Saturday, February 18, 2006


There were more than a few towels and blankets stolen, from, er, ah, borrowed from, Houston area hotels on Saturday but it was the stolen bases that were not given back in the Dirtbags turn-around-weekend. Combine the timely thefts and the pitching of Andrew Carpenter and the Beach for a maybe ready for a sweep deep in the heart of Texas.

For the purists it was a match-up of teams ranked somewhere between 11 and 15 in the case of Long Beach and 2 and 5 for Rice. The contest was played out in 41 degree weather before 2,547 (all but about 250 of that count were unused tickets.) The key for the Beach was holding the potent Rice offense to just five hits on the way to a 4-1 win over the Owls on day two of the Coca-Cola Classic Tournament at Reckling Park.

The hottest pitcher on the Beach bench is clearly Andrew Carpenter who worked fast, scattered three hits over seven innings, fanned eight and walked just two. The heir apparent to the 2005 saving graces, Neil Jamison and Brian Anderson, Donnie Hume squashed the Owls over the final two and earned his third save of the season. The D Bags struck for a pair of runs in the top of the third inning after Perry worked a walk from all world Owl Joe Savery, swiped second, and then moved on when Chuck Sindlinger beat out the sac attempt. That brought up the top of the order and these days that means Evan Longoria. He singled down the right field line and then stole a base himself. The next run came the hard way, via a double play but it still counted.

The Owls answered with a run in the bottom of the fourth but the Beach came back with a run in the top of the fifth via a Boatright RBI and an unearned run in the eighth off some Owl blunders and good sac and bunt work for the Beach. Rice, the 2003 National Champions, fell to 5-2 with its first home loss. Savery and last week’s national hitting awardee Aaron Luna went a combined 1-7 and the number 5 hitter Jordan Dotson who came in hitting .429, got backward Ked his first three at bats with what Rice Coach Wayne Graham called “an excellent, big time slider. When you can work the whole strike zone like he does and get that slider going at 85 and 86 you have a very fine pitcher. Tell those guys I’d like to make a trade for him.”

SUNDAY MY DUST WILL COME—That new guy on the top may stay there…Longoria had two hits as the leadoff but the personification of the Dirtbag spirit was Chuck “Splash” Sindlinger who brought up a rooster tail of water making a key defensive stop of the season to rob Luna…in the fifth Chuck led off with a bang up the middle, swiped his second bag of the day, dove into third on Longoria’s fly out to right and then hustled home when Boats beat out a close (and contested by the Rice braintrust) play at first…that up the LB lead to 3-1 and chased Savery from the mound back to his DH spot…today the test is Sooner baseball, now 6-2 and on the rebound from a 8-2 loss to Rice on Friday….OU got the bats going Saturday against Lamar with an 11-4 win, pounding out 17 hits… “It was nice to see our offense get back into the swing of things tonight,” OU head coach Sunny Golloway told his web site… “Not only was our offense solid, but Steven Guerra pitched a great game and our defense was its normal self.”…the pitching match-up for the breakfast ball noon start will be a guy familiar to Long Beach hitters, P.J. Sandoval who played with some of the lads in that Western Baseball summer league with the So Cal Fire…he prepped at with Boats at Trabuco Hills and then moved to Saddleback JC…this year he’s 1-1 with a 5.62 ERA…the opposite number is Vance Worley who faced SC (team over came a shaky start) and Cal (team did not)…his best outing was against the Pro Alums but that one doesn’t count…next week the Niners get back to the friendly confines to play Illinois-Chicago, not a household name but a pretty fair team…the Flames played at the Collegiate Classic at HoHoKam Park in Mesa (Spring training home of the Chicago Cubs)…UIC split with Air Force and beat Creighton…closing quote from the Weather man, “Andrew carried us today, he gave us a chance and that is what you need when you play a top team like this at their place”—DR. DAN


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March 1, 2006 at 1:59 PM  

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