What are you gonna do?

We really like to take a more macro look at how we’re competing, both as a team and as individuals. We use 10 game statistical splits to break down our players’’ trends. We’ve found it gives us a better perspective on who’s really playing well, and who is struggling at the moment. It also highlights areas where our entire team may be deficient, or where we are excelling. Right now, we are grappling with a problem common to a lot of young teams, and not terribly surprising for us, given that we are just in our second year as a program. Whereas early in the year our pitching staff was doing a lot of the heavy lifting and our offense was struggling to get on track, the last 10 games it has almost completely reversed itself. Our offense has begun to pound the baseball like our staff thought they would when we recruited them. Problem is, now our pitching staff has not been able to get hitters out with any regularity. It is especially frustrating because we have seen both areas of our game have such great stretches, and with that the tantalizing possibilities of our future success, but we are seemingly unable to sustain that total team dynamic here we are clicking on all cylinders. But that is our job as coaches – to continue to push these young men to improve themselves and to be accountable for each other. If they can be honest about their own preparation and candidly evaluate what they can do individually to help us win as a unit, then we are going to play better, win more games, and they will be better people for it as well.

PSAC Tournament May 11 – 15

PSAC Tournament in Johnstown (PA) Wednesday, May 11

9:30 AM           #2 East  v #3 West (California)     

12:30 PM          #1 West (Mercyhurst)   v #4 East

3:30 PM            #2 West (Slippery Rock)  v #3 East

6:30 PM            #1 East (Millersville) v #4 West (IUP)

The PSAC East has four make-up games to be played and determine the final seedings.   Millersville has locked up the #1 seed and East regular season championship.

“WINwithCLASS”

Jeff Ditch
IUP Baseball
www.winwithclass.com

New Season Starts in Millington!

Greetings Argonaut Fans!

The Closer!

It has been a busy and productive two weeks for the Argonauts!  I have been unable to write because of the constant pressures of finishing well in school, and I accomplished it!  School is over, and EVERYONE’S focus is on one thing now…. WINNING A RING!  Everybody is eligible and we pulled into Millington, TN on Wednesday night.  Millington is the site of the Gulf South Conference tournament, and is held at the USA training facility.

Prime Time Brandon Brewer

Over the past 2 weeks we swept a tough Valdosta State team at home on our senior weekend.  It was the last regular season series the 12 seniors would be a part of at UWF and they went out in style.  The weekend was highlighted by the pitchers duel on Sunday, where Danny Vargas threw 8 innings not allowing a run, and having Shane Waller come in to close the door.  Greg Pron once again had a great weekend swinging the bat, and it has been pretty obvious he’s the guy that everyone wants up in a big situation!

This past weekend we traveled to West Alabama for the final series of the regular season.  West Alabama had already been eliminated from the conference tournament, so they were only playing for pride.  The Tigers Game 1 starter shoved all day and uncharacteristically held us to 1 run on 3 hits.  It was a blast of reality that our offense needed to step up and come ready to play in the next 2 games.  They did, and we got 2 big pitching performances from Ben Hawkins and Danny Vargas!  Shane Waller also picked up 2 big saves, lowering his ERA to .89 with 10 saves.  It’s hard to imagine there has been any closers that have been as dominating as Waller, and its good knowing he’ll be on our side for the post season!

"G" enough said...

On the wake of leaving for the conference tournament, the All-GSC teams were announced.  Going along with the template of this year’s team, Greg Pron added another first for the program, Gulf South Conference East Division Player of the Year!  Greg’s regular season has been one that has been highlighted with numerous timely hits, and its safe to say we wouldn’t have the amount of success we’ve had if Greg wasn’t having the year that he’s had.  UWF had 7 First-team selections which include, SS Brandon Brewer, CF Dustin Lawley, RF Greg Pron, SP Jason Postill, SP Daniel Vargas Villa, SP Ben Hawkins, RP Shane Waller.  Selected on the Second team was 3B Josh Huggins, and C Tyler Hastings.  Congratulations to my teammates!

We’ve had a historic regular season that no body can ever take away from us, but honestly… I don’t care about what happened over the 3 months.. all I care about is what happens during the next 5 weeks!  We are the #1 seed in the East Division which sets us up well for the conference tournament.  We play Arkansas Tech in the first round.  We swept them earlier in the year, so we’ll be familiar with what they have to offer.  In my opinion, there seems to be a different feeling among the team right now.  We know that it is time to bear down and take care of business! It would be a complete failure to leave Millington without feeling the thrill of dog piling with my team and drenching Coach Jeffcoat with a cooler full of water (can’t use Gatorade, it would stain the jersey)!

Postill prides himself on his steller defense!

Without school, I will able to contribute more to the blog and keep everybody updated on the progress in the conference tournament and throughout the post season!

Here is the WEEK 3 and 4 videos on youtube!  ENJOY!  I’m sure there will be some incredibly stupid things to video tape while we are in Memphis, so look forward to a funny video coming soon.

UWF BASEBALL SENIOR WEEK!

WEEK 4 on the Road!

Thanks,

Philip Ebert #36

Philipebertuwf@yahoo.com

www.twitter.com/Phillybert36

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