2023 UWF baseball season preview


UWF baseball head coach Mike Jeffcoat (#32) and junior infielder Trent Jeffcoat (#2) watch the Argos from the dugout at Jim Spooner Field.

Austin Lloyd, Staff Writer

The UWF Argos baseball team will be beginning its 2023 season this Friday, and the drive to make an early impression could not be stronger.

Last year was a forgettable one for UWF for multiple reasons. It was the first since 2018 to see the Argos miss an NCAA regional tournament, the first since 2008 to have a losing record, and the five consecutive losses it ended with is the worst note the program has finished a season on in the Mike Jeffcoat era.

Jeffcoat, who has been coaching the Argos since 2005, has played a large role in their consistent success. For him, 2022 was nothing more than a minor setback.

“I don’t look at last year as an anomaly, I look at it as something that can happen to any team any year,” Jeffcoat said. “Some things lined up against us that we weren’t able to overcome, and that’s what you get sometimes.”

Junior infielder Trent Jeffcoat lines up at home plate at Jim Spooner Field.

When thinking of the qualities that make a good head coach, one that sometimes gets overlooked is off-the-field leadership. Everyone knows that a head coach needs to be strong and encouraging during the games, but the mindset one gives his/her team when away from the spotlight matters a great deal as well. Coach Jeffcoat has prioritized said leadership, and has kept the winning mentality in his players’ heads over the course of the offseason.

“Those past years are what they are,” Jeffcoat said. “Hopefully these players understand the history of the program, appreciate it, but now it’s their time to make their mark. This is a new year, and these guys just need to go out and play and show what they can do.”

The Argos will certainly need to “make their mark” early, as their first six games of the season are against the Florida Southern Moccasins and Rollins College Tars—teams that UWF went a combined 2-4 against in 2022. Those two squads are sure to test the Argos’ confidence, but confidence is not a department they appear to be lacking in.

Senior catcher Josh Prizina is no stranger to the culture that UWF baseball has crafted over the years, and he has seen the impacts that it’s made on both his teammates and himself.

“We’re just here every day getting the work in,” Prizina said. “You got to lay it brick by brick, you got to find that foundation.”

Prizina takes pride in not just the improvements that the team has made throughout the offseason, but also the effort that everyone has put in to make them happen. To him, it’s the time the guys have put in that leaves them feeling the most prepared.

“All these guys love to work, man,” Prizina said. “We’re out here an hour early just for batting practice. The work ethic here is great.”

The Argos will take on the Florida Southern Moccasins in a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 4. The games are set for 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. EST.