Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Sometimes they are Terrible Tuesdays and sometimes they are Terrific. No matter what, Mike Weather’s says 49er fans better get used to them because next season college baseball teams will have to crowd 56 games into 14 weeks when the NCAA mandates nothing before March.

Back to the present, this Tuesday features the suddenly powerful UCLA Bruins (#15-ranked and 6-4) playing a Dirtbag team that got enough style points losing a series to Rice to hang in the polls at #20 or so.
The early line on starter’s tonight is UCLA’s Matthew Drummond, a lefty the Niner fans thought was going to be a Dirtbag versus a lefty that most Niner fans have not seen before, Adam Wilk. Drummond is out of Paso Robles where he compiled a 10-1 record with a 2.10 ERA, two saves and 91 strikeouts in 67.1 innings pitched as a senior and flirted with LBSU. Wilk, a rail thin cousin of LB basketball center Andrew Fleming, had a great senior season himself at Cypress High in Buena Park, 13-1, 1.17 ERA and 118 Ks. After the first couple of innings it is hard to guess who will be in the circle for either team but both Weathers and the Bruin’s John Savage hopes the offense appears. Actually UCLA was very productive last weekend but don’t dare compare East Carolina’s pitching with that of Rice. On Sunday it was a 7-6 win at Jackie Robinson, part of a sweep that included a 9-7 Saturday victory and 6-1 on Friday. The Beach won in the 11th on Friday at Rice behind a gutty start by Vance Worley and great closing work by the right-handed rockets, closers Andrew Liebel and Bryan Shaw. The pair has not given up an earned run in eight combined appearances (2-0, three saves, 18.1 innings.). On Saturday the Niners kept it close until the seventh and then on Sunday the LB pitching and defense was nearly perfect--only three hits and zero errors. The offense however melted down--the Bags struck out nine times and lost a gamble in the ninth trying to score a runner from first.

SPIN DUST-- Looks like the hoop-side home boys will go dancing somewhere in March, either the Big Dance if they win the Big West tourney or the little dance, the NIT, if they win the regular season but stumble on the way to their first tourney title since 1995. Most recent scenario came this morning when ESPN NCAA bracket guess has LB vs. Washington State in Sacto…comment from my favorite alumni lawyer Mr. C. Smith, “On paper, a LB-WSU game would have the potential to be a 59-58 defensive struggle like the LB-AF game. Alas, the NCAA continues to insist that the games be played on hardwood and not paper.”…of course many locals remember a 1993 game when Seth Greenberg went up against a slow, plodding Big Ten team and lost in stall-ball against Illinois…that 1993 LB squad had two up tempo guys in future pros Lucious Harris and Bryon Russell. Can you say Nixon and Johnson?...now some notes on two super fans….former Niner football lineman Darryl Wright is missing from his first base area seats while rehabbing at Memorial Hospital from leg surgery…and Dr. John Kashiwabara (farther up, in the middle and a University of Illinois Med School alum) is mourning, after 82 years of intimidation of opponents the soon to be extinction of the UI mascot Chief Illiniwek…intimidation by the mascot not John although he was once the winning coach of an military basketball team in the Far East…the Chief was deemed “offensive” in a PC battle with the NCAA…concession crisis. I only report this stuff but the Sunday game with Texas at Blair left most of the 1,961 fans starving for more than runs. No BBQ and only two windows of the snack bar working mean two inning lines. Fast forward to Saturday’s basketball game with Hawaii with the biggest crowd of the season and the concession stand ran out of the pricey bottled water. At least Blair has beer if you are willing to wait…Our weekend wrap-up comes from web whiz Coeus: Cal Poly 5, Washington 4 (SWEEP!); Fullerton 9, Arizona 2 (CSF 2-1); Hawai'i 9, UCSB 2 (UCSB 1-2); Pacific 7, Nevada 6 (Pacific 2-1); San Francisco 5, UC Riverside 3 (UCR 2-1); UC Davis 3, Santa Clara 2 (UCD 2-1); UCI 11, Houston 5 (SWEEP!); Washington State 6, CSUN 1 (CSN 1-2)…the BWC has a winning record against big conferences—the Big 12, CUSA, Pac 10, WAC and WCC…Back to arms, Niner AD Vic Cegles has got a new arm to put the arm on new and old funding prospects…Dave Benedict, newly named Senior Associate Director of Athletics…since March of 2006 he helped Scottsdale Healthcare raise a record $17.1 million through annual, major and planned gifts...Benedict began his career in collegiate athletic fundraising in 1996 as a Development Assistant under Vic at Arizona State and brought in over $5 million for various Sun Devil athletic facilities…last add cross town connections…several Bruins and Dirtbags have area ties, UCLA’s J. D. Haver played across the street at Wilson, both UCLA’s Tim Stewart and LB’s Danny Espinosa are Mater Dei alums, Bruin Paul Schmidt and LB’s Bobby McMurray played for Mesa CC, Bag OF Zach Barger and Bruin pitcher Brant Rustich are Grossmont guys and UCLA’s Blair Dunlap hangs in Mission Viejo with 49ers Jason Corder and T.J. Mittlestaedt…the Dirtbags will have opened the season with 12 straight games against top-25 opponents…UCLA opened taking two of three games from No. 23 Winthrop, got swept at perennial power Miami, won a Tuesday against Riverside before sweeping East Carolina last weekend—DR. DAN


Post a Comment

<< Home