Sunday, March 25, 2007


Once a weekend you hear from a baseball buddy something like, “well we have a banquet, wedding, funeral, retirement party, bat mitzvah…but if there is time maybe we will stop by in the late innings.” Well Saturday night and early Sunday morning there enough late innings that you could return the tux, feed the dog and still catch a taut “little-ball” thriller that finally ended with two outs in the bottom of the 14th.when the Dirtbags survived Fullerton 4-3.

Skippers George Horton and Mike Weathers, veteran coaches who are known to need an afternoon nap now and then, must have carpal tunnel syndrome this morning after penciling in 42 players, including eleven pitchers. And lest we forget the brothers in blue, Umpires Heath Jones, Dan Ignosci and Ron Ridd who also worked the entire 5:43 without a bathroom break. The attendance, which started at 2402, thinned out faster than NBA players in the paint when Kobe starts throwing elbows but the hearty home folks got rewarded when little used Steve Tinoco (a sub in the sixth) singled with two out in the bottom of the 14th to plate AJ Pinocchio, break an eight game losing streak and set up today’s rubber match between the #18 49ers (13-8) and #13 Fullerton (14-10.)

There were chances on both sides to finish earlier but both dugouts know each other so well and the chess match went back and forth. Get a runner on, get Godfrey to sac, walk Danny Espinosa (he got four strolls--one away from the LBSU record) and then the up-Titans would get an out. Same way for the Niners but Andrew Liebel was the toughest guy down the stretch. He shook off the miseries at Wichita and Friday night to hang zeroes in the final four innings to up his mark to 4-1. Liebel was especially effective in the 12th fanning catcher Dustin Garneau with a runner on third with two outs to keep it tied at 3-3. The Titans previously wriggled off the hook in the ninth when reliever Michael Morrison loaded the bases with two outs and went full count to Pinocchio before getting a called third strike on ball low enough to, well just say it was real close. For the evening Shane Peterson went 2-for-3, catcher du jour Brian Capon had a pair of hits including a two-run double that gave the Beach a 3-1 lead before those pesky Titans tied it back up with two in the seventh. Dirtbag starter Omar Arif lasted until the seventh giving up one unearned run on five hits and striking out six. Enough game stuff, there’s plenty of ball in front of you today, let’s finish with notes on the napkin.

POST GAME DUST-- If you are looking for a Sunday post game option (besides the drama of the men’s basketball banquet today at the Grand) there is a Spring Fundraiser/Party to benefit California Pools of Hope at the wildly popular Tracy's Bar on Spring from 4-8…free to get in, raffles and a the usual good grub and grog…next week LB AD VC, we trained you on that yesterday, goes to the Final Four to chat with prospective employees for the head basketball coach…applicants must like blue pointed buildings, be ready to hire a full staff, fill up to eight scholarships if the youngsters on hand are allowed to leave, beat Fullerton, UCSB and Irvine and make ends meet on $250,000…actually one national analyst said that this coaching carousel ought to be sponsored by the National Dairy Council since it is all about MILK, that would be openings at the big four: Michigan, Iowa, Long Beach and Kentucky…now your early morning scoreboard--Arizona State 4 @ Southern California 3; Fresno State 3 @ Louisiana Tech 5; Oral Roberts 1 @ California 6; Oregon State 6 @ Cal Poly 0; Pacific 4 @ UCLA 3; Pepperdine 16 @ UC Santa Barbara 1;Sacramento State 6 @ Stanford 0; San Diego 5 @ UNLV 4; and UC Davis 3 @ Loyola Marymount 4…changes in the wind for college baseball, and some like it and some don’t…basically, if passed, the proposal will mean that JUCOs coming in must be eligible in the fall, thus a smaller pool…D-1 transfers who can now just come in and pick up a glove and bat will have to sit a year like football and basketball… the proposal will require any scholarship player to receive at least 33 percent athletic aid and will cap the number of scholarship players at 27. with the rosters capped at 35 to “eliminate the over-recruiting and open tryouts in the fall”…fall certification also puts more pressure on players to perform academically in the spring, unless they want to forego summer ball to take summer classes…last add where are theys…ex Bags Mike Hofius, Steve Velazco, Sean Boatright and Tito Cruz in the house…the Cruzer loving that Mr. Capon had escaped the bull pen catching duties as he did…former softball coach Pete Manarino visiting because “I get so bored now that I don’t have anything to do on weekends” and finally, the MIAs, Houston Bob, wife Marge and their posse at a big time BP banquet in San Pedro where no oil was spilled in the harbor but a little beer on the bar…and yes they could have made it back in time for ball—DR. DAN


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