Sunday, April 03, 2005


Under Mike Weather’s Christmas tree was this package labeled “2005 Dirtbag baseball, battery required” and, if you use “battery” as the baseball parlance for pitcher and catcher, how very important is that battery. Saturday afternoon it was catcher’s Chris Jones' up the middle bang that went of the tip of hard-luck Haley Winters' glove that allowed Brandon Godfrey to come home from third for a 1-0 TKO of UCR. Granted one late arriving run was all that the Dirtbags would get but this is a season of last-at-bat survivals for a sputtering offense that relies on pitching and catching.

For most of the day the nation’s best 4-4 pitcher Haley Winter baffled the Beach with patience and off speed stuff. The 5-9 Winter sailed through the first six, facing just one over the minimum, in the ninth he wobbled just enough for the Niners to get their fifth last-at-bat victory of the season. Winter had 108 pitches going into the ninth when Brandon Godfrey singled and Troy Tulowitzki doubled. The Highlanders relay was too good for Donnie Barbara to wave his runner home. With an open bag and Popeye-like Sean Boatright at the dish he loaded the bases walking Boats who had hits all afternoon. The other half of the battery, Mr. Jones, completed a night already featuring a sac, a walk, handling nine strikeouts from Marco Estrada (7) and Brian Anderson (2), picking off a Highlander at third, with a GWRBI. As good as Winter was (and he dropped his league leading ERA to 1.50) Marco Estrada impressed with a gritty seven innings in which he dropped his ERA to 1.82 despite a load of leadoff guys on base. Big bottom line, the offense is still largely AWOL but the battery has enough juice to deliver the Ws.

SUNDAY MY DUST WILL COME--Around the wild west it was Cal Poly 10, CSUN 1; Fullerton 6, UC Irvine 1; and UC Santa Barbara 7, Pacific 6…so that means that the Beach and SLO are unbeaten on top of the mountain at the moment with everybody else very much in the hunt but looking up…the other diamond entry for the Beach sparkled on Saturday as the clobbered Utah State 19-0 and 4-0 using the long ball of the new LB homer queen Lauren Johnson, who homered in the first at bat of the game and Oli Keohohou, a transfer from BYU, who hit two home runs on the day, a grand slam in the first game and a two-run shot in the second…they play again this afternoon…From Will Kimmey at BA…when college baseball expert and passionate Oregon State booster Harold Reynolds found out the NCAA's minimum bid was $35,000 to host a regional, and that a fairly competitive bid could come in between $50,000 and $75,000, he said he would lay out all or part of the money for the Beavers if they were in contention come this May…not such nice news is that Wichita State coaches left their all American arm Mike Pelfrey out there for 134 pitches in a loss to Evansville…that number should earn a spot in Boyd Nation's "Pitch Count Watch" this week…quote book from the UCI-CSUF series…"I have a lot of respect for this [Fullerton] program, but [the Titans] put their uniforms and shoes on the same way we do," Irvine’s Dave Serrano told the media...for the Beach mound duty today Buck will look forward to seeing if last weekend’s suddenly settled Jared Hughes can deliver again…Hughes was drafted in the 16th round by the Devils Rays in 2003, was 14-9 as a prep, 5-0 in the CIF playoffs, and last weekend said, “I realized that it was the mental things. I didn’t have to strike out everybody; the guys behind me play great.”…bouncing around rumor control was the word that Oregon State asked to speak with Niner women’s basketball coach Mary Hegarty…not going anywhere perhaps the strongest man on campus, a 6-9 pup of a sophomore out of Tucson’s Salpointe Catholic HS middle blocker Teddy Liles…behind the hitting talents of Yassir Sliti, Duncan Budinger and Robert Tarr the Beach this weekend beat the number one team Pepperdine, a name but not very good team USC and goes after Hawaii this Thursday in a nationally televised contest on CSTV…back to Teddy last night he registered nine kills and a match-best seven blocks against SC while All-American setter Tyler Hildebrand handed out 45 assists…opposing Hughes (2-2, 3.55), is UCR righthander Taylor Bills (2-4, 5.32)...Tuesday becomes a quick turnaround before the Beach closes this seven-game homestand with a visit from John Savage and struggling UCLA at 6:30 p.m…going into game three with Arizona UCLA has now lost a school record 12 straight games falling to 7-16 which of course means that they will find some guy to damn near shut us out…until the ninth—DR. DAN


Post a Comment

<< Home