Saturday, June 02, 2007


As I pulled out of Blair I pumped up the volume on my XM radio and on Friday night they have this bluegrass show that I hoped would pluck up my spirits. Not. The featured tune was I’m So Blue which has the repeating lyric “I just wanna cry but I don’t know where to start.” That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

The week began well enough; still celebrating those two offensive beat downs of Fullerton, hosting and not traveling, and what appeared on paper to be a very beatable number four seed Illinois-Chicago. The late morning and early afternoon brought intermittent reports of virtual routs by Big West brothers Irvine (13-0 over the ACC’s Wake Forest), Riverside (10-5 over the Big 12’s Nebraska) and Fullerton (7-1 over the Big 10’s Minnesota). For the first of the LB contests the secret dream of many Dirtbag insiders came true as UCLA (said to really be lacking a Saturday starter) won 7-3 and with the expected 49er defeat of UIC that would put tough guy Andrew Liebel up against the young Bruins. Expect the unexpected. Expect Pepperdine. And expect to pack the sun block because the ready and rested Waves roll up on the Beach at 3 p.m. Unlike the Bruins, Pepperdine has a strong Saturday slinger, sophomore left-hander Robert Dickmann. He makes his 17th appearance and start of the season coming in at 6-4 with a 3.70 ERA. Dickmann already has career-highs for innings pitched (82.2) and strikeouts (47) while allowing 44 runs (39 earned) and walking 29. He last pitched at Portland on May 18 and picked up a win after pitching six shutout innings, allowing three hits, walking two and striking out four. Ouch.

We will get to the reason Long Beach has long faces in a moment but the Waves, who had the support of Bay Watch babe Pamela Anderson (her kid was or is a bat boy), are here because as their coach said, “Big players play well in big games and we did not have that today.”…His team had a two week idle spell but Coach Rodriquez said that “I don’t think the layoff really affected us too much, I really don’t. I could use that as an excuse that we haven’t played for two weeks, but all it is, is an excuse. It really had no bearing on today’s game.” So what about Saturday, “I don’t know how much of a plan we have right now. Obviously, we’re going to go with our best guys, it could be our last game.” Their ace Barry Enright was wrong on one pitch, a first inning three run homer, and all he was left to say was “we have the fire power to come back and get it together and hopefully come back for Monday.” Okay, back to the blues for the black and gold... First the offense (this won’t take long). At 0-0 with one out in the fourth Danny Espinosa got hit by a pitch, Robert Perry singled into right and then the clipboards tried a delayed steal from the corners. It worked—the UIC catcher threw into center when nobody covered 2B. Result, one hit, one run and a LB lead. That’s it. After that nada, nothing almost as if Zink, UIC pitcher Ryan Zink, was the Kryptonite to the Dirtbags late season superman offense. Mixing his pitches and with good movement to the left handed bats, the baby-faced kid was, well let Weathers tell you. “He (Zink) was that good. I don’t think we were that over anxious. He set the tone. We tried some drag bunts, but when you don’t get anybody on (the final 17 Niner batters went down without a fight) you’re not going to do a whole lot. He dominated us.” The Niner hitting star, okay—hit star—Robert Perry. “You’ve got to beat all these teams to make to the next regional even the next game…so we’re just going to have to deal with it and take one game at a time” Ironically losing to a little known team in post-season has precedent, LB fell to Marist in 2001 Stanford Regional.

DUSITNG THE SCRAPS—UIC scored two runs on two chances with two outs with swings by Chad Schroeder in the fifth and Micky Pingree with insurance in the 8th...insiders expect a lot of transfers this summer as guys get their last crack at changing schools without sitting out a year per the upcoming NCAA rule...last of the Flame/Zink stuff, from Coach Mike Dee, “we knew (LBSU) was going to have all the left-handed hitters in the lineup and that his changeup was the pitch he could throw for strikes. He pitched magnificently tonight…he walked the leadoff batter to start the game, but didn’t panic….the Bruins are happy to not see the Beach since they lost 14-1 to Long Beach State earlier in the year...the Waves of course lost twice in one night when to the Beach and some say that started their spiral out of the top ten, the top 25 and the WCC race…but they beat LB in the 2005 regional right here…last weekend the Niners hit .336, averaging eight runs a game but that was then…Andrew Liebel (8-3) enjoyed that support and will need it today…last add misery loves, two other #1 seeds fell Friday, Wichita State and San Diego—DR. DAN


Post a Comment

<< Home