Monday, January 31, 2005

DIRTBAGS WIN TWO AND A HALF GAMES AS BEACH GOES FROM THE DEVILS TO ST. MARY'S



Like opening a Broadway play in New Haven, the 2005 cast of Long Beach State baseball went on the road to work out the kinks in their new production, won the series from Arizona State and got rave reviews from a mob of pro scouts.

It was an inspiring opening in Arizona that included what wedding planners call “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue”. The “old” were returning stars like the infield workers Troy Tulowitzki, Chuck Sindlinger and Danny Mocny supporting the mound work of Cesar Ramos and set-up and shut-down relievers Brian Anderson, Neil Jamison and Brett Andrade.

The “new” came in the form of outstanding pitching from new guys Cody Evans and Marco Estrada and an out-of-no where reliever named Steve Hammond. The offense also came up with some new muscle in JUCOs Evan Longoria, Jordan Struble and freshman surprise Jose Hernandez.

The “borrowed” was the traditional move ‘em over and hit ‘em in offense that the Bags have used in the past that ain’t perfect yet but has outstanding promise. In the mind of hitting coach Don Barbara there are still too many runner’s left on and too many strikeouts but 24 runs in three games from the ninth ranked Sun Devils at their place is evidence that the future is bright.

Last of all is the blue and that can only mean the Pac Ten umpiring which was scarier to me than anything the Devils did. But let’s get back to the future and that would mean this weekend’s Friday o Sunday visit from Saint Mary’s. The Gaels finished the 2004 season struggling with a 14-41 overall record and a 7-23 conference record. SMC did however develop some talent for this season principally Sam Carter and Delaney Gallagher who had outstanding sophomore campaigns.

CATCH UP DUST—The other Friday night option is men’s volleyball which had a pair of nail bitters last week on the road, a five game win over USC and a five game loss to Pepperdine. With a 4-2 record the lads return to the Pyramid on Friday Night to host UCSD at 7:30 pm.

Also in the desert last weekend is a veteran stat man for the Beach Dick Hindman who is also active in the racing biz at Irwindale and for selected national races such as the Copper Classic last weekend in Phoenix. A lot of left turns and not as many turnovers as the Pyramid runners he watched for years.

Almost over-shadowed in the Bobby Crosby excitiement is the bright prospects for Jeremy Reed now in the employ of the Seattle Mariners. The Seattle papers expect JR to be the everyday center fielder, “playing the same position for the same team of his childhood idol, Ken Griffey Jr. "A lot of guys are penned in," said M's general manager Bill Bavasi.”We've penciled him in."

And although they don’t get much Big West love Cal Poly won their series at UCLA and the Mustangs are now 5-1. Most everybody else gets going this weekend or next.

Last Add Famous Names--While the Niner pitching pretty well collared the two Arizona State all Americans Travis Buck and Jeff Larish (a combined 7-24 with zero RBIs) the attraction of these two plus Tulo, Cesar and Neil caused a traffic jam of scouts behind the dugouts at ASU. One of them, a Scott Boras aide, said that he expects the super agent to get the Jered Weaver deal done, “real soon.” Then he said that Tulowitzki is so promising that he “needs the protection that Scott can give him.” And I said that Troy needs a senior year at LBSU. I guess we’re both greedy.--DR. DAN

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