Friday, January 28, 2005


It was about 6:29 p.m. Wednesday night when Mike Weathers climbed up to his broadcast booth at Cirevello’s and began to think out loud about this 2005 Dirtbag duel in the desert with Arizona State. “Well they are our first three games but we still have to play 53 more.” Believe that if you like but this coach and this team has been on a slow simmer since the late afternoon of Sunday June 13 then the Beach boys left ten on in a one-run come from ahead loss to the other Arizona school. In the other dugout the Devils have been chomping on their pitchforks since that other Big West school schooled them again to end their Omaha run. For the third time in the last four years, ASU had its season come to a disappointing (this time 5 zip) end in the NCAA Tournament at Goodwin Field.

“All that is in the past” the LB skipper would say when asked again “what happened” and he and his team mean it. The latest Ace that Weathers and pitching czar Troy Buckley pull from their rich mound deck is Cesar Ramos and his USA team resume was impressive and valuable. “We played in front of some really big crowds, especially in the God Medal game so I can handle this crowd and I think our guys can too.” There is experienced all over the line-up at least for tonight. Tito Cruz gets the dish duties with Godfrey and Bradley ready at first, Chuck and Tulo in the middle infield and Mocny at Third. Only Jamie Huizar and his potent lefthanded bat is new in the outfield working left while Boats and the Mouse cover CF and RF. The other news from the Wednesday chat was that Neil Jamison is done with his starter audition and will close with Anderson and Andrade setting up like last year’s 40 win team. Now tomorrow and Sunday may be a big more of an adventure when two brand new Niners get the mound duty, Cody Evans on Saturday and Marco Estrada for Sunday. ASU as you know is ranked 9 and 11 compared to the Beach’s 14 and 17 and both squads have a pair of pre-season all Americans. To build the opening night fever the Devils will salute former ASU catcher Paul Lo Duca, ex Dodger and now Marlin, by retiring, or outfield fencing, his number in a special pre game ceremony Friday night... Arizona State had a pair of players named to the various all teams junior right fielder Travis Buck and senior third baseman Jeff Larish …Larish was voted as having the "best strike zone discipline" and Buck was voted as having the "best outfield arm" and as being the "best all-around athlete" in the PAC 10… Buck was also named the Pac-10's No. 3 prospect for the 2005 MLB Draft…. The Sun Devils last played the 49ers during the 2003 season, winning two of three games at Blair…….after enduring an emotional 11-5 loss in the series opener, ASU won the next two games, 3-0 and 4-2 the later win credited to then freshman left-hander Erik Averill who works again tonight… In 46 career games and 19 starts, Averill has posted a career 12-6 record with a 4.38 ERA in 162.1 IP…he is a native of Orange and spent most of last season pitching out of the bullpen, going 4-4 with two saves and a 5.19 ERA….he has a good summer in the Cape Cod League with the Orleans Cardinals going 5-3 with a 1.70 ERA and 62 strikeouts and only 15 walks in 63.2 innings…. Jason Urquidez, goes for Murphy’s men on Saturday and Brett Bordes on Sunday…Weathers likes using” bookends, lefties on Friday and Sunday” around the powerful Evans on Saturday…Urquidez on paper is the best Devil pitcher but it is said that he has trouble pitching a night hence the day time duty.

BACK TO THE BASES DUST--Baseball America has a feature running in which they remind you that LBSU has the 3rd highest number of alumni major league players (11) with the rest of the top ten looking like this: 14 from Southern California 12 from Stanford; 11 also from Fullerton, and 10 each from Florida State; Louisiana State; Miami; Oklahoma; Texas and perennially under-achieving UCLA. Nice list huh. So how and why does this happen, well as one of my numerically-impaired web guys BeachDawg likes to say, “Three reasons: Tradition, Location, and Academia. Oh, and hot chicks.”…Speaking of hot newcomers one of this year’s new guys may have an odd showbiz connection. It seems that new hitting hero and sometimes shortstop Evan Longoria has a name similar to a “Desperate Housewife” character named Eva Longoria! She hits on the gardener in case you missed that episode and Evan hits just about anything the other guy throws. the Devil’s their due in hoops Serge Angounou scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to give Arizona State a 68-62 win over Washington State on last night and kept the locals in a good mood as they improved their record to 15-5, 4-4 and . Following the season-opening weekend series against LBSU, the Devils will host New Mexico State, Gonzaga and Oregon State for the annual Bob Schaefer Memorial Tournament at Packard Stadium (Feb. 3-7) while the Bags home open with St. Mary’s at Blair….the Bags warmed up last weekend with a fancy Lead Off dinner and then beat their Pro Alums 7-2. At the supper key-noter Bobby Crosby (whose banquet crowd count out-drew Jason Giambi) was asked how long he thought it would take for super pitcher Jered Weaver to sign? “Hey I’ve got to hit against him so I hope it takes three or four years.”….our hometown lads bussed over from Blair about 9 a.m. and a short 1:15 workout last night just like the format at Regionals…add Weathers to the list of guys who thought that Larish should have signed last year, “so we wouldn’t have to face him this year… he says he is dedicated to showing MLB he's worth higher than a 13th round pick….
last add baseball stuff, 2008 is now the earliest that the NCAA would install a uniform start date, likely the middle of February to appease the cold weather whiners up north…and how about SLO… For the second time in three games, the University of San Diego committed five errors. Cal Poly took advantage by scoring five unearned runs Sunday en route to a 10-6 victory and completing a three-game series sweep against the Toreros at Cunningham Stadium….switching to sneakers, on a go figure Thursday the front running women’s basketball team lost at Idaho and the men’s volleyball bunch went down 16-14 in game five at Pepperdine…BUT…Jibril Hodges’ running eight-foot floater with 8.8 seconds left on the clock proved to be the winning points as the Long Beach State men snapped an eight-game losing skid with a 53-52 Big West Conference win over Idaho on Thursday evening at The Pyramid….back outside the Long Beach State softball team was picked to win the Big West Conference, according to the 2005 Pre-Season Coaches Poll released Wednesday and are ranked No. 19 in the Softball preseason poll and No. 20 in the USA Today/NFCA preseason rankings….that would make LBSU one of a select few schools with top 20 teams in both diamond sports…and on our celeb watch list Bobby Crosby expects to drop by as do less wealthy pals Steve Holton, who really boosted baseball as an Associate AD years ago at the Beach and Sean Pyatt who stirred the Niner marketing pot before returning to the desert—DR. DAN


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