Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Way back on April 11 when the Beach was just a .500 team and gas was well below three bucks a gallon, the 49ers hooked up with San Diego State and looked pretty fine for 8 of the first 9 innings. Some historians might argue that the come from ahead defeat (LB led 3-1 going into the 9th) was just another of those terrible Tuesdays, losses in similar fashion to Pepperdine, twice to UCLA (now in the polls at #22) and even that nail-biting 9-8 escape from LMU.

Now of course the Beach is a robust and healthy 19-18 and, (to be made up on May 10), 1 and it is the red and black that have to fuel the SUV for their ride to Blair tonight. Last time out a lousy single to center capped a three-run ninth-inning rally as SDSU came from behind to defeat Long Beach and snapped the 49ers' three-game win streak. Tonight the Beach is on another three game win streak but with precious little room to spare if they want to earn an NCAA regional invite. Back then the hit heroes were Jordan Struble and Jose Hernandez. This week the live bats are Robert Perry (.500 last week) and Geppetto’s favorite son, A.J. Pinocchio. Using an aluminum bat and not a wooden nose, in just his seventh start, AJ now leads the team in hitting (.400) and slugging (.600) percentages. The audience this evening will likely be bundled but somewhere in the third base dugout will be Hall of Fame designee Tony Gwynn who will be followed this weekend by World Series winner Ed Sprague and his Pacific Tigers (22-16, 3-6 Big West). Still searching for mid week mound men, the Niners will use the other-than-starters-staff against Aztec righty Will Miller (1-2, 5.62). The Beach with that sweep at UC Davis last weekend is getting better and is now 7-3-1 over its last 11 games. The visitors have been warm themselves, winning five of its last seven to up its record to 15-28, 8-5 in the MWC after series wins over Utah and UNLV.

BACK AT HOME DUST—the Niner SID notes rave that “after producing two of the best prospects in the Cape Cod League in 2005 in pre-season All-Americans Evan Longoria and Jared Hughes, the Dirtbags will double the number of participants for the summer of 2006. Freshman righthander Vance Worley and shortstop Danny Espinosa are slated to play for the Chatham A’s, while sophomore first baseman Brandon Godfrey and lefthander Donnie Hume will play for Yarmount-Dennis.”…also in the notes is a .reminder that a group of old timers is in the process of endowing a scholarship as a tribute to former Head Coach Bob Wuesthoff (1964-69)…open up your check book and look for LBSU’s first coach John McConnell or call (562) 985-4662 for more information….more post-season guessing…this time Baseball America has the Beach headed to Austin in a four-team regional with Texas, Texas Christian and Lamar…nice note from super fan Rhonda on her recent ride to Elsinore…”I couldn't find out who was pitching from the Internet. I knew Cesar Ramos was with the Storm. … It turned out to be a good decision to make the road trip, even though one rear tire kept going flat and I had to stop at several gas stations to add air. As I walked into The Diamond, I was sort of taken aback by the crowd then suddenly I realized what I'd stumbled into as "Welcome to Redneck Night at The Diamond" flashed on the outfield scoreboard. And it was dollar beer night to boot. Good lord, cheap Coronas in Corona had brought enough strange folk out of the woodwork to make for one interesting night of people watching, if nothing else”…later R got to see another D bag at work, to close it out for the Storm, Neil Jamison…this old note from the UT trip, seems Kip Masuda went shopping for an “old-fashioned cowboy hat, dark brown. I was gonna get boots, but they were kind of pricey” ...Masuda wears the hat to games, and despite all the teasing the other guys went line dancing, and they wanted to borrow it…I'm still young, so I still have to listen to the older guys," Masuda said. "I'm learning a lot from the starters and the good hitters."…last add good hitters, credit Pete Manarino’s dad Pete Sr. for developing a couple of fine prospects from Downey…”I remember tossing underhand to a three year old named Evan Longoria and thought he had a pretty nice swing…then I had this ten year old try out for my LL team at short and I asked the other kids who that was and they said Rick Burleson.”…see great names from downtown Downey—DR. DAN


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