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Tigers Pounce Argonauts

first_img Share Tigers Pounce Argonauts April 6, 2007 Box Score  PENSACOLA, Fla. – Mike Jeffcoat’s 100th game as head coach of West Florida (30-11; 6-4 GSC) was not as fond of a memory as he would have hoped as his Argonauts were trounced 12-2 by visiting West Alabama (27-11; 8-2 GSC) Friday night at Pelican Park on the UWF campus.The game started as a pitchers duel as starters Jonathan Weaver (Molino, Fla./ Tate HS) and Noel Baca III battled back and forth for the first five innings with West Alabama taking an early 2-0 lead.West Alabama broke the game open with a three-run sixth inning to take a 5-0 lead. The Tigers scored three runs on three hits in the inning and threatened to score more but stranded two runners on base. Todd Rea drove in the first run with an RBI single and West Alabama manufactured the other two runs on a ground out and a wild pitch.The Tigers added to their lead with five runs coming on seven hits in the seventh inning. Clark Humber, Clint Moody, Chris Gilbertsen and Dallas Rodgers all picked up RBI singles in the inning, while Rob Dahlberg smacked an RBI triple.West Florida did not score their first run until the bottom of the seventh inning. Clay Wallace (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/ Pensacola Junior College) and Logan Hundley (Gulf Breeze, Fla./ Jefferson Davis CC) got the rally started with a pair of singles. Daniel Jones (Wetumpka, Ala./ Gulf Coast CC) walked to load the bases and Jon Reed (Chesterfiled, Va./ University of Virginia-Wise) followed with a walk to score the Argonauts first run of the game.The Argonauts cut the score to 10-2 with another run in the eighth inning. Peter Antoske (Olmsted Township, Ohio/ St. Edwards HS) reached second base on a fielding error and was knocked in on a Kyle Andrews (Fort Walton Beach, Fla./ Fort Walton Beach HS) single to right field.The Tigers added two insurance runs in the top half of the ninth inning giving them the 10-run lead. Both runs were scored on a pair of home runs by Jake DeRoy and Brent Bumgarner.Weaver (4-1), reigning Gulf South Conference Pitcher of the Week, picked up his first the loss of the season tossing 5 and 1/3 innings. He allowed six runs, five earned, on six hits while striking out four batters.For West Alabama Noel Baca (6-4) received the win, pitching 7 innings and allowing only one run on four hits. He struck out eight and walked two.The Argonauts loss first lost in theri last seven games came in the first game of a double header Friday night against the TigersPrint Friendly Versionlast_img read more

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Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak is realistic about team’s goals

first_imgWith the transition from the championship or bust mentality of the Kobe Bryant era to the youth movement currently underway, the Lakers approach the new season with adjusted expectations.“There’s always going to be pressure to win, make the playoffs and win a championship. Every year that will be our goal,” Kupchak said. “But we’re realistic with where we are.” Realistically, this year is not about winning a championship. It’s about laying a foundation that will lead to one sooner rather than later.And the next six months is a critical part of that process.For the Lakers to truly take the necessary next step they must add high-end talent through free agency and trades. But before that happens, the young players they’ve assembled must develop into an attractive core.There isn’t enough money in the world to convince a Kevin Durant to invest the next five or six years of his career in a non-stable foundation.But D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle might entice him to come aboard if they show they can be an exciting group moving forward.The Lakers’ future success depends it.The upcoming season might reveal if they are — or aren’t.“I’d like our young players to prosper and show promise so we can develop a core going forward. That’s something to build on,” Kupchak said. “Off the top of my head, that’s D’Angelo, Julius and Jordan [Clarkson]. We want our core to develop so that the blueprint can follow that next step, which is to add more talent next year. Which brings us to the steady sound of basketballs bouncing off the floor from the nearby gym. It’s been a consistent hum for more than six weeks now, with youngsters like Jordan and Russell and Randle and Larry Nance Jr. and Anthony Brown and a mix of veterans spending their mornings and afternoons working out together.The long-timers at Lakers headquarters will tell you they don’t remember an offseason in which players spent so much time at the facility. There were plenty of days that the young Lakers beat staff members to the office, then stayed throughout the day honing their games.They were working on post development and intermediate games and conditioning. But they were also developing chemistry and pushing each other and reaching out to coaches for tips and advice and instruction.And throughout the building, the feeling of youthful excitement was unmistakable.And it rose all the way to Kupchak’s office overlooking the practice court.“We’ve not had this kind of activity every day in this building with the kind of energy for as long as I’ve been here,” Kupchak said. “Our coaches have been here and available to rebound. The players just show up. They’re all out there working and asking our coaches, ‘Can you work with me on this? Can you work with me on that? I’m not talking two or three guys. Every day for the last four or five weeks, we’ve had players out there. That’s encouraging”In the whole scheme of things, it might mean very little, of course.The Lakers either struck gold drafting Russell and Randle and Clarkson or they didn’t.And while the past six weeks did nothing to answer that critical question, it reveals quite a bit about who these young players are at their core.It’s one thing to be a tantalizingly talented young player.Quite another to be talented with a world-champion work ethic and an insatiable appetite to get better.While we can’t possibly know yet what Clarkson and Russell and Randle are in terms of NBA talent, it’s safe to say they have the work ethic part down pat.Kupchak said he can’t remember a young player who pushed himself as hard as Clarkson did this offseason, until pausing and saying Randle worked every bit as hard as his second-year teammate.In that respect, the Lakers struck gold.Now they have to turn work ethic into production.It won’t mean hoisting a championship trophy next June.But if it helps the Lakers lure a big-time free agent next July, it was a successful season. The unmistakable sound of basketballs bouncing off hard wood could be heard from the Lakers’ practice facility court Thursday. Inside an adjacent room, general manager Mitch Kupchak was holding his annual state of the Lakers address with local reporters. Training camp was a few days away. A new season beckoned. And Kupchak was laying out his thoughts.It wasn’t all that long ago he would have drawn a distinct line in the sand separating what he considered a successful Lakers season from a completely wasted one. Success meant hoisting a championship trophy in mid-June.A complete waste meant falling short of that objective. One or the other.Joy or pain.But that was then and this is now.• VIDEO: Kupchack on Lakers heading into preseasonAnd the relatively short passage of time in between has resulted in a world we don’t quite recognize but a reality we must soon grow accustomed to.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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