Monday, April 02, 2007

EGGS ARE HIDDEN BUT THE COACHES ARE STILL COMING AND GOING

Spring has sprung, March is done, and the Beach basketball coaching carousel has finally come to a halt. Whew. Now we can get back to fussing about 49er baseball who would rather find their hitting and defense instead of the colored eggs hidden around Blair field.

The Blair affair moves up a day this weekend (Thursday and Friday nights and Saturday afternoon) due to Easter. The guests coming in are from Oral Roberts University, a team that has been hot of late winning ten of their last 14 games. Like Long Beach ORU generally struggles from the plate, hitting at a chilly .244, but pitch well, play sound defense and have a recent win over #7 Arkansas.

The 49er pitching hasn’t really been a problem this season but at times last weekend the Dirtbags seen on the Irvine diamond looked like they were visiting a foreign country. In the Big West conference opening series last weekend the normally slick fielding Beach boys fumbled, stumbled and sweated like a smuggler going through TSA at LAX. The Bags Sunday turnaround so stunned Anteater skipper Dave Serrano that he uttered the magic word that got him an early shower. Imagine his mood when his team goes to first place Fullerton this weekend.

Back to the homeboys, the future for the 49ers is either bright or cloudy depending on your glasses, rose-colored or dark. The rosy scenario is that the last two weekends have featured the two toughest nines in the Big West in Irvine and Fullerton. With the non-conference ORU visit and the possibility that Manny McElory, he of a couple of months on the DL, will be back in the starting rotation things look brighter especially looking ahead to very winnable weekends against Northridge, Davis, Pacific, SLO, and UCSB.

The dark view is that from a season high team batting average of .301 after Arizona State series in mid-March, the LB hitting numbers have fallen faster than the President’s approval rating. Today that figure is .266 despite Sunday’s 12-4 win and the defense has been as shaky as the President’s approval rating. Oh, am I repeating myself? “Some times you just have to grind your way through these things”, Niner coach Mike Weathers would say. Half full or half empty--come see for yourself.

DUST BUSSING—Niner softball, winners of their series with CSUN last weekend, travels to Cal Poly for more BWC competition on Friday and Saturday. Tennis is still on a six match road trip, women’s water polo has noon dates on Friday and Saturday with San Jose and Stanford and men’s volleyball (11-13) hosts Hawaii on Friday and Saturday nights.

Ironic parallel. In a season where both of their teams are young and learning, head coaches Mike Weathers of baseball and Alan Knipe of Volleyball can look forward to a summer with some of the best talent in the USA. Knipe was tabbed by USA Volleyball to be its head coach for the US team in the World University Games, August 8-18 in Bangkok and Weathers is the head coach for USA baseball’s 55 day tour this summer.

Mike’s team will be comprised of the best collegiate sophomores and freshmen in the land and will tune up in the Northeast before the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro and another tourney in the Netherlands. Alan’s coaching staff is still up for grabs but Weathers will have Wright State’s Rob Cooper, Utah's Bill Kinneberg and UNC-Wilmington's Mark Scalf as his three assistant coaches. Guess he doesn’t need me. —DR. DAN

1 Comments:

Blogger Bill said...

Nice blog. I just found it, but I will be reading often.

April 4, 2007 at 8:43 PM  

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