Monday, November 15, 2004


Forty-niner men’s hoops will definitely win Friday night. Gazette Guaranteed. That’s because the home standing North Carolina Charlotte 49ers, named after a nearby highway, play the Long Beach State 49ers, named after their first birthday.

Our Niners come into the contest with two comfortable exhibition wins over lower division friends, UC San Diego and Alaska Anchorage but UNCC holds the edge on preseason preparation. They got ten extra days of practice thanks to a three game “Tour of Toronto” in October and a traditional on-campus exhibition game last week, a 114-75 victory over Pfeiffer.

The star was junior guard Mitchell Baldwin and UNCC skipper Bobby Lutz is effusive about his impact. “If you charted when Mitchell was in the game in the first half it was probably +20 and when he was out it was -6" And if that wasn’t scary enough for Larry Reynolds and crew the hosts have two NBA quality beefeaters in the paint to bother LB’s slender posts Anthony Coleman and Sam Byrd. Come December the Beach adds Onye Ibekwe, 6-8 and just a doughnut shy of 270 but this is now and then is then.

Ironically the Beach boys will get that extra practice time next season when they go on one of those every four years pre-season overseas tours. The results are as important as the extra time of togetherness.

While we are hooping it up, here is my tiny school Final Four for March’s Big Dance. Write ‘em down--St. Joes, enrollment of 6500, Gonzaga, enrollment of 5400, Duke enrollment of 6,202 and Wake Forest enrollment of 4,037. Except in my email in-box size doesn’t matter.

Looking back home, you have to love the smile on the face of the Beach’s number one fan Bob Maxson. The prez as you know has AL Rookie of the Year Bobby Crosby on his speed dial and bookmarked on his computer. But even more the boss notes also that the amazing A’s shortstop was a 49er teammate of four other Major League youngsters, Astros reliever Mike Gallo, Expos outfielder Terrmel Sledge and lefthander Chad Bentz and Mariners outfielder Jeremy Reed.

Back to the napkin, these notes from the basketball Tip Off Dinner. Larry Reynolds saluting veteran trainer Dan Bailey, in his 34th year, according to Reynolds the former Utah footballer and wrestler has this training room regime. “When a player goes in there Bails just growls, spits on it and sends them back out. He’s so tough and gruff the guys would rather be back at practice than hang around the training room.

”Reynolds also got into the chat about those new cup holders that the Sixth Man boosters along with the basketball staffs have installed around the Mid. “When I got hired here I though Mr. Shumard said I had to “fill” the seats but now I understand that it was to “drill” the seats.” Drilling seats will save the beer; filling seats will save even more.

Now some Dirtbag servings from the hot stove league. The SID folks have this starting lineup as of Fall ball but I expect some shuffling by Spring. On paper there are six starters returning with new guys needed for C, 1B, OF, and DH.Around the infield their list has Tito Cruz, behind the dish, he hit .271 last season. At first would be redshirt Brandon Godfrey, who made the Junior Olympic National Team, at second Chuck Sindlinger, a two-year starter hitting 257, at short Team USA’s Troy Tulowitzki who carries both a gold glove and bat. (317, 7 HR, 44 RBIs last year) and Danny Mocny, .318, last year at third.

The outfield looks like Jamie Huizar in left, coming in from Sacramento CCwhere he hit .362, plus returnees speedy Steve Velazco back in center and slugging Sean Boatright in right. Boats hit .330 when healthy last season. The DH favorite is Evan Longoria out of Rio Hondo JC where he hit .435 plus 15 HRs. We’ll do pitchers next week.—DR. DAN


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