Monday, March 24, 2008


In the search for the meaning of this 2008 Long Beach baseball season, it must be significant that on a Monday morning before deadline one finds themselves clicking on the schedule/results tab and looking at losses, all three of them. I mean really, 19 games into the season, 16-3 overall, up to as high as #3 in the polls, and the Beach boys have very little evidence of their vulnerability.

The first loss was a 3-1 nail biter to national power Rice, followed by a similar loss, 5-3, to ranked San Diego and then that weird, post-Hawaii travel, 3-0 shutout by Western Illinois on March 11. The last defeat gave coach Mike Weathers a script to use on his kids, a neat mix of veterans and freshmen. His theme was selling everybody, old and new, on winning for sake of seeds (post season positioning) and sites (becoming a post season host). “They need to believe at the end of the season all these games are important.” That brings you up to the moment and tonight’s important visit from the well traveled Crimson of Harvard, BA’s pre-season pick to win the Ivy League. With Harvard’s miserable spring already underway, the Toreros added insult to injury starting one of their potential first round picks Josh Romanski, 38 innings and four wins in today’s breakfast ball game in SD. The result 14th ranked San Diego shutout the eastern bunch 12-0 on a no hitter from Mr. Romanski. In contrast a kinder, gentler Mike Weathers will turn to little-used 6 foot 7 righty Brett Lorin, the transfer from Arizona, who has no record and just two innings. Lorin has earned the start in practice and the Beach clipboards want to save Tuesday guy Tyler Topp for Tuesday. That would be a 3 p.m. visit to the U with a View, Pepperdine. The Waves (15-7) dropped two out of three at Oregon State this past weekend. That leads us up to what would have been a three game road trip weekend but in this year of the “compacted schedule” it becomes five games, five days and three cities. It begins in Berkeley for Friday until Sunday afternoon contests with Cal, shifts to Stanford’s Sunken Diamond on Monday then our bus leaguers take their fancy rankings and what ever is left of their clean laundry to Fresno State. After the bus ride back to the Beach the Bags will take a deep breath, reintroduce themselves to professors and girl friends, and get ready for another ride this time for a weekend at UC Riverside.

HIGH HOPING—No longer content with just winning series, the Niners have raised their own bar gunning for sweep weekends--Wichita State, Hawaii, USC and UCLA all got broomed by the Beach boys…men’s volleyball (19-3) meanwhile will salute their talented senior class Saturday night in the Mid versus UCLA, still basking in the glow of their two night sweep of #3 BYU last weekend…softball takes their hot numbers to Davis this weekend while women’s water polo (9-10) and women’s tennis (11-5) are also on the road this weekend trying to polish their own post season resumes…last add last the UCLA section was local legend Skip Rowland, who earned a zillion letters for the Bruins in his day, and Angel Hall of Famer Bobby Grich whose stepson played for the boys in blue….they especially enjoyed when those wide open spaces of Blair, which usually haunts hitters, came back to haunt the Beach. UCLA’s Brandon Crawford slugged one into the center field gap and when the horsehide rocket took a strong bounce off the bottom of the wall the result was the first inside the park home run for many a moon…where are theys—# 11 Cal got another W out of LB transfer Daniel Wolford (2-0) on Friday over Washington State…former Titan David Cooper is also a Bear of a hitter, .377…UC plays at Santa Clara on Tuesday...last adds where’s…expect to see a Gorgen on the Evans Diamond this weekend, but thankfully it is brother Matt, good but not as great as his UCI sibling Scott…one wonders if former Bears Howell and Corder will be cool and comfortable or as they say, as nervous as cats in the proverbial room full of rocking chairs…the polls were as follows: #3 in Rivals, #4 in CB, and #5 in BA and Coaches…wrapping up with the home boys…from out of no where rivals have to start a chart on freshman centerfielder Jonathan Jones who won the Big West's Player of the Week with his 7-for-12 hitting against SDSU and UCLA last week…Jones is batting .455 to start his collegiate career with 10 runs, a double and a triple…in his first action as a college kid he delivered back-to-back game-winning hits in the Bags sweep of USC...Jones got in the lineup when Chris Nelson was hurt…he is joined by some other Fab froshes, catcher John Hill, batting .556, Devin Lohman, .300 in 10 starts at second and # 3 starter Jake Thompson (1-1, 3.62)…now this a future so bright you have to wear shades—DR. DAN


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