Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Those Tuesday treks to the Malibu always put one on edge. You never know how tough the traffic will be, how many pitchers the Beach will roll out, if the snack bar will be open, and what about the weather. And of course, who wins. The 2007 version of the annual visit to the U with a View had a number of unpredictable outcomes.

The traffic wasn’t bad. Dirtbag fan, Memorial Hospital fund raiser and believe it or not, orchid expert, Thom Knight Sabaru-ed us up the 405 where miracles on miracles the car pool lane now goes way past LAX. No sweat on PCH so we get to the yard after a quick lunch. The Waves started fast behind when Eric Thomas delivered a three-run double that capped a five-run fourth inning and staked Pepperdine to a 7-0 lead. Time for a pitcher count, starter Shane Peterson and the next two guys got worked over pretty good but the next four of Buckley’s suggestions, Roberts, Markovitz, Rasco and Shaw shut the homeboys down. Seven arms in all but now the bats began to take over with some serious help courtesy of eight Wave walks. That set up the second three-run homer of the season by Danny Espinosa in the eighth inning and with the twilights last gleaming it is all tied at 7-7. And so it would stay, maybe for all time or maybe until April 10—depending on whom you talk to.

Pepperdine took a 2-0 lead in the second inning, rallying for a pair of runs with two outs. Peterson the victim but he would stay in the game and get two RBIs himself but then that troublesome fourth inning when they sent nine batters to the plate and scored five times to take a 7-0 lead. Peterson, who started on the mound for the 49ers, singled with two outs to drive home a pair of runs and make it a 7-4 game in the fifth. Nothing more from the blue hats and it did look dire when I stooped behind a clump of pacing parents who wistfully said “we just need a three run homer to tie them.” I laughed inwardly since the breeze had gone, the air was full of moisture and well, and then Espy earns another Espy with that improbable comeback on a very unpredictable passage to Pepperdine.

FUTURE DUST--Pepperdine returns to action on Friday when it opens a three-game series against incoming Big West partner UC Davis…now keep this a secret from Travis Howell and his Dirtbag catching corps, but the Tuesday afternoon the Texas Longhorns stole nine bases including two each by Nick Peoples, Jordan Danks and Bradley Suttle….add in a 3-for-3 day by Kyle Russell and the result was a 9-4 win over UT Arlington at The Dell Diamond in Round Rock, the temporary home of the Horns will their yard gets a multi-million dollar while you were out remodel… Russell went 3-for-3 with one double, one home run, two runs scored and three RBI as Texas evened its record at 2-2 on the season…. Texas drew first blood in the bottom of the first inning. Peoples reached on a throwing error by UTA's second baseman, stole second base, moved to third on a throwing error by the Mavericks' catcher and scored on a double down the leftfield line by Danks. With one out, Suttle singled to the left centerfield gap, scoring Danks and staking the Longhorns to a 2-0 lead….Preston Clark (who leads the Horns hitting .533) accounted for a Texas run in the third inning…as a team UT is hitting .271 but the opponents out pace them with a .308 average…expect a big Burnt Orange turnout at Blair including some of Augies old Titan pals…he graduated from Fresno State in 1961, played three seasons for the Bulldogs and earned All-Conference recognition while also taking part in the 1959 College World Series…he is one of only nine men ever to both play and coach in the CWS…Garrido's collegiate coaching career would begin San Francisco State then over to Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo before going to the F word...this from the Daily Trojan on last weekend “After the Trojans won, 2-1, in the first of a three-game series against the Long Beach State Dirtbags Friday night at Dedeaux Field, it seemed as if USC coach Chad Kreuter's goal to take two out of three games each weekend would be attainable in the Trojans' first series. But After a road loss at Long Beach State the next afternoon, the Trojans had work to do back at Dedeaux the next day. Clinging to a 2-1 lead after not scoring for four innings, the Dirtbags got started in the seventh in, put runners on the corners for Long Beach, and Kreuter made the call to the bullpen… then Dirtbag shortstop Danny Espinosa broke the game open with a three-run homer over the right-field fence…on Sunday Senior Matt Cusick, the No. 3 hitter in the lineup, came to the plate in the third inning with the bases loaded…with a full count, the Trojan section was rowdy, but Cusick grounded out to second, leaving three stranded, and dealing "a big blow to the offense," according to Kreuter…"Baseball is a game where you have to be relaxed and repetitious and stay with the game," Kreuter said. "If you try to overachieve, you will fail. Right now, I think some of us are trying to hit five-run homers. We've got to remember that it is a learning experience."…head sports teacher for LBSU might well agree…he is Niner AD Vic Cegles who sites somewhere behind the home plate screen this weekend…he and his wife Bonnie have two kids, young Vic plays baseball for Rutgers his brother Casey football at Towson State…Cegles main playing talent is basketball but insiders say that President King Alexander lights up the open gym games where the students report he “has a lot of range and likes to shoot”…a one on one hoops with Cegles has not happened so far we hear…around the wild west SLO beat Fresno State 6-3; Sacramento State loses again thus time 16-10 to Pacific; San Jose State 6 @ San Francisco 1; Southern California 5 @ Loyola Marymount 2; Arizona 6-Utah Valley State 2 ; New Mexico 15 @ Texas Tech 13; Texas State beats next weekends host Rice 3-2 and this weekenders Texas whipped Texas-Arlington 9-4...last adds, dinner on Wednesday night for your scribe will be with the scholar athlete dinner where my Director’s Circle membership gets me at a table with my assigned student, third baseman Jason Tweedy, who drove in a pair at Pepperdine himself…final note, as much as the new AD likes W & L data you have the feeling he wants a serious improvement in the P & L data, as in profit and loss…so bring a friend or three to Blair this weekend and we will let hoops sort themselves out—DR. DAN


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