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Share GAME NOTES: UWF baseball to open season vs. Florida Southern Photo by John Blackie PENSACOLA, Fla. – The No. 16 West Florida baseball team opens the 2013 season this weekend at home against No. 32 Florida Southern. The series begins with a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 2 with first pitch at 1 p.m., with the final game scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 3 at 1 p.m.2013 Game Notes:2/2 vs. Florida Southern Live audio and stats Season openerUWF welcomes regional rival Florida Southern to Jim Spooner Field this weekend for a three-game series to open 2013. The Argos faced the Moccasins on the road last year, sweeping the three-game series while outscoring the Mocs 20-4. Florida Southern holds an edge over West Florida in the all-time series, winning 12 of 23 contests between the two schools.Milestone winThe Argonauts need just three wins to reach win number 1,000 in the program’s 33-year history. UWF holds an all-time record of 997-715-1 going into the season. The Argos have averaged over 30 wins per season, with the most coming in 2011 when the team won 52 on their way to an NCAA Division II national championship.Preseason rankingsUWF came in at No. 16 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Division II preseason national poll. The Argos were also picked to finish second in the GSC preseason coaches’ poll, and the NCBWA ranked UWF third in the preseason regional poll. The Argos also had three players on the NCBWA preseason all-region team: Bobby Parker, Dustin Saulmon and Jake Stephens. That trio of players, plus Jordan DeLorenzo, were also selected to the preseason All-GSC team, and Kaleb Barlow, Dayan Rodriguez and Austin Southall were named to the GSC top newcomers list.Pitching staff returns from strong seasonThe Argos ranked 30th in Division II with a 3.50 team ERA in 2012, and the team returns the majority of its staff this year. Of the 448 innings pitched by last year’s team, only 82 of them were by pitchers not coming back in 2013. Of the returners, starters Drew Bryson (2.51 ERA, 5-1), Jake Stephens (3.57 ERA, 6-3) and Josh Tanski (3.52 ERA, 4-5) and relievers Jordan DeLorenzo (3.81 ERA, 6-3) and Bobby Parker (1.59 ERA, 14 saves) lead the way.Former Argonauts in the AFLFormer Argonauts Kevin Johnson and Dustin Lawley competed in the Arizona Fall League, a league that includes many of the top prospects in minor league baseball, in 2012 Johnson, a right-handed reliever originally from Pensacola, pitched for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the AFL and made 10 appearances with a 3.75 ERA. Lawley, a third baseman and outfielder, hit .268 in 41 at bats for the Surprise Saguaros in the AFL. Johnson was a 20th round pick by the Angels in 2010, and Lawley was selected by the Mets in the 19th round in 2011.NewcomersThis year’s class of 14 newcomers includes two Division I transfers, eight junior college transfers, and four true freshmen.Josh Allen (IF)- hit .283 at State College of Fla. in ‘12Jeremy Bajdaun (IF)- backup SS for Fla. Int’l in ‘11 and ‘12Kaleb Barlow (IF)- drafted by Rockies in ‘10; hit .333 in ‘12Justin Chambers (RHP)- 1.96 ERA in 59.2 IP at Enterprise State CC in ‘12Cliff Covington (IF/OF)- .359 AVG, 5 HR at Alabama Southern CC in ‘12Kyle Hamner (C)- hit .400 at Edgewater HS in Orlando in ‘12Greg Kalogridis (OF)- hit .378 at West Orange HS in ‘11Chase Kiefer (IF/OF)- Pensacola Catholic HS state champs in ‘12Walker O’Connor (RHP)- 3.23 ERA, 5 SV at Malden Catholic HSDrew Prichard (OF)- won Sun Belt with Troy in ‘11, hit .279 in 111 ABDayan Rodriguez (RHP)- 3.45 ERA in 91.1 IP at State College of Fla. in ‘12Matt Rodriguez (RHP)- 2.15 ERA in 67 IP at College of Central Fla. in ‘12Austin Southall (RHP/IF)- drafted by Giants in ‘10; 2.11 ERA in 72.2 IP in ‘12Matt Vollenweider (RHP)- 0.36 ERA, 10 SV at Chattahoochee Valley CC in ‘12 Print Friendly Version
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Riding a seven-game winning streak, the University of West Florida softball team moved up three spots to No. 21 in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association poll, released on Wednesday. UWF is now 16-8 overall with a 7-4 record in the Gulf South Conference. COMPLETE POLL West Florida is coming off a three-game sweep at Christian Brothers, where the team hit .438. Rhiannon Sassman’s six hits, seven runs, two home runs, seven RBIs, 16 total bases and 1.455 slugging percentage led all players, while Tiona Hill and Rachel Wright both had five hits apiece, with Hill scoring five times and driving in six runs, and Wright tallying three doubles. UWF and No. 6 North Alabama are the lone GSC teams in the top 25, though Valdosta State and Alabama Huntsville are each receiving votes. No. 9 Saint Leo and No. 13 Palm Beach Atlantic from the Sunshine State Conference also represent the South Region. The top five spots in the poll remained unchanged from last week, with Colorado Mesa, North Georgia, Dixie State, Angelo State and Chico State holding those positions. #ARGOS#Print Friendly Version West Florida will visit Mississippi College (11-9, 6-6 GSC) in Clinton this week for a three-game set, beginning at 2 pm on Saturday. The pitching has been lights-out since the start of the streak, with a 1.87 team ERA, 42 strikeouts in 45 innings, and a .196 opponent batting average. Tori Perkins and Sarah Maloney have combined for a 1.31 ERA with 29 strikeouts, a 5-0 record and two complete games in their last seven games. The Argonaut offense has come alive over the team’s seven-game winning streak, hitting .409, slugging .644 and averaging more than eight runs per game. Wright leads the team in batting (.550), hits (11), doubles (8), slugging (.950) and on-base percentage over the stretch, and 15 Argos are hitting .300 or better in that time.
Black Meteors Coach Akwasi Appiah has endorsed Isaac Opeele Boateng to be given the opportunity to Coach national under-17 male football team, the Black Starlets.The Head Coach of Ghana’s Olympic team on Sunday led the Meteors to a 2-0 win over the Nigerian Dream Team 5 at the Baba Yara stadium, to secure qualification to the all Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique.Appiah, who doubles as the Assistant Coach for the senior national team, Black Stars, believes his success with the national Under-23 team will bring relief to his colleagues in the coaching job.He told Asempa Sports that, it is about time the Ghana Football Association reconsidered the local coaches, to boost their confidence.According to him, former coach of Kumasi Asante Kotoko Isaac Opeele Boateng should be considered for the national under-17 coaching job, stressing that he Opeele is more than capable of turning the country’s recent poor run as far as the junior national teams are concerned.Story by Benedict Dankwa Owusu/ Asempa Sports
SALT LAKE CITY — Monday night’s Jazz-Clippers game was not only a big game with possible playoff implications, it was a chance for Rudy Gobert to show why he, not DeAndre Jordan, deserved to be on the Western Conference All-Star team.Although he hasn’t talked much about it, Gobert has made it known he was disappointed not to be selected to the All-Star Game. And with Jordan being selected as a backup center for the West all-stars, he probably took Gobert’s spot on the team.As it turned out, the two centers pretty much played to a draw Monday night with nearly identical numbers as both finished with 10 points, while Gobert had one more rebound (14) than Jordan, who had two more blocked shots (3).Clippers’ coach Doc Rivers thought Jordan made a significant impact on the defensive end, saying, “He was huge. I thought DJ’s defense set the tone for us.”“We didn’t play with force,” said Gobert. “We looked kind of nervous offensively. We looked like we weren’t moving the ball like we used to and we got down pretty quick.”While the play of Gobert and Jordan made little difference in the Clippers’ blowout win, a guy who usually makes the All-Star Game, but didn’t this year because of a knee injury that kept him out of 18 games, was a huge factor in the outcome.Blake Griffin, who just came back from a knee injury late last month, was the best player on the floor, scoring 26 points on 11-of-18 shooting, with 10 rebounds.Afterward, Griffin talked about his team’s defense rather than his own offense.“I thought we did a great job of giving them the shots that we wanted to give them,” he said. “I just like our intensity to start — it was good from beginning to end.”Meanwhile, the only other All-Star in the game, Utah’s Gordon Hayward, had one of his poorest games of the season, finishing with just seven points on 2-of-12 shootingAfterward, Hayward talked a lot about all the missed Jazz shots and took put some of the blame on himself.“I had some good looks early and didn’t knock them down,” he said. “If I hit those, it’s a different game and maybe it’s a different outcome, but tonight we didn’t hit shots.”Derrick Favors ended up leading the Jazz in scoring with 13 points and afterward he talked about his game as well as Griffin’s.“He’s good, but I wasn’t really worried about him,” he said. “I’m worried about me. He’s a good player. I felt like I was good. Got into a rhythm there and I feel like I’m moving better, my wind is better and my shot’s coming back.”The Jazz have one more game before the All-Star break, against Portland Wednesday and then most of the team gets a week off, except for Hayward who will play in Sunday’s game and Trey Lyles and Dante Exum, who will both play in the Rising Stars Challenge.
Harbour View have scored back-to-back victories for the first time this season and Fabian Taylor, the coach of the Red Stripe Premier League outfit, says his players are feeling much more confident about themselves as the new year approaches.The Stars of the East who have been struggling in the bottom half of the table all season, registered 3-0 and 2-0 wins over Montego Bay United and Mount Pleasant respectively, in their last two encounters.These victories have pushed Harbour View up from tenth to ninth in the standings on 19 points. Reno with 17, Montego Bay 16 and Dunbeholden 13, are the bottom three teams in the competition.Taylor, who recently took over the head coaching duties following the resignation of Ricardo Gardner, said the team has been playing much better over the past two games, but they still have a lot of work to do.”I am feeling a little better than before knowing that we have won two straight games with zero goals against,” said Taylor.Still work to do”We have been struggling to win games and to win two on the trot at the end of the year is very pleasing,” he said.”We still have a lot of work to do. We just have to keep our heads down and work a little harder,” Taylor said.He pointed out that his players have been working harder in training because they are a lot more committed and focused.He added that his club will be very active when the transfer window opens next week as they are set to lose a number of players.”We are probably going to lose some players, but I don’t want to mention their names as yet. So we are going to have to bring in players,” Taylor stated.The Premier League is set to resume on January 6.