Saturday, March 04, 2006


It’s the first Saturday in March and time that we had a chat with Mr. Baseball. No, not one of those infomercial guys, the real baseball used last night at Blair Field where, depending on whether you read the Baylor website “A bad-hop single broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the fifth and that run stood as No. 16 Long Beach State edged Baylor 4-3” or the Long Beach version “Evan Longoria went 3-for-3 and Jared Hughes (4-0) picked up his fourth win of the season as No. 15-ranked Long Beach State (10-5) held on to defeat No. 22-ranked Baylor (7-3) 4-3 on a chilly Friday evening.”

Mr. Baseball however offers his own version of events and we will turn today’s Dust over to him. Yes there was bump in the dirt in the fifth, but how can you blame me for bouncing around after what they did to me earlier. First that big tall guy for Long Beach said be wanted to “elevate the ball” in the first inning and darn near put me in the parking lot. In the second inning the Baylor guy has his own wild thing. In the third they sent me all over the yard, that Longoria guy bangs me off somebody’s body, then the Bears throw the ball to hard and gravely open spaces instead of soft gloves and finally the pitcher doesn’t even throw the ball and LB gets a run on a balk. Not my fault and not my fault that Hughes puts me on the unis of two Bears but somehow the home team escaped real damage. From then on I was tired and cold and just wanted to get back in Larry Randall’s ball bag to rest and stay warm. That’s why I let the Beach get those two double plays and seven strike outs; enough was enough for this old ball.

SUNNY DAY DUSTING—notwithstanding all that mystical musing above, the truth is that Baylor is jinxed, even their talented SID Larry Little (LA Tech grad and a master of making great looking media guides) says so… the Bears have “now lost seven one-run decisions in 13 all-time meetings against Long Beach State (10-5), including five of seven meetings at Blair Field”…of course Larry has to dig deep when you have a to sell a shortstop named Beamer Weems….more bad Bear luck occurred when Hughes plunked two guys loading the bases with no outs but Longoria and Cruz tricked the visitors with a hesitation throw to the plate for one out by Evan and then an arm fake to first by Cruz before he rifled it back to third to catch and Bear runner and base coach maybe napping…more Beach good luck was sticking with Hughes when as Coach W would say, “he didn’t have everything he needed”, noting that “the big fella kept is in the thing and showed signs of maturity”…the clip boards also got great work out of soph closer Donnie Hume who earned save number four punching out pinch hitter Seth Hammock and Kevin Sevigny with the game on the line…of course that was after Hume put runners on at first and second with no outs…BU starter and loser Ryan LaMotta came in optimistic, “I like pitching at Long Beach State because they've got a big ballpark…I think their ballpark will play to our strengths because we're more of a gap hitting team instead of a power hitting team.”…okay I will forward that note to Andrew Carpenter who uses five pitches including a wicked slider to close those gaps…finally, rounding up a Friday night in the Big West…Gary Daley Jr. and Rocky Roquet combined on a three-hit shutout No. 30 SLO defeated No. 25-ranked San Diego Irvine Anteater starter Justin Cassel struck out a season-high nine batters to lead the Anteaters to a 3-1 win over Sac State…Riverside fell 1-0 at #25 Oklahoma in 10 innings...CSUN's Paul Wilson had a three run dinger but the Mats lost to Oklahoma State, 10-3…lastly the F hats, Josh Rodriguez hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning as No. 4 Rice toppled the Titans, 3-2, in Houston….and both of last week’s visitors won, UCLA winners 7-2 at NC State and Illinois Chicago beat Ole Miss 4-1…be kind to your horsehide--DR. DAN


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