Sunday, April 10, 2005


With his students just past the mid term, Professor Mike Weathers of the California State University, Long Beach continues to press his charges in the classroom and the laboratory. Grade the Weatherman warm and sunny this week with the long term Long Beach baseball Weather report equally optimistic.

The most recent exam came last weekend in the diamond lab at UC Irvine and Sunday’s class evaluation was perhaps the most perfect performance of the year. The reason behind that claim was that the top to bottom balance of the team was tested and passed with flying colors. The work that generally jumps out at you when evaluating the Dirtbags comes from the mound, but on Sunday the Beach offense backed up Jared Hughes’s complete game with seven doubles, every offensive player had a stat, and five of them got their first start of the weekend. Pretty impressive, but the best of 2005, well debates like that are what makes the game fun.

I am aware that back on March 18th when leadoff man Evan Longoria reached on an error and scored the only run of the game it was quite a moment. That fantastic Friday saw two potential first-round draft picks battle curveball and slider (Cesar Ramos and Wichita State’s Mike Pelfrey) but for me you gotta have more than swings and misses to make the game fun.

That’s why we humbly nominate Sunday’s case study as the mid term’s best. Jared Hughes, now 4-2, allowed a mere two balls get out of the infield while those Sunday soldiers took no prisoner’s in their half of each inning. Jared, towering at 6-5, 10 strikeouts including the side looking in the seventh, made the host team think that the other Jered, Weaver, had snuck back into a Niner uniform. Hughes faced just four over the minimum and even got tougher as the day went on, with eight Ks in his final five innings.

The hitters were a mixture of old and new. The hottest hitter on the team, Sean Boatright, went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, including his first homerun of the season but freshman first baseman Brandon Godfrey had a four-hit afternoon. The super subs were led by catcher Tito Cruz, 3-for-5 with two RBIs as well, a two-out RBI double from Jaime Huizar, two runs scored by Cole Jacobsen, a 2-5 afternoon from Tom Wolf, 2 RBIs from Steve Velazco, and a ringing double from Danny Mocny. Ten nothing, ten strikeouts, and a bunch of unknown soldiers stepping up, I rest my case.

DUSTING UP—Another weekend and another series win for the Beach. They did it on the road again. Winners of series AT ranked Arizona State, AT ranked Baylor and AT ranked Wichita State and now AT UC Irvine, this weekend’s homecoming at Blair field with Northridge should be a celebration featuring a full cast of contributors.
Niner fans of course hope that the days of the coolish aluminum are behind them and that the depth the Niner brain trust is developing will pay off. For the visiting Matadors they probably like the idea of getting out of town and away from their Mat-A-Patch launching pad with its’ bumpy infield. Besides everyone can take in the free Dirtbag Car Show on Saturday and get a free key chain, free vintage rides not included.

Last add breaking news, pencil in Gregg Dobbs as another Niner in the show, joining Jeremy Reed in Seattle and say goodbye to women’s athletic trainer Deborah Williams who bolts the Beach for a drug rep job with the big money folks at Merck.
Finally, our closing number is 798, as in the softball wins by LB’s softball coach Pete Manarino. His team will try to get him to 800 this weekend when Northridge is on campus for a three-game series.—DR. DAN


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