Argos Baseball wins series over UWA Tigers 3-0, Starts season undefeated


Hansen Hasenberg, Writer

This past weekend, the Argonauts placed themselves atop the Gulf South Conference standings with three wins over West Alabama at UWF’s Jim Spooner Field.

The first win came Saturday night as the Argos took down the UWA Tigers 8-2 after a strong 3rd inning for UWF.

While the Argos initially trailed in the first game versus the Tigers, it was the Tigers that were playing catch up in both of Sunday’s contests.

In game one of Sunday’s double header, the Argos put the first points on the board in the 2nd inning.

The first run batted in came in the form of a Bryant Harris, Jr. home run that sailed over those in left field. That made the score 1-0 in favor of the home team.

The following batter up to the plate, Miller Hancock, drove in a single. First base clearly was not where Hancock felt he belonged as he stole second and then advanced to third on an error by UWA pitcher Javian Stone.

Hancock was able to score a few moments later and made the score 2-0. 

The Argos pitcher Evan Floyd had a solid 3rd inning, recording his fifth strikeout of the game up to that point to put UWF back at the plate. 

UWF had several opportunities for a big 3rd inning in this game too but failed to capitalize with the bases loaded.

The next inning, the Argos were able to capitalize. 

They scored twice more on an RBI double from Dylan Menhennett that sent Hancock and Sam Clement home. UWF led 4-0 going into the 5th inning.

A change in pitching from the Tigers proved to be somewhat of a kryptonite for the Argos as they failed to make it home for the remainder of the first game.

Josh Bower, the Tigers’ designated hitter for game one, kicked off the 5th inning with a leadoff single for UWA.

His effort was followed up by Jacobey Hawthorne’s double that went down the right field baseline, putting runners on 2nd and 3rd.

The 5th inning proved to be the best that UWA would see as they scored two runs off an RBI single from Tigers’ catcher Jonathan Thibodeau. The score now stood at 4-2.

UWF tried to respond with points of their own when they came up to bat.

Jack Copley answered with a double and Hancock added a single, but the Argos couldn’t make anything of it after an impressive throw on a 5-6-3 play by the Tigers.

The score would remain the same until the 9th inning, when Bower slugged a home run over the wall as the leadoff batter. This tightened the game to 4-3 but the Argos quickly got three outs and the win.

Game two started with a bang for UWF as Dylan Menhennett hit a home run in the bottom of the 1st inning.

The 2nd inning was even better for the Argos as they added four runs. 

The Argos did so with the bases loaded after a walk, a single, and a bunt that turned into a base hit after the ball was mishandled by UWA pitcher Connor Brooks.

True Fontenot hit a sacrifice fly that allowed Harris Jr. to get to home plate. Harris Jr. was the one who was walked to first.

Justin Dunham was up next, and he hit an RBI single into left field that allowed Schad to reach home.

Menhennett made it 4-0 with a sacrifice RBI that gave Hancock a run of his own.

Matthew Estrada went up to bat next and he too decided to get in on the action, hitting a single RBI.

After all that, the score was 5-0.

The 3rd inning saw a diving catch be made by Menhennett in the outfield to get the Argos’ third out at the top of the inning. 

It also saw an injury, with Tigers’ shortstop Nick Sims coming out of the ball game. He was replaced by Derek Barone.

The 4th and 5th innings did not see much action as neither team was able to sustain an offensive possession.

UWF was able to get back on track offensively in the 6th inning.

Menhennett hit a double as the third batter up in the bottom of the 6th and that sent Dunham, who was on base due to a walk, to third base.

Brooks then threw an arrant pitch that helped send Dunham home, making the score 6-0. Brooks was benched soon after in favor of Austin Kitterman.

Kitterman didn’t fair much better as he gave up a run off of an RBI sacrifice out hit by Estrada.

The score now stood at 7-0.

In the 7th inning, Hancock hit a leadoff triple that bounced off the wall. Fontenot was walked and Dunham came up to the plate. 

Dunham hit a single RBI that was nearly caught by a Tiger. This increased the Argos’ lead to 8.

The bases were soon loaded, and Dunham found home plate for the third time in game two.

The score was now 9-0 and the Argos were a run away from a series sweep.

UWA, not looking to give up without a fight, found a way to get the Argos out and pushed game two into the 8th inning.

The Tigers made it to base in the 8th inning, something they had struggled to do for a good part of the game, but they were not able to put any runs on the board and gave the Argos an opportunity to finish them off.

UWF did just that with a sacrifice RBI by Dunham that sent Sam Harris home for the win.

Game two was a shutout with the Argos putting 10 runs on the board.

While game two saw plenty of runs for the Argos, the night really belonged to freshman pitcher Tyler Dowdy.

By the end of the 7th inning, Dowdy had retired 15 straight UWA batters.

“I couldn’t ask for a better start,” said Dowdy after the game. “Everything came out well, … I guess the good Lord was on my side and just gave me everything I needed tonight.”

It was quite the night for Dowdy as he only allowed three baserunners the whole time he was pitching. 

He was in the game from the 1st inning to the 7th inning. After which, he was replaced by Alex Knight to close out the night.

UWF coach Mike Jeffcoat was impressed with Dowdy, calling him “the player of the game,” as well as the rest of the team for their effort in starting off the season on the winning end.

Despite the success, Jeffcoat still feels there is room to improve.

“We have to work on the breaking ball this week,” said Jeffcoat. “They threw a lot of them and I don’t expect to see a whole lot different throughout this league.”

He also highlighted the need to address situational hitting, as UWF left runners on base at numerous times during the double header.

According to Jeffcoat, that is what made the first game of the double header so close.

UWF was scheduled to take on Spring Hill this past Wednesday, but the contest was canceled due to weather. No make-up game has been scheduled.

The next game for the Argos will be a home matchup with Shorter (2-1) on Saturday, February 13. First pitch is at 5 p.m. 

On Sunday, they will play Shorter in a double header. With the first game slated to start at 1 p.m.