Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Phil Hester has a nice seat at Blair Field, about two rows up on the first base side and so far he has enjoyed the work of his spring tenant, Long Beach State baseball. The have drawn some nice crowds, haven’t lost a game, and he’s virtually the only college sports landlord allowed to sell beer.

Phil is the department chief for LB Parks and Rec but like all good managers he is only as goods as his team, and there are no better grounds crew in the land than firm of Lupold, Buckley, Gadbaw and Messal. Less expensive than your Beverly Hills lawyers, Scott Lupold, Nick Buckley, Mike Gadbaw, and Landon Messal swept the standing water all morning, pulled the tarp off at 2 p.m. and hauled out bags of Turface, at $15 a bag the secret potion to absorb gallons of water in the wink of an eye.

And now you know the rest of the story and why we have the UCLA baseball team (5-9) on the field to face our No. 15/16 Long Beach State Dirtbags (9-4). The Bruins are looking to win at Blair for the first time since 1995 and er, ah, it won’t be easy. LB has won five of their last six including that hosing of Illinois-Chicago this past weekend, drowning the Flames for 26 of 27 innings. The Niner mound work is the talk of the nation, a 2.63 team ERA and has held opponents to a miserly .232 batting average but this is a Tuesday and a first start for freshman lefthander Shane Peterson (0-0, 3.86) who faces off against UCLA lefty Brian Schroeder (1-0, 3.14) who already has a Tuesday win when he threw 6.0 innings, allowing no runs on four hits with four strikeouts and two walks as the Bruins shut out Pepperdine. So since Brian was the 2005 UCLA Co-Pitcher of the Year and led the staff with four wins is former Irvine skipper John Savage stacking the Tuesday deck for a win over his old foe? Film at 11.

MID WEEK DUST—While the Beach has survived in home mid weekers with UCLA the finals have been close…the Bruins lost to the Bags at Blair 4-3 in 2002, 2-0 in 2003, 2-1 in 2004, and 2-1 last season…they just dropped three-straight to CSUF, 7-2 , 3-1 and 12-6…while the Bags have a poll to say they play the nation’s toughest sked, so does UCLA….they play 32 games against NCAA tourney teams, No. 1 strength of schedule according to Boyd's World …last Bruin note, tonight’s guest travel for a series at NC State while the LB tries to dodge the next storm for the Baylor weekend…on the spring training front USA Today reports on the Weaver brother wars…Jeff you know just signed with Jered’s employer, the So Cal Angels…"Hey, my brother was out of work, he needed a job," says Jered, at 6-7, 205, 2 inches taller and 5 pounds heavier. "I told him, 'Don't worry about me. I'll get my spot.' As long as that spot stays in the family, I'm cool."…Jered will open the season at Class AAA Salt Lake where his $4 million bonus will buy a lot of soft drinks

Baylor is on a bit of a funk coming in, the Bears had to score late on Sunday to avoid a sweep at home by Arizona State…Da Bears are playing in San Marcos, Texas tonight facing Texas State…. since the Weatherman is giving us this on and off pattern of rain you should know that the weatherman named Mike is trying to make his team look like Noah’s Ark….two of every species--pitchers, catchers, hitters, fielders, etc…last weekend’s rout allowed the coaches to audition more talent…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 home homer of the year…at first 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…and as you know Niners pitching rich again….ten players have gone into the circle and that means the good ship Dirtbag looks like an Ark that could sail the Niners right to Omaha Beach, or at least deep into the NCAA tournament.—DR. DAN


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