Greetings baseball enthusiast! Excuse my excitement but……. WE ARE GOING TO THE COLLEGE WORLD SERIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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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!
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!
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!
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