Monday, May 19, 2008


It is almost eerie that a college baseball season that began for the Beach on a surprising high note, detoured in mid season to a gang that couldn’t hit, field, or pitch straight, is now on the top step of another potential Big West Championship with all the rights and privileges.

Oh yes, I am well aware that on the other side of Blair this weekend are the elephant boys of Cal State Fullerton but the Big West numbers don’t lie not to mention Oregon State tonight. CSUF is one game ahead of the Niners at 15-6. No matter what happens this evening, win two of three over the dark side and the Titans and LBSU will at least share the Big West title with the Niners earning the automatic bid. Also at stake, besides those cross-county bragging rights, is the opportunity for one or both teams to host NCAA regionals. OSU (25-23, 11-13 and eighth in the Pac-10 standings) was swept at USC and comes in tonight fighting like a crazed Beaver for the right to play on and defend their NCAA titles.

The Dirtbags (34-18, 14-7) got to this hopeful place with an impressive four win road week, a one hit 10-0 shutout at San Diego State and a sweep at Cal Poly. The folks behind them, UCSB and UC Irvine, won’t likely gain much ground since they play each other. The fun and games take place at Blair (a fine location for a regional is you ask) with contests Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoon. LB insiders feel hopeful for the post season since the conference will likely get three or four teams in and hanging around the top two should do the job. The NCAA selection committee, who frankly will have almost all their work done before Saturday’s game, announces 16 regional hosts on Sunday with the full NCAA Baseball Tournament selection show Monday morning. Regional play takes place from May 30 – June 2 with Super Regionals the next weekend.

NOTES ON MY NAPKIN—You can pencil in Fullerton as a regional host because they bid high and have a great RPI. “National seed” high? Well the ACC and SEC will have a bunch of seed-eligible teams but last weekend was rough on Nebraska, Texas A&M and Georgia so those early conference tourney games will be critical. Pepperdine finished second place in the West Coast Conference and will travel to San Diego for the WCC championship but both will get in…as for the Niner play of late, last Tuesday the Bags put up a string of pearls (translated nine shutout innings) at SDSU followed by the sweep of SLO who previously had wins over Alabama, Fullerton , UCI and Cal. A major LBSU factor has been the return of great pitching. The Mustangs hit just .204 in the Long Beach series while the Niners shook off the absence of pitcher Jake Thompson, outfielder Jonathan Jones and slugger Jason Corder with subs shining through…back to your dam Beavers, USA TODAY wrote “when Pat Casey took Oregon State to the College World Series in 2005 for the first time in 53 years, athletics director Bob De Carolis doubled the coach's salary. When the Beavers won their first baseball national championship in 2006, De Carolis doubled Casey's salary again. When Oregon State made it back-to-back titles in 2007, De Carolis was in a pickle. “We were tapped out at that point in terms of another major raise," De Carolis says. "So I gave Pat my office."…that PGA-worn Paul Goydos Dirtbag baseball cap went for $4000 at the Jewels of the Night auction Saturday but fresh new ones will be on sale along with all remaining 2008 merchandise at the Beach and Dugout stores this weekend. Insiders say Goydos will wear a similar lid but adding a sponsor patch from UPS when he plays, drum roll please, in the FedEx tournament…Last add from our out of town scoreboard. Beach softball won their opener but tired down the stretch and lost in the Iowa City Regional. Bright side, pitchers Turner and Pagano return and are joined by blue chip hurler recruit Taylor Petty of San Pedro. In the BWC Track & Field Championships at CSUN the men won first place and the women third. It was the men’s second title in three years. Katelyn Ciarelli of Long Beach won her second women's discus title in three years…Now for advice to nervous Niners who sweat out fun and games, our closing quote comes from Eleanor Roosevelt. “Many people suffer more in anticipation than they do under the actual blows of misfortune.” See you at the yard, anticipating as usual.—DR. DAN


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