Saturday, February 25, 2006


The hardest working man in show business, James Brown of the Famous Flames, used to tour the Southern "chitlin circuit" with the group's first hit single "Please, Please, Please". Like their musical counterparts The Illinois-Chicago Flames are touring the south and southwest while avoiding temps around 18F with a wind chill of, oh never mind. Anyhow that’s why the Flames start the first six weeks of their season on the road, in Arizona last weekend, here and now, Mississippi next weekend and eventually at home on March 24th. Facing the hard working Friday night Niner, Jared Hughes, these Flames begged for mercy the first eight innings of their baseball game with Long Beach State last night.

UI-C clearly struggled during Hughes’ masterful performance (he’s now 3-0) as he hurled eight scoreless innings, retiring seven in a row, fanning 9 and facing just two over the minimum through eight. A darn near perfect evening to that point but you know kids and their dreams of a complete game. Heading into the final frame with a 5-0 lead, his pitch count passed 100, the Flames kept pressing, the LB infield lost some of their crispness and things would end up at with the # 17 Niners winning the opener of this three game set 5-3. Using a wicked two seam sinker and spotting his fast ball with accuracy (no walks and but one hit batter) Hughes had his best outing of 2006. "I felt really good out there. I was really balanced and focused," said Hughes. "I was able to put all three of my pitches where I wanted to and I was able to establish myself early. I think the main thing was that I was getting my breaking pitches over for strikes, and that kept them guessing," he told the media throng (me and the Daily 49er writer). Bryan Shaw came on in the ninth to get the save. The D Bag hit parade was led by Brandon Godfrey (two RBIs), Danny Espinosa, two hits and in fact the first seven LBs had at least one hit including Evan Longoria who went 1-3 with a RBI and a walk. Andrew Carpenter, with his miniscule 1.89 ERA over 19 innings, goes for the Beach boys today while the Flame thrower will be lefty Joe Skinner (14.4 ERA over five innings).

SUNNY SIDE DUST--The baseball program is in the process of endowing a scholarship named after former Head Coach Bob Wuesthoff (1964-69), who led the 49ers to their first conference title in 1964. The seven-man committee of former players and coaches, led by LBSU’s first coach John McConnell has already raised $60,000 en route to $150,000 over five years. Those interested can call (562) 985-4662 for more information…this series with UI-C was engineered in part by the Bag’s sports psych guy Dr. Ken Ravizza who has contacts in the windy city…Sean Boatright has a back that isn’t right and with the cool temps will likely sit this weekend…Tom Wolf however was just given his fifth year of eligibility so the depth is still there…meanwhile red hot Pepperdine is dealing with an injury of its own…center fielder Adrian Ortiz (team-best .414 and four steals) is still suffering from a left wrist injury he sustained against LBSU a week ago Tuesday…where is that Austrian witch doctor when you need him….scoreboarding—Pepperdine 6-Tulane 2; Lamar 8-Michigan State 1; UC Irvine 4-SDSU 2; CSUF 7-UCLA 2; Rice 14- St, Johns 7; UC Davis 2-Oregon State 1…more indoor misery from the Mid, Niner volleyball loses in four but out of town Long Beach picked up the biggest win in women's tennis history with a 5-2 victory at # 22 Oregon on Friday afternoon….the win was the sixth in a row for the 49ers...where are theys—former Niner assoc. AD Dan Radakovich talked about academics and wore a Capital One Bowl watch as Georgia Tech's introduced him as their new athletics director…GT had recent problems with academic performance of athletes and coaches who continue to cook their resumes….Rad was LSU athletics director Skip Bertman's top lieutenant since 2001…he spent one year as athletics director at American University, associate athletics director in charge of financial operations at South Carolina for six years and a senior associate athletics director at LBSU from 1989-94…how about a home and home, I’ve got the Jet Blue tickets…expect UI-C to battle today…last year in the Lincoln Regional the Flames dropped two close games against tough competition - 8-6 against Nebraska, and 9-7 against North Carolina…and kudos to our pal and season ticket holder Dr. John Kashiwabara, the LBCC team doc 1956-1988, who goes into the Viking Hall of Fame next month…last add where’s--two former D-Bag pitchers will play in the World Baseball Classic…Team Italy will use Astros reliever Mike Gallo and Angels farmhand and Italian Olympian Kasey Olenberger against the field including the USA--DR. DAN


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