Monday, April 30, 2007


After a career of athletic hop-scotching, Vic Cegles has found something he really likes to do. Stand alongside his own coaches and athletes while they collect championship hardware. As an assistant Cegles’ sporting sojourn ran through academies at Bucknell, West Virginia Wesleyan, Carnegie Mellon, Arizona State and Temple before he became the top cat for LBSU athletics almost a year ago.

That background in mind, the temperatures were hot but on Sunday afternoon the Niner women’s tennis team was even hotter as they collected their fourth consecutive Big West title and a ticket to the NCAA championships that begin next weekend. Cegles smiled, shook hands and must have begun to realize that, despite the daily pressure to increase funding for such boutique sports as tennis and soccer; trophy presentations are very nice.

ROAD DUST-- The story of the Dirtbag baseball in Stockton last weekend was as much perseverance as Pacific. Pacific, the opponent, is either snake bit or not very good but, like the other Big West cellar dweller UC Davis, they also have players and coaches who see a bull’s-eye on the back of those Beach uniforms. It wasn’t easy but on Friday, after Pacific led most of the game, LBSU scored four runs in the last three innings to escape with an 8-6 win.

On Saturday the Niners led 5-0 after five and then had to sweat out an 8-4 win thanks in large part to the 117 pitches thrown by Andrew Liebel a career reliever who previously, in a busy game, might throw 7 to 17.

The final drama was on Sunday when LB and the Tigers battled for 14 innings, (five hours and 45 minutes) before the Niners (27-14, 7-2 Big West) survived and swept Pacific. Combined with Fullerton’s collapse, the Beach and Riverside now share first place half way to the finish line. So how did the polls react, mixed results. Baseball America moved the Beach in at #24, Rivals is at #19, but unranked by Collegiate Baseball and ESPN. The RPI dropped to #9 and likely won’t go up this weekend when RPI # 73 SLO comes in.

The other good news from the Delta was softball’s series win over the lady Tigers to keep LB playoff chances alive. The Sweethearts of Swat have UC Davis on campus this weekend while at Blair the Beach boys take on Cal Poly trying to hold on to the BWC top spot. Cal Poly, tough anywhere, is at least a bit easier on the road as is Riverside who comes to town in two weeks. The remaining road trips for the Bags are to UCSB and CSUF.

So how bad did that Riverside trip make the Fullerton faithful feel? This quote from their web board tells it all, “Exhausting weekend, freeway, a loss, more freeway, freeway, a loss, more freeway, freeway, a loss, more freeway.” Fullerton fell out of the BA poll.

Going inside, those passionate hoop-a-holics at the LBSU will likely have to wait another couple of weeks before their 2007-2008 basketball roster and coaching staff is finally set. Interviewing was hot and heavy on both fronts last week interspersed with those NCAA-allowed small group workouts. The most recent pairings are 7 footer Andrew Fleming and 6-7 Arturas Lasdauskas dueling and drilling, the four guards in their own small group exercise and Chris Peys by himself. Peys, the 6-5 sharpshooter out of LB Poly, missed the final six games of the season with mono and because he had to drop a couple of classes, will use summer school to regain his eligibility.

Now for our closing quote we go to our opening salute. Talking to the campus press after he first arrived last May, Mr. Cegles was asked what he could do to get more students at the courts, pools, courses, etc. to turn the program around. “Yes, it all starts with the students," he said. "But you have to win." Pass the silver cup please.—DR. DAN


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