Tuesday, March 01, 2005


Ready or not here we go. Baseball is in fact a children’s game, also played by adults, so that after-school chant seems appropriate as the Dirtbags, above .500 at 8-6 and moving in the right direction after sweeping San Diego State, takes on the U with a View, Pepperdine (6-6).

The first of the pitching contestants will be Beach righty Cody Evans (0-2, 2.25) and a ton of JC experience against a really good but really green talent in Wave freshman Doug Konoske (0-0, 0.00), who will be making his collegiate debut. As far as the rest of the participants if you go by Sunday’s box score you just don’t know. Weathers and company used 18 different faces, some of which will not make the traveling squad for this weekend’s big test at No. 14-ranked Baylor. That match up, at least pitching-wise, should be a dandy starting with Friday night when Cesar Ramos (2-2, 2.32) will oppose Trey Taylor (2-1, 1.42). On Saturday Marco Estrada (2-0, 1.59) faces Baylor lefthander Cory VanAllen (2-1, 3.63) and the get-away day will see Jared Hughes (1-0, 0.56) against Mark McCormick (0-1, 6.75. The Pepps are 6-6 and played Tulane tough but lost two out of three. Coach Steve Rodriguez’s team have won series over Houston and Cal Poly and inexplicably, dropped a series to UC Santa Barbara None of the Wave numbers are eye-popping, they hit just .283 as the team has a 5.42 ERA.. The best of the boppers is Steve Kleen, .388 average and 15 RBIs, while catcher Chad Tracy, yes Jim’s kid, is batting .365 with 13 runs and 12 RBIs.

AND NOW THE REST OF THE DUST—It took a while but transfer catcher Chris Jones has earned a spot as the starting catcher this season…by hitting a lusty and team-best .407 over the first 10 games with five runs and four RBIs. Jones, a backup last year after transferring from Fresno City College, has made seven starts at catcher….elsewhere around the Big West today and tonight are Cal Poly at UC Santa Barbara; Fullerton at San Diego State; UNLV at UC Irvine; Riverside at USC, and peeking ahead Baylor has traveled to UT-San Antonio…keeping you on your sneaker toes, the two new basketball wunderkinds, Aaron Nixon and Dominique Ricks got all-Conference JUCO honors…Nixon was chosen 1st Team all-Foothill Conference and Rick's was selected Co-MVP of the very competitive Orange Empire League…so there could be light in the 2006 tunnel...I was going to try and sort out those changes in the Bag lineup when web whiz Jeff of Dirtbag baseball blog did it for us, so here he goes…”Coach Weathers really shook up the lineup yesterday. Freshman Zach Barger saw his first action as a Dirtbag, starting in left field and going 1 for 3. He looks to be a good line drive hitter, making good contact in his at bats. Evan Longoria moved over to 3rd, and freshman Donnie Ecker started at shortstop for the first time...and hit leadoff. Senior Cole Jacobsen started at 2nd. The moves seemed to have the desired effect, as the Dirtbags tallied 11 hits and 6 runs (5 earned). Most importantly, the first 4 batters, Donnie Ecker, Chris Jones, Brandon Godfrey, and Sean Boatright (who DH'ed for the second day in a row after returning from his hamstring injury) came through in a big way. Donnie went 1 for 2 (a double), had a sac hit, and scored a run. He was also hit by a pitch, and stole a base. Chris went 3 for 5 (including a double), with 2 RBI and scored a run. Chris also stole a base. Brandon Godfrey also doubled, while going 2 for 4, driving in 2, and scoring 2. All Sean did was go 3 for 5 (also including a double...my kind of broken record) with an RBI. We haven't seen this kind of production from the top of the order since the ASU series” … see I told you he was a good read…now my complaint dept….Baylor junior right-hander Abe Woody has been named to the initial watch list for the 2005 National Stopper of the Year Award, there are 30, but our guys Anderson and Jamison aren’t on the list… news from our Boston sources, for the first spring dance between the world champs and the Yankees on Monday the BoSox will start Abe Alvarez who is still staring at the World Series ring he earned for his trip to the bigs last season…get on down to Fort Myers and catch it with me—DR. DAN


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