Saturday, May 31, 2008


Welcome to the early edition of your NCAA Long Beach Regional tournament and featuring an unexpected afternoon elimination game between Cal and Cal State. I know that the reference to the home boys as “Cal State” will spike the blood pressure of the hard core, but the general consensus is that there wasn’t much dirtbag in the Dirtbags last night. A virtual unknown guy in this pitching rich regional, lefty Justin Wilson, mixed his stuff in a somewhat out of control fashion, fanned 11 locals in seven innings, and unranked FSU upset the 11th-ranked 49ers 7-3.

Hardly in the same national limelight of hurlers like Matusz, Liebel, Romanski, and Ross, Wilson was the perfect poison for LBSU fanning the first six LB hitters and nine of the first eleven. Swinging early and guessing badly, the Beach never took advantage of his control issues--one wild pitch, two hit batters and three base on balls.

Post game Mike Weathers didn’t like much of anything except Wilson who played for the other side. ““Well, the name of the game was Justin Wilson. He pretty much dominated us and that puts a little unease in the hitters minds…I thought we were pretty undisciplined during that time…We talked about quality of at bats all of the time and we had three quality at bats on my score sheet all night, so we really didn’t do anything all night. The way we’ve been playing down the stretch to get to this point, this is disappointing”. Actually despite the plate impatience their was hope at 3-2 and even 4-2 if, as Liebel would say, “if we could avoid a big inning…” but alas three runs in the top of the eighth upped the Dog lead to five runs and that was it except to change the alarm clocks from a 6 p.m. winner bracket contest to this win or wind it up afternoon sizzler on Seventh. Liebel ended the press conference with that steely glare and the prediction, “We are not done yet.” Now for the Dirtbag’s match-up with the #20-ranked California baseball team. All world USD guy Brian Matusz, a millionaire in waiting on Thursday, snuffed the Bears on just three hits enroute to a 5-0 shutout by a team, No. 7-ranked University of San Diego, who should have been hosting their own show but, well after last year’s two and BBQ in SD are frankly happier taking their act on the road. "It was a tough ballgame," said Cal coach David Esquer, whose Bears are in their first regional since 2001. "That was as good of a pitching performance against us as we have seen this season. We knew it was going to be a game of inches with such good pitching on both teams. We just gave them a little too much and they took advantage of the opportunity. You have to have great defense in this ball park and we did early but…”
In late March the Bears swept the 49ers up there, 6-1, 10-6, and 4-3.

You would think that Cal will go to one of their weekend regulars, righty Alex Rollin (5.40), or reflecting on the Beach woes with the Fresno lefty, Craig Bennigson (6.79). Weathers, looking for four more games, will start Brett Lorin in the must win game and then have Worley, Thompson and Johnny Wholestaff IF the occasion allows…Paul Goydos, in a third base box, had more visitors than Mayor Foster…Gene Rotundo of Legends, hauling food to tent city, will take ownership June 9th of that auctioned PGA worn Dirtbag cap that Goydos showed the world during his sensational Players Championship…off this week, his 2008 earnings are $1,355,467…Larry Randall, the veteran Big West Ump, gave a thumbs up on the status of his fellow Blue brother Reuben Chivara who was knocked unconscious by a foul tip in the Fullerton series…”he’s got a sore head but he will be fine.”

While LBSU AD Vic Cegles was not happy to see his 49ers lose to the Fresno FSU, he was likely happier that his alma mater Bucknell spanked the other FSU, Florida State, 7-0 last night in Tally town…in the BWC action a couple of close but big cigars for Irvine and Davis and the expected 11-0 ho-hummer by Fullerton over the lowly low-riders of Rider…Closer Eric Pettis got out of a bases-loaded jam in the 9th as UC Irvine held off Oral Roberts, 9-7, at the Nebraska Regional. For Davis senior right-hander Eddie Gamboa pitched a four-hit complete game, and Evan Hudson lined a two-run double to highlight a four-run seventh inning to lift UC Davis to a 4-2 upset of top-seeded and No.15-ranked Stanford….the Aggies get a win in their first-ever NCAA D-I playoff game and improve to 35-22 overall and face Pepperdine today….we close with a quote from Coach Weathers who was asked about big names falling on NCAA Day One--Texas, Stanford, Vanderbilt and Florida State…”well, I guess we are on that list now"—DR. DAN


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