Thursday, April 05, 2007


And now back to your baseball season already in progress. Every time we sit down to dust up this important series with Oral Roberts the “you got mail” chime Bings in with some sort of breaking news. But for tonight at least Diamond Dust is a hoop-free zone so let’s set up this key match up of entries from the Big West and the Mid Continent conferences.

The visitors come in at 15-12 and fresh off the Tuesday night toasting and roasting of another ranked team, No. 8 Wichita State who dropped to a still shining 24-7, two of those Ws over the Beach at WSU last month. The Shockers jumped on the Golden Eagles early but Oral Roberts took the lead in the bottom of the fourth and never looked back. The Dirtbags, who had one and possibly two player-only meetings last weekend, had no mid-weeker and focused on fundamentals rather than their record. Both sides know that more than any sport, baseball can be characterized as a marathon more than a sprint. ORU is led by Rob Walton, 148-59 and the 2006 Mid-Con Coach of the Year-his second award in three seasons. On the first base side Mike Weathers is in is fifth D-Bag year (200-122) and will be the head coach of Team USA this summer. As a team, ORU is batting .249 with Jake Kahaulelio leading the Eagles at .320. They have a superb Friday starter in Chance Chapman (team-leading 0.95 ERA and four saves to go along with a perfect 3-0 record). Rested and psychologically improved, the Niners are 14-11, and barely hanging on in the polls at No. 27 by Collegiate Baseball. The RPI is still high at #3 but the batting average is below average at 266. Taylor Krick, in just 12 games, is leading with .378, whiz SS Danny Espinosa is batting .313 (30 hits, seven doubles, three home runs and 18 RBI.) And you asked about the pen, well reliever Andrew Liebel leads the squad in victories with four but there is still confusion about who makes the closing arguments, Bryan Shaw, Dustin Rasco, etc.

REST OF THE DUST—usual Saturday starter Manny McElory (1-0, 9.00) out since mid February has rested a torn rib cage and should work game three for the Beach…in the Sunday spanking of Irvine, LBSU and Shane Peterson shook off Eater first frame home runs, took the lead 3-2 in the fourth, added six in the fifth and giggled the rest of the way. Weathers told the press ,”We put some young guys in who haven't had a lot of chances and they're trying really to earn a spot”,…that would be freshmen Krick, Tinoco and Mittelstaedt…UCI and CSUF meet this weekend…Robert Perry showed some rare power with a homer in Sunday’s 14 hit, errorless effort…last bright light…super soph Shane Peterson fixed the first inning stuff and got his first 2007 win…Niner softball, winners of their series with CSUN last weekend, travels to Cal Poly Friday and Saturday…the LB net set beat Boston College 4-3 yesterday and improved to 12-8, BC fell to 4-12…women’s water polo has noon dates on Friday and Saturday with San Jose and Stanford…men’s volleyball (11-13) hosts Hawaii 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…the best time at a ball game may not be the ball game…last weekend the Liberty High team took in the LB-UCI contest while motoring to a tourney in San Diego…the kids kept pestering their coach, a former Wichita State star, to eat dinner at a joint near their hotel…Coach said..."we are NOT going to Hooters”…then a visit with Tom Jamison, dad of Neil who as you read this is motoring to San Antonio to deliver his kid that white Ford Explorer...same as he had here “not much bonus money” Dad said…the Missons are the AA farm of San Diego and also have Cesar Ramos on the roster…too bad Steve Velazco of the ’05 ain’t around for the free mouse pads on Saturday…he and Will Skett (who carried put hid a live rodent in unis at the NMSU series) were both rodent like in their speed and cunning…last add the Niners 7-7 tie with Pepperdine will be settled at 5 p.m. next Tuesday before the regularly scheduled game…—DR. DAN


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