Friday, March 25, 2005


Sssh, don’t tell those wizards in the top 25 college baseball polls but the gap between Number One and Number Nothing just got a little closer. It happened this way. A fist-pumping, play-making Cesar Ramos allowed only two hits, had a stretch in the middle of the contest when retired 11 Titan hitters in a row and, more important, another steak when he mowed down the final eight Titans. The last out came when freshman Brandon Godfrey stabbed a scorcher down the first base chalk and zipped it to a racing Ramos for the nail in the Elephant’s fifth coffin 3-2. That upped the Niner un-ranked mark to 17-9 heading into another great mound match up tonight when unbeatens Ryan Schreppel (4-0, 1.80) and Marco Estrada (5-0, 1.94) collide.

The chilled but stirred Thursday night crowd of 1,744 (once ump Mel Gatson finally arrived) was perhaps most amazed that a Titan offense that was averaging over 13 hits and nine runs per game could not support impressive work by Lucy and Desi’s pride, Little Rickey Romero, who has given up just four runs in his last 15.2 innings but has two losses for his efforts. The stands were full of scouts to see the USA team mates Ramos and Romero, but got a bonus when first round MLB prospect Troy Tulowitzki begged his way off the DL list and gave the talent hunters somebody else to write home about. For the pro writers, these great notes: Curtis Zupke of the Register, “Chris Jones then fought Romero to a 3-2 count and brought home Sindlinger on a line drive up the middle for the go-ahead run" He (Romero) started to fatigue, and that pumped me up and got me going," Ramos said. From Eric Stephens of the Times, “"Great pitching is usually in this series," Long Beach Coach Mike Weathers said.”I know a lot of pro scouts were here tonight. They go all over the country and they said they were here tonight because they didn't think there were any better in the country." The X factor however was Tulo who turned the game on in the third when he pulled the ball down the right field line to drive home speedy Sean Boatright who successfully bunted his way on. In the seventh Romero gave up a leadoff walk to Godfrey then hit Chuck and both lads scored after back-to-back RBI singles courtesy of Evan Longoria and Chris Jones. With Ramos now sky high, the Titans swung early and often and headed back behind the Orange curtain to return tonight.

WEAVING DUST—this from Steve Bisheff of the Register, “It seems clear that 24 hours before the draft, the Angels had no intention of picking Weaver. Stoneman and Eddie Bane reportedly had settled on Phil Hughes who eventually was selected by the Yankees late in the first round…Stoneman was so sure Weaver wasn't on his team's radar, he hadn't even traveled to see him pitch”…now my source in the stands adds that a critical date has passed, that date being just before a tax law changed affecting how much of a bonus a player can keep…so with cheapos Arizona and KC having the first picks next year one wonders if the Halo’s have fudged up a nice kid…in the coaching derby could almost-LB coach and UNC, ND coach Matt Doherty actually become a 49er…well if UNC Charlotte’s Bobby Lutz, replaces Buzz Peterson, who was fired by Tennessee this month and Matt would go to UNCC…and lead the east coast Niners…last hoop chat… The BWC loses 2 schools next season and gains only non-tourney eligible UC Davis so everybody gets a pass to almost-Disneyland…condolences to our pal Houston Bob who is in Texas today for the funeral of his mother…a national expert in the oil transfer business, I quit bugging Bob about the cost of a gallon of gas when I figured out that when my secretary uses Whiteout a 7 oz jug is $1.39 or $25.42 per gallon and the Nyquil I have been guzzling sells a 6 oz bottle for $8.35—or $178.13 per gallon…around the BWC today Davis at Riverside; Oral Roberts at UCSB; and Pacific at Stanford… closing note…could Jeremy Reed who has the inside track to be the Mariners' center fielder join his old roomie Bobby Crosby as an AL Rookie of the Year?...he had a 66/58 walk/strikeout ratio in Triple-A and Seattle last season and looks great in camp so far—DR. DAN


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