Monday, May 22, 2006


In the sweltering heat of a desperate run for another post season and in an unfamiliar spot behind the plate with temps pushing 90, Jordan Struble also had to make an adjustment to the speed of the pitchers. 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 that riverboat gambler Mike Weathers, down a game to UC Riverside and flirting with missing the playoffs for the first time in this millennium, rolled out his line up card, 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 a Jared Hughes complete game would have earned Stub a seat pretty close to the front. Hughes as you might know throws into the nineties, a significant departure from those ceremonial lobs he previously handled. Good timing because his bruised and battered Beach team mates need all hands on deck for this weekend’s visit from Fullerton Friday through Sunday and then very likely the following weekend in some distant clime that has agreed to host an NCAA Regional. Mathematically there is still the possibility of sweeping the up-Titans and sharing the Big West title but from the sub .500 moments in March just getting their ship in gear is as satisfying as plotting the course to Omaha. Keep an eye out for unsung heroes and let the games begin.

MASH DUST-The training room is still full of Dirtbags. AJ Pinocchio and Chris Lopez are both out with broken hamates, Brandon Godfrey (shoulder) missed last week and is iffy, freshman righthander Andre Lamontagne is questionable with a tender ankle injury, same body part a worry for outfielder Allen Woods, and the guy with tenure in the training room, Sean Boatright, has to play through back pain everyday.

On a brighter subject, the national TV lights will be on Friday night when Carter Blackburn and former Phillie Kevin Stocker call the LB-CSUF game for CSTV. If the rumors of a sellout are true, then the video option may be all there is for late arriving fans.

Meanwhile the Big West brass begins trying to sell the NCAA selection committee on taking say three or four conference teams. Cal Poly and Irvine both have hopes. UCI plays host to Riverside and SLO welcomes Santa Barbara but both clubs need a sweep to keep breathing.

Basketball boss Larry Reynolds insists he can match or exceed the scoring onslaught of last season because “Our guys finally know what they are doing.” Everybody may get to see that work if a rumored national Monday night game versus Pacific comes true and maybe more than 10 other games get televised locally.

Closing with Where Are They. There has been good pub on former Niner star Margaret Mohr who along with Sparks GM Penny Toler led Long Beach State to the 1987 Final Four. Mohr is now on the bench for the LA pros but surprise surprise, so is their former assistant coach Michael Abraham. From his stint at Long Beach he had jumped to Oregon State and then to Northridge in 1995 where be turned that program around before a drug trafficking conviction turned his life around. Toler and Mohr give him there support. "People tell me this guy did a bad thing," Toler said. "But there is a difference. It's a difference when you have someone who is bad and does a bad thing, or a good person who does a dumb thing."—DR. DAN


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