Monday, March 12, 2007


An elusive gal pal of mine once said, “so many men, so little time”. This week’s column is so many notes so little space.

Case in point, I could easily fill the space allotted with basketball bragging at the Beach. “We’ll keep dancing until they send us home,” Larry Reynolds almost gushed after he and his team escaped the center court championship celebration Saturday night in Anaheim. By Sunday Reynolds and his senior citizens (the top seven scorers are lined up to graduate in May) were still in a celebratory mood for an NCAA pairings party at the on-campus pub. Hopefully by the time you read this the 49ers will have their game faces on in Columbus, Ohio where SEC power Tennessee and an old pal of Reynolds awaits.

The Tennessee team finished 22-10 and a round one loser in the Southeastern Conference tournament. Despite their football prowess the Tennessee Coach Bruce Pearl still has to sell the Volunteer faithful on the indoor sport. The Vols are a modest 9-15 in the post season while LBSU is 7-8 over the years. The Pearl-Reynolds connection goes back the 1995 D-II championship game when a short-handed UC Riverside team coached by John Masi with Reynolds as a chief lieutenant led 30-8 but eventually ran out of gas losing to Pearl’s Southern Indiana team.

Expecting the regional underdogs, literally in the case of the Great Danes of Albany, to not travel well, Pearl challenged his Orange nation to help him, “,make an impression on the court and in the stands.” “It is a short trip for us up I-75 and we need to get everybody up there.” Reynolds, CSULB athletic director Vic Cegles and Dr. Doug Robinson, the LBSU student affairs VP, will have a harder sell although Robinson’s crowd building success in Anaheim, with students, signs, bands and cheer squads, virtually brought tears to the eyes of many old time alums.
There is much more one could say about basketball (and we haven’t even mentioned the two gritty BWC wins by the suddenly settled ladies team) but the remarkable road weekend of baseball really is a notebook full.

On Friday the Dirtbags and Arizona State traded four-run fourth inning rallies but ASU came out a one run winner. On Saturday Travis Howell's two-run single was part of a three-run ninth in an 8-7 victory and on Sunday LB collected 23 hits and had two five run innings to win the series with a stunning 16-9 win over the then 9th ranked Sun Devils. The hitting heroes were Brandon Godfrey and Danny Espinosa who both had five hit games, Taylor Krick, a four-hit afternoon and Allen Woods reached base safely five times, three walks, two singles and two RBIs. All that made the Bags more poll popular, up to 15 in and 17 in the Collegiate Baseball list.

Meanwhile the rest of the LB sporting line-up has been faring pretty well albeit outside the bright lights. Men’s volleyball traveled to and conquered Stanford and Pacific and is home this weekend hosting a tourney featuring Cal Baptist, IPFW, and Penn State. Softball won three of four last weekend in their tourney, tennis beat Cal Poly and Penn and have home matches with Iowa, Nevada and Princeton coming up. Baseball is on the road to another ranked opponent, Wichita State.

Our closing quote is back to basketball. Sweating out the NCAA pairings show Reynolds swore “this is tougher on me than the Big West tournament.” And about Tennessee, the skipper simply says, “we expect them to be a lot like us, move up and down the court and score”, (79.7 to the Beach’s 80.3). Hello Columbus, it sounds like we have a cure for that Midwest winter chill.—DR. DAN


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