Monday, April 25, 2005


Welcome back to our weekly session of 49er Sports Appreciation and to jazz up the class we add a sound track of favorite tunes. The first is that popular favorite On the Road Again sung in high harmony by men’s volleyball and women’s tennis.

Alan Knipe’s bunch had the longest road, well ocean,. They went to volleyball-mad Hawaii and beat the hosts setting up a great chance to make the NCAA Final Four by getting the number two seed Thursday at the MPSF championships at Pepperdine. A win over pesky UCSB would put the Beach in the final and nearly every year the NCAA takes the top two western teams to the final four, which, interestingly is being hosted by UCLA who lost at home last weekend and should not make their own party. Should not, unless LB loses to the Gauchos and the Bruins play politics.

For tennis their road was over to Indian Wells and a payback win over Pacific who the Niners claim was involved in some unsporting behavior at their place during the regular season. Revenge was served cold and for the third time in the last four years, LBSU claimed the Big West Conference championship.
Switching to hard round balls, some of the Long Beach State baseball fans, but not too many players, can remember Meat Loaf's rock hit Two Out of Three Ain't Bad. After Pacific solved Cesar Ramos Friday night in Stockton the Niners (29-14, 10-2 Big West) scored in eight-straight innings over two games and won its ninth-straight series. The Beach boys got more great pitching and scored 20 runs and added 26 hits over the final two games of the series. With half the crowd members of the Troy Tulowitzki family, their favorite shook off a nervous Friday to hit the cover off the ball the rest of the weekend, including a home run to left and a home run to right.

Tulo leads the club with a .369 average as they head into this weekend’s three game home set against incoming BWC member UC Davis. Meanwhile the judge (Coach Weathers) and Jury (ditto) hasn’t ruled yet on the return of suspended Brandon Godfrey, the new guy in the lineup, Scott “Scooter” Bradley, is hitting a ton, for conference games only he leads the Dirtbags with a .533 average.

Back to pitching Mark Whicker in the OCR got this quote from assistant coach Troy Buckley, "We try to attack the bat," Buckley explained. "We pitch for contact and take the attitude that we're going to blow up the bat instead of having the bat blow up the ball. We strive for two strikes in the first three pitches, and we want to make something happen in those first two pitches.” Buck added, "We tell the guys that if you miss your pitch away, make sure you miss down. And if you miss throwing inside, make sure it's way inside. Maybe that's why we hit so many batters."

Of course some times you take the blow sometimes you deliver it and there was more ice on the Dirtbags last weekend then around the slurpy machine at the 7-11. Tulo had three bags on his left side but declined to put one on his er, ah, backside. Danny Mocny missed half of Saturday and all of Sunday after another outfield wall crash. Coaches expect him back this weekend.

Our closing notes is a reminder that those amazing volley lads deserve some road support in Malibu for Thursday nights MPSF semi-final, and, if successful, for the final. The schedule has Pepperdine vs. Northridge at 5pm, and Long Beach vs. UCSB at 7:30 pm. After winning in front of 3,856 in Hawaii I think they can handle whoever shows up this weekend. Hope you are a part of it.—DR. DAN


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