Wednesday, April 09, 2008


From the looks of my in-box it must be time for another edition of Notes on My Napkin. All sorts of stuff crammed in there and, hopefully, my annual application for the IRS creative fiction award (if you know what I mean.)

Painful as it may be, we start with Long Beach State baseball. Shocking the college baseball world a couple of weeks ago, winning every series and chasing more big names than the paparazzi on Oscar night. These days the Beach looks “sweep spoiled” and just ordinary. On Friday night Andrew Liebel did squeeze out a series opening win for the Niners but after that everything went from bad to worse.

After dropping six in a row, the Bags went to Riverside seeking redemption. Friday looked good 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.

This weekend the Bags stagger home but still have to face 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 1998 CWS team is honored on Sunday where the correct game time will be 2:30 p.m. to accommodate a national CSTV audience.

FLASHBACK DUST— I don’t know why folks around town are still thinking about the post-season but the memory of that 2004 Super Regional loss to Arizona caused one web wag to wonder. “I was there and remember it well. I asked the coaches about it and they said pitch count was the reason. Humm, the CWS was on the line, Weaver looked good, the relievers were arsonists that year and they are worried about pitch count?”

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.320 and his team is a nifty 22-6.

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. The softball team is 29-10 hosting Cal Poly this weekend, while MVB plays at the initials, UCSB and CSUN with a first round MPSF bye at stake. Tennis hosts LMU and Pacific this weekend and have locked up the top seed in their post-season.—DR. DAN


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