Greetings baseball fans!!
A very good 2 weeks for the University of West Florida! There are a number of things to cover including, Jr. Ben Hawkins’ NO HITTER, the continued dominance of our pitching staff and hitters, and Tino Watch List updates on our 5 candidates. SO LETS JUMP RIGHT INTO IT!
Lets start with a history lesson… During my time at the University of West Florida, I have been apart of 4 no-hitters! That is pretty unbelievable considering the rarity of the achievement. My first encounter was probably the most bizarre… How many people can say they WON the game being no-hit?? Well in 2009, the Argos were held to ZERO hits by Columbus State, but won 1-0 behind the dominant start of Kyle Ramsey! I remember Brandon Brewer walking, 2 pass balls, and a SAC fly. The 2nd no-hitter was last season against the University of North Alabama. Trey Mitchell threw a no-hitter against us at home, handing us our first conference loss of the season. We got revenge this year when we spiked his ERA by scoring 6 runs off him! The 3rd was UWF’s first no-hitter. Kevin Johnson, who is currently pitching in the Angels Organization threw a no-hitter against Alabama Huntsville. It was at home in front of all of his family and friends, and was an amazing experience to be apart of.
This leads me to the 4th no-no that I was able to witness. Last week, Jr. Ben Hawkins was dialed in against conference rival West Alabama. It was obvious early that Hawkins had his best stuff! He was mowing people down left and right! As most no-hitters are defined by some spectacular defensive plays, this was no different. Sr. Brandon Brewer got his defensive work in on this day, making some incredible web gem plays. It is certain that the no-hitter would not have happened if it wasn’t for the plays made by Brewer. Another play that sticks out in my head was a diving play from first basemen Korey Domenick “Daddy”. With one out left in the game, I saw RS freshmen Corey Angelo filming from his iphone, and after that last out was recorded we exploded out of the dugout and engulfed Hawkins as we celebrated his amazing accomplishment. Angleo was able to the record the entire celebration from the middle of the swarm! Here is the video that I uploaded to Youtube. (BEN HAWKINS NO HITTER!!!! ) Good Work Angel0!!! aka Sick Boy!
We would eventually go on to sweep West Alabama, and Hawkins would receive numerous awards for his performance. He was awarded the GSC Pitcher of the Week, Louisville Slugger National Pitcher of the Week, NCBWA National Player of the Week, and we can’t forget Argonaut of the Week!
The new week approached and we set our focus to the University of Mobile for a midweek game. They are an NAIA affiliated school with some incredible athletes. They always have some big time hitters, and this squad wasn’t any different. Fr. Kevin Peters started the game, and ran into a little trouble after a few innings. He was relieved by Zach Jadofsky, who would eventually pick up the victory. Super Senior Dustin Brenton came in and threw 2 scoreless innings, and Sr. Zach North finished up the game for a 17-6 victory. Greg Pron was the offensive stud of this game raking up 6 rbi, but Taye Larry hit a bomb, Brewer had 3 hits, and Josh Huggins at 4. A great all around victory for the Argos.
The week quickly shifted to our upcoming opponent, the University of Alabama Huntsville. They are a conference rival, who is trying to fight their way to stay in the conference tournament, so they had a lot riding on this series. In the midst of all this, we had to remember that regardless of our #1 ranking, and 21 game win streak, we still had not clinched the East Division, so these games were as important as any other we had played this year.
Mr. Tino himself, Jason Postill came out in game 1 and threw a masterpiece. The senior went 8 innings, allowing 3 hits and striking out 10. We won the game 8-0, and Postill improved to 10-o with a 1.75 ERA. The 10 wins is good enough for 2nd in the country. In game 2, Ben Hawkins took the mound and didn’t have his best stuff. I feel like it is tough to understand the success of our pitching staff, because with this bad start it almost seemed like we were lost… Pron would hit a huge 3 run bomb to put us ahead 4-3 in the 5th, but uncharacteristically we gave up the lead and eventually lost the game. It ended our record 22 game win streak (which isn’t as the long the 24-0 streak of the 06′ Gulf Coast High School Sharks, my HS team). This is just my opinion, but I think it was beneficial for us to lose a game like that at this time of the year. It has allowed us to take a minute and remember what it feels like to lose! I speak for everyone on our team, IT SUCKS! We went right back to work the next day with our Sunday catalyst Danny Vargas! During the trip, Danny had asked to borrow my pitching book, “The Mental ABC’s of Pitching” and he said it really helped him when he got into a few jams during his outing. The important thing I take from the book is the throw “good low strikes”, stay positive on the mound, and be accountable for what YOU can do… The pitcher has no control over what will happen after the balls leaves his hand. Danny pitched great, gave up 2 runs, and Sr. Shane Waller came in to finish the game. Waller finished it in style, retiring the 8 batters he saw, and the final 7… yes 7… to strike outs!! It was pretty unbelievable to see the dominance of Waller on the mound. He was literally untouchable!
As a weekend rap up, the stars of the weekend were Jason Postill who threw 8 ip, 3h, 10k’s, Greg Pron who had one of the best weeks I’ve ever seen, (10-16, 3HR, 2 2b’s, 9 R, 14 RBI, 2bb, 4-4 sb), and Shane Waller who threw 2.1 innings with 7 consecutive strike outs! Postill and Pron were named the Gulf South Conference Pitcher/Player of the week! Congrats to my weird teammates!
Not a lot to update on my pitching journey…. I am continuing to work hard, and find more consistency with my pitching in the bullpen… I will be going to San Francisco this summer to play summer ball, so I am EXTREMELY excited to get out there and get some serious innings! I can definitely wait for that though…. I think I’ll stay on this ride a little longer, because I think we all have the feeling something special can happen!
We have a big series against Valdosta State this weekend! It is Senior week at UWF, which means this is the last home series for our 12 seniors! It will be an emotional day for everyone, and will be pretty weird for me especially, as 5 of the seniors (Pron, Hastings, Kroll, Brewer, Sixto) that I have been with for 4 years will be celebrating, while I still have my extra year of eligibility.
CHECK OUT ALL OF MY CRAZY AND FUNNY VIDEOS FROM THE PAST 3 WEEKS!! Also, check out my pitching from Lambuth.. One video is of the 14 pitch battle, that almost ended in a bomb, and the 2nd is the last pitch of the game! ENJOY!!
R.I.P. Doug Burke
Philip Ebert #36