Friday, March 23, 2007


After they rolled out this 2007 College Baseball season the first weekend in February, Long Beach and Fullerton fans played two types of games-- three outs for each side in the top and bottom of innings, and scoreboard watching, internet listening and chat room chatter the rest of the time. Today there is only one scoreboard that counts (big blue at Blair) and if a fan wants to keep track of a team they love to hate you can get the 411 right from your seat.

Officially this is a Big West non-conference game (play that counts starts next weekend) but this Orange County border war raises revenues of both programs and blood pressure of alums and fans. As far as the coaches and teams are concerned the series is more fun than frantic, a measuring stick that because of the excellent RPIs of both sides doesn’t hurt the loser as much as a win over cream puff. The Friday night lights of course shine on the pitching aces, for the Niners a big, stoic righty Vance Worley (1-0, 3.38 and five NDs) against Wes Roemer, the fist pumping, mound dancing 2006 all star who has very pedestrian numbers so far, 3-3,4.22. Worley has kept the Beach in the ball game all year, giving up just one run against USC, Cal and Wichita State. Backing up the Beach is excellent relief and a solid defense, #2 in the conference vs. #5 for CSUF. The Titans come in as a puzzle, dropping some pop ups, shifting the infield more than a Rubiks Cube and that was before their most disciplined hitter (.324 in 21 starts) Joel Weeks tumbled in practice and is out for six weeks or so. His sub is a freshman with nine at bats and that may not be comforting to Roemer who comes into the game losing his last three starts. The Dirtbags are led by senior Robert Perry, who tops the LB charts with a .342 average, 15 runs and 11 RBI but five other regulars are plus.300 hitters and playing in Blair that is just what this doctor ordered.

DUSTING UP—LB went 2-2 last week and the Nutwood Nine went 1-1 beating Pepperdine but getting on three hits losing to San Diego 5-1…the elephant’s Evan McArthur (.279) returned from his broken hamate bone and is back at shortstop and Dirtbag outfielder Chuck Nelson i(.286) is back from his hamate moment…more name dropping…what do Danny Ainge, Art and Shirley Golden, myself and Nancey Kredell have in common…we all flew back to SoCal together from Columbus but I suspect that the $30,000 NBA fine that Ainge paid for contact with Texas sharpshooter Kevin Durant is more than what we tipped Chi Kredell for his airport limo work…the Shocker series were all one run affairs…on Friday Brandon Godfrey delivered a ninth inning RBI double for the 2-1 win, on Saturday the Dirtbags twice rallied from four-run deficits but lost 8-7 and on Sunday it took 13 innings to decide the series with WSU’s 3-2 win… what you may not know about CSUF…while they are 9-4 at home overall, in their last five games they are 1-4 and just 4-5 on the road…been off for the last nine days…tomorrow the Nutwooders start Jeff Kaplan 3-2, 3.67 ERA facing Omar Arif (1-3, 3.81 followed by a Sunday offering of Sean Urena (3-2, 3.54 versus the Niners secret weapon ( I could tell you but I would have to kill you)…the polls have these teams in the same neighborhood, Titans 11 to16, Niners 17 to 20…the sweetest LB win of recent times was the 49ers knocking the Titans out of the 2002 Stanford Regional with a 4-0 shutout…opponents have three hit Fullerton in three of their last five games, all three resulting in losses…the Titans have committed 33 errors in the 22 games they have played so far (averaging 1.5 a game) and their 2007 fielding percentage (.959) is as low as it has been since 1994…the last two years were very good, .977 in both 2005 and 2006…Wichita State was happy to see the Bags pack their bags so they could get back to Mid West patsies like struggling Arkansas-Pine Bluff (4-16) …the Shockers smoked their visitors 19-2… if you are looking for an iron maiden in LBSU athletics try tennis star Sandra Rocha (Pomona) who picked up career wins 134 and 135 as the #50-ranked 49ers defeated #64 Princeton yesterday…hoop moment, when the Beach was coach searching after Wayne Morgan left, I got a call from a job-seeking Pitt assistant Jamie Dixon via Steve Holton and Ben Howland…hooked him up with Bill Shumard who had a long chat and said no thanks…what you may not know about LBSU…LB will make two appearances on national TV later this season, at San Diego State on May 8 and at Fullerton on May 26…the most surprising 49er fact this season is the hitting….the Beach boys have scored 7 or more runs in 8 of 20 …around the west this weekend, Oregon State @ Cal Poly; Arizona State @ USC, Pacific @ UCLA, Pepperdine @ UCSB and UC Davis @ LMU…last add, spy stories…those pesky marsupials (the #25 UCI Anteaters) are around taking notes for the Bags visit next weekend…the Eaters have won seven straight games and six straight weekend series—DR. DAN


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