Friday, May 26, 2006


Two college baseball programs cross the white lines tonight and both are looking for one. One win for the visitors clinches the Big West title and automatic NCAA berth. One win for the home team gets their W total to thirty, we take Sunday off and have breakfast on Monday with the NCAA pairings show.

Ironically the season started in opposite directions, Fullerton got swept by Stanford and Long Beach swept Southern Cal. Both teams figured to parade outstanding pitching on a tour of some of the nation’s best and they have RPIs to prove it. The Dirtbags come in at 29-24, 12-6 Big West and winners of 13 of their last 18. The F Troop is 40-13, 15-3 and winners of 14 of their last 19. Righthanders Andrew Carpenter (7-3, 2.93) and Fullerton’s Wes Roemer (10-1, 2.16) emerged as the two best in the West and get the TV show tonight but the other mound men are excellent themselves, Lauren Gagnier (11-4, 2.63), Jared Hughes (8-3, 3.27) plus Dustin Miller, Donnie Hume and Vance Worley. Closing arguments are a sore subject for both coaches particularly since the late season injury to Vinnie Pestrano and the Beach’s open auditions means neither team has a lock down closer. Both clubs do have an outstanding position player, the edge going to LB third baseman Evan Longoria with his .362 average, 11 homers and 43 RBIs over Titan shortstop Blake Davis .359 average, 3 homers and 29 RBIs. No politicians were invited but a couple of state agencies are represented, the California Highway Patrol with those EBAY-bound Dirtbag trading cards and I guess Caltrans, or somebody who has a lot of orange shirts.

GAMETRACKER DUST-The game within the game is counting the at large tickets and sweating some key conference tourneys…in the WCC you need Pepperdine to win; ACC is likely an 8 bid league; Big East –let’s just give one to Notre Dame; Big South - Winthrop needs to battle out of the loser’s bracket; Big XII a 5 bid conf; Missouri Valley - 1 bid conf with an outside shot at 2 bids if Wichita doesn't win; Pac 10 – ASU. UCLA, Oregon State and one more but not USC; and the beat goes on…The NCAA will announce the 16 regional sites Sunday and the full field at 9:30 a.m. Monday... mostly they keep conferences apart but the Bags eliminated the Titans in the team’s only NCAA Regional matchup in Palo Alto in 2002... the series is tight at both places, CSUF 24-21 edge at Goodwin Field and 23-20 lead at Blair Field…back in selection-ville is NCAA committee member and Fullerton AD Brian Quinn is missing the grumblings at Goodwin about customer service, where you can stand, why the Diamond Club, tent and all, have been booted, frisking the parking lot for liquid tailgaters…Quinn always had nice things to say about LB when he was at LMU so…big attraction for Tuffy and his crew is cold beer in the ballpark and great grub…side plot for tonight is that Longoria was one of a league leading 20 batters that have been hit by Roemer who has great control (only 4 walks this season)…in the contest behind the Orange Curtain Wes say the Evan dose “was unintentional”…but both skippers like their guys to pitch inside...the CSUF rotation is the only one in the country with three ten-game winners…meanwhile is the new Niner secret weapon Jordan Struble?...our “relatively” inside correspondent writes “Hughes had one of the most dominating performances ever all (Sunday)…hopefully having Jordan behind the dish contributed to this…Jared’s nasty breaking pitch gained bite in the 9th and his composure, even in tight situations, was solid…Weathers asked Strubs if he felt Jared could go in the 9th and Jordan said, ‘stay with him’…when Buckley got tossed Jordan was given the green light to call his own game the last 2 innings”… Struble you might recall is the lad that saunters out to catch the ceremonial pre-game first pitch, usually from a little leaguer, a senior citizen, or a maybe-sober donor..they pop it in there (or around there) at about 30 miles per hour and then Jordan disappears into the dugout…Saturday afternoon riverboat gambler Weathers, down a game to UCR and flirting with missing the playoffs for the first time in this millennium, pulled freshman catcher Kip Masuda, passed over regular Tito Cruz and told the seldom seen Mr. Struble to get his gear on…fast forward to Sunday night and on that long bus ride back to Blair you’d have to think that a 4-9 weekend with three RBIs and partnering on the Sunday CG…around the league tonight it is Northridge @ Pacific; UC Davis @ Stanford; Riverside @ UC Irvine; and UC Santa Barbara @ Cal Poly… Make up your own punch line, but “voice of the Dirtbag baseball Rob Buska” ain’t here tonight taking a payday with the Mountain West Tourney in Las Vegas…RB is also doing AAA Salt Lake vs. Las Vegas tonight but guess what, Jered Weaver got called up to the Angles this morning and he’s stuck watching a rehabbing Eric Gagne-DR. DAN


Blogger NFL Adam said...

Great stuff.

May 26, 2006 at 1:51 PM  

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