No. 16 West Florida opens season with 3-0 sweep and 1,000th program win
PENSACOLA, Fla. -- No. 16 West Florida made program history on Sunday, reaching the 1,000 win mark with a 6-0 win against Florida Southern. The victory finishes off a three-game sweep against No. 32 Florida Southern at Jim Spooner Field on opening weekend, improving the team’s record to 3-0 to start the year.
“It’s great to come out and get a sweep on opening weekend against a quality opponent like Florida Southern,” UWF head coach Mike Jeffcoat said. “I was very proud of our defense; we were error-free all weekend. We had some timely hitting and had a lot of runs with two outs. We used 11 pitchers, and all the guys threw fairly very well. What better way to get that 1,000th win than a shutout [Sunday] to finish it off.”
Four Argonaut pitchers combined to post the team’s first shutout of the year. Junior right-hander Dayan Rodriguez got the start and went five innings, allowing four hits and no walks while striking out four. Rodriguez was credited with the win (1-0).
Sophomore Kevin Peters, seniors Ben Bridges and Bobby Parker closed out the game during the final four innings. Peters especially had an impressive outing, striking out five batters in just two innings.
Just like in their opening day doubleheader sweep on Saturday, the Argos had clutch, two-out hits on Sunday. Junior first baseman Cliff Covington continued his impressive start with a two-out, RBI single in the fourth inning, and junior shortstop Josh Allen brought in another run in the fourth on an infield single.
The Argos added two insurance runs in the fifth, with the first coming on an RBI groundout by junior second baseman Kaleb Barlow. Junior designated hitter Austin Southall followed that up with a long home run over the left field wall, making the score 4-0 in favor of the Argos.
The final two runs came home in the seventh, as senior outfielder Drew Prichard tripled home a run and came in to score on a single by Barlow. Barlow finished the day 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs.
Florida Southern (0-3) starting pitcher Clay Chapman was credited with the loss, allowing four runs in six innings.
UWF now holds an all-time record of 1,000-715-1 in the program’s 33-year history. The Argos have averaged more than 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. Jim Spooner coached the Argonauts in 23 of their 33 seasons from 1983-2005, amassing a record of 688-521-1 during that time.
“I remind our players all the time that these guys are just standing on the shoulders of all the players that came through before them,” Jeffcoat said. “Jim Spooner built this program and got us well over halfway to this 1,000th victory. I’m happy to be a part of it. We’ve had a lot of great players come through here. The alumni have been terrific supporting us. I hope they’re proud of it, and hopefully someday we’ll get to 2,000.”