CARY, N.C. – After three scoreless innings, the No. 4 West Florida baseball team exploded for 13 runs over the next five frames to run away with a 13-0 win over No. 10 Southern Connecticut State in the first round of the NCAA Division II Championships on Sunday. The Argonauts lineup combined to tally 13 runs on 13 hits, and senior Daniel Vargas-Vila (Jacksonville, Fla./Wallace State CC-Dothan) pitched eight shutout innings to lead a dominant pitching performance.
Vargas-Vila (15-1) allowed just two hits in eight scoreless innings, striking out three batters and walking two. With the win, he extended his school record with 15 wins in 2011. Senior Zach North (Miami, Fla./Nova Southeastern) finished the win with a scoreless ninth, giving up a pair of hits but escaping without allowing a run.
The offensive effort was led by senior center fielder Dustin Lawley (Bessemer, Ala./Wallace State CC-Hanceville), who finished the night 4-5 with four RBIs. The Argonauts also had multi-RBI nights from Justin Bennett (Roswell, Ga./Roswell HS), Josh Huggins (Bay Minette, Ala./Faulkner State CC), Greg Pron (Daphne, Ala./Daphne HS), and Dustin Lawley (Bessemer, Ala./Wallace State CC-Hanceville (Bessemer Academy). Pron broke the UWF career hits record with 288 and the single season record with 90 in his third at bat with a two RBI double to left center.
UWF struck first in the bottom of the second inning scoring two runs on four consecutive hits including RBI hits by Lawley and Huggins. The Argos plated three more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning on RBI hits by Pron and Lawley putting UWF out in front 5-0. The Argos took a commanding 9-0 in the bottom of the seventh inning scoring four runs on RBI at bats by Huggins, Zach Taylor (Vandiver, Ala./Wallace State CC-Hanceville (Coosa Valley Academy), and Tyler Hastings (Valparaiso, Fla./Niceville HS). West Florida tacked on four more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning blowing out the Owls 13-0.
The Argos 13 runs marks the first time that any team has scored double digit runs in the past three years at the D-II Championships. The West Florida baseball team will play Tuesday against Sonoma State with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. For information on all UWF Athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com.