Sunday, February 11, 2007

LIKELY HEROES, UNLIKELY HEROES, FIRST PAYDAYS AND GOING OFF THE CHARTS

When the arm chair experts imagined this week in Long Beach State baseball they expected that head Coach Mike Weathers would have a frown on his face. After all his team would be packing their bags for a trip to pre-season top-ranked Rice after two straight weekends full of the blue bloods of college baseball, Southern Cal and Texas. Between them these two schools had 53 College World Series appearances and 18 championships. So what is the Weather report for this weekend?

Surprisingly it is really upbeat, more than partly sunny. “We are very positive about what we have done so far but I do have one problem.” Aha, now the confession of a troubled mind. “Yes, you know we can only take 27 players on this trip and only 25 to conference games.” So after shocking series wins over both the Trojans and the Longhorns the Dirtbag contributing players’ number 31 and that means four lads are getting left behind. “It is a tough job but that’s why they give it to me” Weathers smiled, perhaps hoping that the competition for playing time will keep his cardiac kids over-achieving, at least in the minds of the Dirtbag doubtful.

MIXED DUST—With every spring sport underway, the 49er faithful were scattered across the landscape and the TV channels. Tops on TV was the remarkable run of first year player and Long Beach Alum John Mallinger who stayed on or near the top of the leaderboard at the Bing Crosby in Pebble Beach. He finished a surprising third with a $347,000 pay day and invites for the rest of the PGA tour events this year.

Next up on the TV list was the men’s basketball game at Santa Barbara for those who didn’t take that champagne-fueled booster bus. After a Thursday win at Cal Poly the Gaucho game was vital to staying on top of the Big West or at least in the top two who earn byes to the conference tourney semi finals. The result--LBSU got another buzzer beating big shot from Aaron Nixon, ripped the heart out of UCSB 68-67 and likely saved some sofas from going ablaze in Isla Vista, a favorite student prank. The lads play Hawaii in an ESPN Bracket Buster game Saturday night in the Mid.

The big news about women’s tennis isn’t that they continue to win but that insiders say that if the proposed Student Rec Center fee increase is passed that the dumpy current complex will be replaced with new courts and actual stadium type stands. The new complex would be off Palo Verde behind Engineering and near the new parking buildings. The 28th ranked Beach swingers improved to 3-1 overall and 2-0 against Big West foes. They play at SDSU Friday and host Riverside Saturday.

Back to bases, last weekend’s excitement was courtesy of a couple of unlikely heroes. Friday night the Beach won in the bottom of the ninth when Bobby McMurray (for two years on the injury list) knocked in two runs to tie the contest and then Danny Espinosa, latest in a line of great Niner infielders (can you say Chris Gomez, Bobby Crosby, Troy Tulowitzki and Evan Longoria) had the game-winner. Saturday’s unsung hero, Brian Capon, got his first college hit in the 10th for the series clinching victory.

That brings us to our closing quote which comes from LBSU Distance Coach Matt Roe speaking of Long Beach State senior runner Jimmy Grabow who clocked the seventh fastest time in the world at the University of Washington Invitational. Grabow also set the school-record in the indoor 5000-meter with a time of 13:44.04 and prompted his coach to say, “he is off the charts”.—DR. DAN

1 Comments:

Blogger NFL Adam said...

Great weekend, Bags. The Big West is looking strong.

February 12, 2007 at 9:56 AM  

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