Monday, February 27, 2006


Since the Weatherman is giving us this on and off pattern of rain you might not be surprised that the other weatherman, Dirtbag baseball coach Mike Weathers, is trying to make his team look like Noah’s Ark. Two of every species--pitchers, catchers, hitters, fielders, etc.

Last weekend the only soft spot in the formidable 49er schedule, Illinois Chicago, came in to town just in time for the baseball staff to audition more of their 2006 talent. For example the Beach now has two good catchers, the old guy Tito Cruz and the Hawaiian Punch Kip Masuda. Masuda still struggles with the breaking ball but he nailed a belt high fastball out of Blair on Saturday, the first Beach homer of the year. At first base there are two sluggers competing, the left handed hitting Brandon Godfrey (.324) and the right handed option Scooter Bradley (.364). At second there is a choice between the senior vacuum sweeper Chuck Sindlinger (.233) and brash newcomer Matt Cline (.333).

The outfield also has a pleasant log jam, Robert Perry, Sean Boatright, Jose Hernandez, Jordan Struble, Shane Peterson, and Tom Wolf, two for every spot. Finally, the pitching rich Niners are, well, pitching rich again. Ten players have gone into the circle and the team ERA is miniscule 2.63. Looks like an Ark that could sail the Niners right to Omaha Beach, or at least deep into the NCAA tournament.

DOPPLER DUSTING--A student reporter asked Coach Weathers what his “strategy” would be for the games this week and he said, “Stay dry.” With the best ground crew in the West, Blair has a great chance of getting all three games in against visiting Baylor, Friday night, Saturday and Sunday afternoon. The Bears have been a puzzle so far and, like the Beach, played a mid week game Tuesday. They had to rally on Sunday to avoid being swept by Arizona State while Long Beach was sweeping Illinois-Chicago.

Remembering the slogans of Bob Maxson, it does appear that the Beach is hot. Last Saturday both of the basketball teams won, and both will get a bye for a round or two of the Big West tourneys. The tennis team took the Northwest passage to Oregon and returned with a 3-0 mark, with wins from # 22 Oregon, # 54 Denver and unranked Portland. They are now 8-2 for the season having won eight consecutive matches.
The ladies return to action at the 49er Courts this weekend versus two long-time conference rivals., today (Thursday) at 2pm vs. # 67 UC Irvine and Saturday at 11am vs. # 68 Pacific.

Back to hoops the Niner men ,scoring just over 83 points per game, are in the rarified scoring average company of Duke, Washington and Memphis, that other school that plays in a pyramid.

Back to the bases, the home folks were buzzing last weekend by the pitching success of the Dirtbag College of Baseball Knowledge. Friday night Jared Hughes led five zip after eight, on Saturday the congregation was agape by the one hitter offering of Andrew Carpenter and on Sunday true Freshman Vance Worley dropped his ERA from 5.87 to 3.86 in his shutout work. Oh yes that freshman behind the dish, Kip Masuda, was compared in the press box to CSUF’s Hawaiian catcher Kurt Suzuki. Masuda wanted to be a Dirtbag for a long time so much so that he paid his own way to a summer camp, hit a homer, and got a scholarship.
On the calendar for the insiders, men’s basketball (14-11) is at home today (Thursday) hosting UC Riverside before slipping behind the Orange Curtain to Irvine Saturday afternoon. The ladies of hoop, the other half of that UCI doubleheader, are 17-9 overall and still has a chance to win or share the Big West regular season –DR. DAN


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