Saturday, March 22, 2008


News Bulletin: In round two of their Pac Four season, Long Beach State enjoyed a 13-3 Westwood romp over UCLA to remain undefeated and atop that hypothetical conference. I know we have two more Bruin battles today and a weekend coming up with Cal and Stanford, but outings like that give the 49er faithful high hopes. UCLA, like USC last weekend, view the Dirtbags with a measure of respect and regret. Respect because in spite of being LBSU (Low Budget State University) their diamond work is extraordinary. Regret--you can’t hide from this pesky Beach bunch who feature a pitching staff deeper than the national debt and an offense that hangs more crooked numbers than Enron.

Last night the offensive hero was a rested and ready Travis Howell (just eight starts in 17 games) who went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and was a featured performer in the third, sixth and seventh innings. Shane Peterson (.409) got two RBIs (total of 24) and five additional Dirtbags had multi-hit games. Andrew Liebel (2-0, 1.14) pitched a steady seven innings for the win, scattering four hits, and gave up one earned on Gabe Cohen’s homer, and lowered his ERA to 1.14. Drew also won another Friday night duel—this time Bruin ace Tim Murphy who allowed five earned before hitting the VA showers. The UCLA lefthander, who knocked LB out of their own regional last June, entered the game with a 2.35 ERA and left with a 3.79. The return of Howell to the offense is timely since second baseman Jason Tweedy will indeed miss the next four weeks just after he was getting his hitting shoes on. A pin was inserted in his non-throwing index finger. In game one today UCLA's John Savage has selected righty Charles Brewer (2-1, 4.85 ERA) to tangle with Niner youngerster Jake Thompson (1-1, 3.97 ERA) who this time last year was hiding eggs in Rec Park, not facing a UCLA offense that was pre-season number one in Blair Field. Game two starters will be Gavin Brooks, a sophomore lefty with a sorta plump 5.79 ERA vs. LBSU's Vance Worley, (2-0, 3.29 ERA). This year the Beach bull pen has the edge as part of a 2.19 team ERA compared to UCLA’s 4.87.

GETTING BUSY DUST-- the Dirtbags are in a stretch where they play 14 times in 17 days thus the need to keep rolling out some new arms…around the BWC it was St. Mary's 9, UC Santa Barbara 3; UC Riverside 9, Harvard 4; Pacific 10, Stanford 6; UCI 5, FIU 2; and Fullerton 11, UNLV 5…Monday night’s visitors from Harvard made UC Riverside happy as the Bravehearts upped their record to 5-11 and gave Head Coach Doug Smith his 100th win…one more scoreboard note, rough night for the top teams as #1 Arizona State lost to Northern Colorado 6-3, #2 Arizona split with USC, and #3 North Carolina lost 4-2 to Maryland…#4 Miami beat Wake Forest 17-4…now how did that get in there…Good to hear Dan Smith doing the NCAA Anahiem regional but where were the fans…a dozen had a good excuse, the Fullerton faithful were in Omaha watching the Titans …also large and in charge at the Hondo Center was former 49er football quarterback Kevin Starkey (yes kids way back when we played football).…Kevin was in charge of everything inside, logos, locker rooms, and, in celeb conscious So Cal, the green rooms…wonder who runs his house Kevin or the former Niner basetkball beauty Sabrina Scudiero Starkey?...which reminds me to ask what folks think about Joan Bonvicini getting the hook at Arizona…600 plus career wins with a ton at LBSU and now, at age 54, reading the classifieds…while most of their teenage girlfriends are spending this weekend in retail therapy at the mall, Jessica Beaver's pair of doubles in the fifth inning meshed nicely with a complete game from Bridgette Paganoa and the red hot Niner softball gals (23-8) picked up a 6-3 win over No. 18 Washington last night…inside, the men’s v-ball boys sent BYU packing, moved into first in the MPSF and have the inside track to hosting all the MPSF playoff games…these LB games mark UCLA's first against top-10 competition which ain’t going to help them down the road…on Tuesday Weathers stretched Tyler Topp to 78 pitches…Arizona transfer Brett Lorin will get the Monday start against Harvard with Topp at Pepperdine on Tuesday afternoon…top of the bat charts is John Hill hitting .500 in his 14 ABs…Jason Corder, hitting .417, credits batting cage sessions of slow speed change-ups and curves from the well traveled Niner assistant Scott Lemone…in his first year at the Beach, Lemone has a resume that reads like your Rand McNally Atlas--De La Salle High, to Boston College to Diablo Valley College, to Chico State, back to his HS, then Cal Poly last season...his prize pupil Corder (up from .280 last season) figures his curve ball curse is broken…Happy Easter—DR. DAN


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