Friday, June 01, 2007


Bad enough that you loyal Long Beach fans have to go dry this weekend but do you also have to go Dust-less? I say no and here are notes on the NCAA napkin. They are all picked from press conferences, press clippings and just wild rumors that you all have emailed in to

We start with some UIC notes- they admonish never all them Chicago-Illinois…how tough is there coach, well Mike Dee suffered major facial injuries when he was struck by walk-on freshman Ty Rubio's bat during a hitting drill….he lot of lost blood, one major surgery and a trying healing process later, Dee led UIC to its sixth straight conference championship…''Outside of me being a little uglier than before, things are all good,'' …UIC has a Shane Peterson slash guy in Sophomore David Cales…he was named MVP of the Horizon League tournament after going 8-for-13 with three home runs, three doubles, five runs scored and seven RBI and getting a save in the Flames' opener. A transfer from Missouri who came back to be near his Bridgeport home and play for a coach who allows him to do more than pitch, Cales plays second base and serves as UIC's closer. He is 3-0 with 12 saves and a 0.84 ERA…the Flames got snuffed here in 2006 but ''We're definitely a better team than we were then,'' Dee said….his team has been in three regionals now but are optimistic since this is the first time they haven’t played a top eight national seed in the first round (Stanford in 2003, Nebraska in 2005)z…they are good late, outscoring opponents 43-10 in the ninth inning…the starter tonight is a Tommy John poster boy Ryan Zink…he will look like our guy Manny McElroy, both 6-5 but this guy features a fast ball and a wicked slider and change…he likes coming out here and says the coach does too…”when Long Beach popped up on our TVs I peeked over at him and he smiled and I did too”…his record is 6-3 (4.79) and his bad games were against Vanderbilt-9 hits, 9 ERs, Butler, 10 hits, 7 ER and Wright State, 7 hits and 6 ER…but the next time he faced Wright he allowed only 5 hits and 0 ER in seven. he may not like the noise tonight…hosting their conference tourney the crowds were 714, 658 and just 543 in the title game…like most of the cold weather teams they played their first 16 on the road but their skipper says his program is well funded and doesn’t mind so much that they travel…the new uniform start date will save him some bucks next year pushing the season back until almost March

On other fronts did you hear that UCI’s AD Bob Chichester, just 49, is quitting…he told the Register that external and internal actions led to his departure, effective in August…he told the paper that he sees as a shift in the current Irvine administration's emphasis away from athletics….”When I came to UCI, I asked why they wanted someone from Colorado, a Big 12 school. I needed assurances from them that they wished to up the profile here," Chichester said. "(Former Chancellor Ralph J.) Cicerone had a vision and goals for athletics that I shared. That focus has changed."…ironically his baseball bunch went out and won one for the Chi man beating ACC entry Wake Forest 13-0 today while ACC’s Miami (sniff sniff) lost to Louisville 13-7…from the web whizs…next season starts Fri, Feb 22. If teams play every weekend, they will be able to play 14 weekend series. If teams play every Tuesday, that's 13 Tuesday games. So, there's only one additional game to play (4 game series instead of 3, Tues-Wed series, Tues DH, etc). That's the way it will work for the Big West and Pac Ten without conf tourneys. For the rest of the country, that's 13 weekends plus 13 Tuesdays with 4 extra games to play… one of my trusty box seat correspondents, Ball Park Frank, car pooled with me to Nutwood and being a former performer with the famed Long Beach Municipal Band Frank is used to grading performances and audiences. He graded the Dirtbag performances as A plus (perhaps a little high in my estimation) and noted that the Titan fans seemed, “Resigned to their fate…” Hindsight is 20/20 even in baseball…now that the fussing over how many Big West teams got NCAA invites this season; in 2008 the crowd at the top gets even bigger. All the current favorites return and you have to add UC Davis to the mix.

The Aggies are eligible for everything next year and closed this season with a series win over an above average Washington State team. The Aggies finished their final season of reclassification to NCAA Division I with a 24-32 record while Washington State ended its season with an overall mark of 28-26….where are they, Bobby Crosby’s brother Blake is suffering in Sacramento? He transferred from BYU but hit only .258 this season while his team went 17-40. Meanwhile his old La Quinta coach and a former 49er great, Dave Demarest, has his current team hot in this post season with a couple of future 49ers in the pipeline…For the hoop-aholics a suggestion to keep Taft High of Woodland Hills on the recruiting radar. They have a couple of talented guys interested in the Beach, sophomores Terran Carter and junior Eugene Phelps…another source, Beach Attack is worried tonight….”I am really concerned about our 1st opponent Illinois-Chicago. They lost on a Friday/Saturday to no. 1 ranked Vandy 2-1 and 1-0….another anonymous source says “I'd have to say Long Beach has to be the favorite to go deep. they're a #1 seed, so they won't have to use their Friday starter on Friday, nor will they see UCLA's or Pepperdine's ace on Saturday. Plus, the home cooking should always be considered an advantage….”…talented Register writer Marcia Smith says the turning point for LB was “in late March when the team bus pulled into the Pyramid parking lot after the quiet ride back from a 9-4 loss to then-No. 24-ranked UC Irvine, the 49ers' fifth defeat in six games….”A bunch of the players decided we couldn't keep going on like this," said senior second baseman Matt Cline (Edison High/Orange Coast College). "We needed a players-only meeting to air out our frustrations."…Without coaches, Cline, Espinosa, junior Brandon Godfrey (Los Alamitos High), senior outfielders Allen Woods (Lakewood High/Golden West) and Robert Perry and senior infielder AJ Pinocchio called the team together for a seat on the lawn, where the players remained late into the night” and the turn around is history…back to tonight UIC’s offense is led by senior outfielder Larry Gempp Jr. who is hitting .397 with seven homers, 10 doubles and 54 RBIs, and that slash guy David Cales… his is 3-0 with 12 saves and a 0.84 ERA with 29 strikeouts and only one walk and one extra-base hit allowed in 32 innings…so with the night air at Blair I see the game coming down to the coaches, do I Bunt or swing away—DR. DAN


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