Saturday, May 19, 2007

SCROOGE AND SANTA MEET AS HIGHLANDERS OPEN GIFT BAGS AND MAKE THE BIG WEST A RACE

You could call Friday night’s little drama at Blair Field a Christmas play. The star was clearly 16th ranked Riversides James Simmons who played Scrooge to 11th-ranked Long Beach State. Staked to two runs early, the potential first round draft choice grabbed the Dirtbags shiny 13 game win streak and smashed it like Paris Hilton parallel parking. And if Simmons was a perfect Scrooge, the Dirtbags looked an awful lot like Santa Claus on defense, giving their new partners in first place 10 walks, three wild pitches, two passed balls, one hit by pitch and a partridge in a pear tree. When the curtain mercifully came down a few minutes short of four hours the Niners had closed the earlier 7-1 margin to 7-4 but clearly today will have to be better if those Regional ticket applications are going to be more than scratch paper.

Simmons (now 10-2) shut down the Dirtbags over the first six and then Stephen Penny saved the big guns in UCR’s pen by covering the final three innings. Meanwhile Beach ace Manny McElroy (5-2) struggled for the first 3.2 frames before Adam Wilk gave up two more runs walking two and uncorking a couple of wild and untamed pitches and two hits as UCR built a 6-1 lead. The other part of the Santa stuff came on missed offensive opportunities. LB scored one run in the bottom of the third when T.J. Mittelstaedt hit a tripled to left-center and Matt Cline singled him home. But with the score 2-1 and runners on first and second with one out James Simmons got the next two guys to fly out. Another missed chance came in the fourth when Chris Nelson reached on an error and Brandon Godfrey, bunted to UCR freshman 1B Mark Samuelson who just watched the pill walk the chalk, bounced over the bag giving the Bags runners on first and second with no outs. A sac moved everybody over but once again Scrooge took the candy with strikeouts of Jason Tweedy and Mittelstaedt. Today soph Matt Montgomery (3-0, 3.18), the guy who has to replace injured senior lefty Marc Rzepczynski, brings what Coach Doug Smith calls “a good sink and command of his breaking ball.” He did that for a while last weekend and Smith said, "We'd be thrilled if we could get another good six innings." The Beach will try and rebound behind Andrew Liebel (7-2, 2.47) and hopefully a more active offense and a less generous defense.

DUST BEFORE JEWELS-- It was a sunny and breezy last Saturday and the King was surveying his Kingdom. A fine new flagpole popped up behind the center field fence at the softball complex with the stars and stripes and a bright gold Beach banner fluttering in the proper order. CSULB President F. King Alexander was chilling--next week he will shake 6,000 hands of new grads and who knows how many parents of their parents and friends…Commencement ends a remarklable year for LBSU and their rookie president, who got over a potential faculty strike, hired a board room full of new VPs, replaced a llighting rod AD with a steady and so far popular guy from back east, and hired a new basketball coach. Up next are serious talks with the NCAA over major infractions that go back two and a half years. “We will meet with the NCAA in August and propose self-imposed penalties. Hopefully they wil be impresed how I handled problems at Murray State and what Coach Monson did at Minnesota.”…if the NCAA trusts Alexander and Monson the punishment might be a bit more lenient…meanwhile Alexander and his new wife Shenette are really enjoying Miller House, as fine a Deep South estate as you might find even in Florida where the prez spent 13 years…back to baseball, how about Cal Poly’s Adam Melker’s three-run triple that was the feature of a six-run seventh when SLO erased a 3-0 deficit and whipped the Up-Titans 6-3...the win gave the Mustangs sole possession of fourth place in the Big West and dropped CSUF to 8-8 and fifth place…oh yes, the excitable Wes Roemer allowed six runs and 10 hits to take the big L…new Dirtbag recruit in the house today, Jacob Besack, 2 years old and son of former Daily Forty-Niner writer Mike Besack, class of ’99, …UCR defensive star was Aaron Wible who ran down a warning track drive by Mittelstaedt and made a shoestring catch of a sinking liner by Shane Peterson…BWC score boring from Friday, Cal Poly 6, Cal State Fullerton 3; Pacific 13, Stanford 7; UC Irvine 9, Cal State Northridge 0; and UC Santa Barbara 3, UC Davis 2…losers around the nation-- #7 South Carolina, #9 Texas A&M, #10 Oklahoma State, #15 Clemson and #18 Oregon State …did you know that the 49ers are #1 nationally in team ERA?…disclaimer, it’s the North Carolina Charlotte 49ers at 2.45, our 49ers check are #13 with their 3.40 ERA…last add, talks underway to move the College World Series from Rosenblatt Stadium to a proposed $50 million downtown Omaha ballpark…it would seat 9,000 for Creighton U and the Omaha Royals but expand to 25,000 for the CWS.—DR. DAN

1 Comments:

Blogger BlairFieldSportswriter said...

Great update on Besack's little man. Two years of aged stud. Hopefully you'll get to see him this weekend at Goodwin--he'll be the North Orange County kid with the Dirtbag hat....thanks, Doc.

May 21, 2007 at 10:09 AM  

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