Friday, April 11, 2008


Stadium Dust, 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.”

Stadium Dust, April 11, 2008. Shocking the college baseball world a couple of weeks ago, winning every series and chasing more big names than the paparazzi on Oscar night, the Dirtbags are back home from a torturous and never to be repeated ten game road trip. What happened to the pitching (one complete game win last Friday by Andrew Liebel) is one question. The staff ERA has ballooned from 2.12 to 3.29. Overall the hitting hasn’t been too bad (Peterson and Corder are both over .350 with 31 RBIs each) but when the other guys have double figures in hits every game it is a mountain to climb. Finally the defense has been shakier than Don Knotts with a none too crisp .959 fielding percentage. So what does Dr. Weathers have in mind for a cure? Well I doubt that anybody other than Dr. Kevorkian would have your road weary Dirtbags (18-12, 1-2 Big West) to try to get well against 7th ranked UC Irvine (21-5, 3-3 Big West) who sends out Anteater ace Scott Gorgen (5-2, 1.93). Liebel matches Gorgen in ERA with his 1.93 making this duel what Baseball America calls one of “the nation's premier pitching matchups.”

Saturday and Sunday the Beach will throw Vance Worley (3-2, 4.28) and Jake Thompson (1-3, 4.75) at a pair of talented ‘Eaters, Bryce Stowell (4-1, 1.96) and Daniel Bibona (4-1, 3.15).

DUST COLLECTION-at UCR the Beach went inland seeking redemption...last Friday started fine with a come from behind victory but Saturday the Highlanders turned the table with a come from behind of their own. While there was no error on the board Saturday the big UCR four run seventh was aided by a freshmen’s failure to cover first on a sac bunt complicated by a collision with the ump. Sunday’s loss included a five run third laid on the once pitching-proud Niners. Tuesday’s loss, well let’s just say that in the fifth nothing worked. Lorin gave up a single and hit a batter, the clipboards brought in Topp who walked his first hitter and then LMU’s Angel Songco grand slammed the icing on a 7-3 Lion win...after UCI’s CWS run last season the Niners now face a suddenly chipper and always chippy UC Irvine…the Anteaters shook off the off-season desertion by their Coach Dave Serrano and, with veteran Mike Gillespie calling the signals, have taken the Niners place in the Top Ten…the marsupials are hitting .301 as a team and their ERA is 2.57 ERA. LBSU is hitting .270 as a team with a 3.29 ERA…Where they might have been. Our first entry is the brother of a ‘Bag in the Big Leagues, Oakland shortstop Bobby Crosby. His younger brother Blake was scouting around for colleges a year or so ago but ex-49er hitter Don Barbara lured him to Sac State. So far not a lot to report offensively with a modest .232 average…another guy who would like to have worn the inter-locking LB is a former bat boy in the Snow years. Remember that little squirt Danny “Boy” Benedetti who chased bats and balls years ago with proud parents watching on…well don’t mess with the kid now, he’s the starting catcher for St. Johns and had three RBIs and scored twice as the Red Storm washed away Louisville at Louisville 13-4 last weekend. On the season he’s hitting.322 and his team is a nifty 23-7...Three more entries in that “might have been” list. Watching the 2008 NCAA work of Davidson’s Stephen Curry you’ve got to shed a tear for Seth Greenberg. In 1992 Seth passed on a brash Canadian point guard when he coached LB State on a summer tour north of the border. Steve Nash- “what do we need him for?” Fast forward to when Dell Curry, an all everything at Greenberg’s current employer Virginia Tech, suggested his son, Stephen. Seth would only say, “Well, he could walk on.” …the third swing and a miss is Pittsburgh’s Jamie Dixon (132-40 in five Big East seasons). I personally got a call from Jamie asking about the Niner hoop opening which was eventually filled by Larry Reynolds. I gave him the home phone number of Bill Shumard and, well you can write your own punch line…closing numbers are up for volleyball, softball and tennis…softball is 29-10 hosting Cal Poly Saturday and Sunday, while MVB plays at the initials, UCSB and CSUN with a first round MPSF bye at stake. Tennis played LMU this afternoon and is across the street versus Pacific tomorrow at the Billie Jean King courts—DR. DAN


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