Sunday, April 13, 2008


In the cool of Friday night Mike Weathers turned up the heat on his disappointing and disappointed Dirtbags. For the first time in his memory Weathers cancelled the outfield chat circle and brought the disheveled LB troops inside his Blair bunker. Saturday his team used a stirring two out nightmare in 94 degree temps to melt upstart Irvine 5-1 and, for the moment, restore order in the college baseball universe. More good news, the extra heat came from familiar faces, Vance Worley and Danny Espinosa. Worley (4-2 and 119 pitches) effectively mixed his fast ball down, his two-seamer left and right up and sliders “when necessary.” The offensive leader was Espinosa, two for three Saturday (5 for 7 on the weekend so far) and two more RBIs for a second day of slump busting. So Mike Weathers, is Espy back? “Not yet, he still owes me a few more games”. Ok skip but he apparently has earned his way out of the eight hole.

For Worley the complete game was tiring but satisfying after bumps in the road at Cal and Riverside. The ‘Eaters flirted with scores a couple of times in the first six innings before pesky Ollie Linton, (the nation leader in steals) banged a two-out single up the middle to drive in Dillon Bell (3-4 on the day). That caught the Niners attention in their half of the seventh. Brandon Godfrey opened the frame with a walk and Howell sac'd him over, but Burk went quietly on a 4-3 putout. Jonathan Jones in the leadoff spot singled in the tying run to set up the two out and much awaited power surge. The Beach would get bookend triples from TJ Mittelstaedt and Espinosa. TJ plated Godfrey and when Peterson beat out a bunt and Corder arrived via an error, the Espy three bagger put a crooked number on the aged and blinking scoreboard. The UCI coaches wore a path to the mound trying to stop the bleeding but none of their four pitching selections were successful. After Vance was done the four game losing streak was also history and made the UCI fans pack their brooms.

SUNDAY MY DUST WILL COME--The rubber match today features Irvine lefty Daniel Bibona (3.15, 4-1) against Jake Thompson. Last Sunday Bibona looked great for the first five and fanned six of the first nine Titans but then he caved in for four scores. Jake, like Worley, struggled the last two weekends but his job is to burn enough innings to get to Vincent and Shaw….oh yes, and not walk too many guys…Friday footnote there were great numbers in the ticket booth and concession stands,…aided ,insiders say, by UCI fans not wanting grass stains on their Gucci jeans…Blair has real seats you know…the latest ex Bag in the bigs is John Bowker and what a 24 hours he had…playing in Fresno Bowker raced home, packed, and caught a 5 a.m. limo to SF napping along the 99-152-101…three hours of shuteye no problem…JB slashed a 2-0 fastball from Todd Wellemeyer into center for his first hit and the clubhouse kid locked it up…in the sixth they opened the locker after he “attacked an 84-mph hanging slider and almost got it wet in McCovey Cove”…the three run bomb helped but St. Louis won…our TV pronouncers today are Syracuse grad Carter Blackburn, who like Bowker, got a big break this spring when he got called up as a sub for Dick Enberg on some NCAA hoop games…the pro in the booth is journeyman shortstop Kevin Stocker who played for the Phillies, Rays and Angels... around the Big West on this wacky weekend it was UC Davis 16, and first place UC Santa Barbara 2; struggling Cal State Northridge 4, Cal State Fullerton 2; Cal Poly 10, Pacific 4; and UCLA 18, UC Riverside 7…mean while those two trophies I predicted for volleyball and tennis are now getting engraved. In a rowdy Matadome with two busses of 49er faithful on hand the Beach won the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) championship with a 32-30, 30-27, 30-26 sweep of CSUN…next up everybody comes to the Pyramid April 24 and 26…tennis hardly broke a sweat and won the BWC with a perfect 8-0 record after sweeping Pacific…Softball however split with SLO and play a single again today but with Brooke Turner in the circle I put my bones on the Beach…peeking ahead Pepperdine (22-11, 5-2 WCC) comes to the Beach Tuesday night…they beat LB in the mid-weeker up there to start the losing streak and are poised for a sweep of USF today…next weekend the Niners will avoid the roar by the shore and the Grand Prix by bussing up to CSUN for three at the rockpile…the BWC standings are more complicated than the Russian missile codes…Davis, then UCSB and Fullerton are one, two, and three with Northridge and Irvine tied for fourth…stay tuned, lots of ball left especially today’s rubber match with the Anteaters—DR. DAN


Post a Comment

<< Home