Sunday, May 11, 2008


For years one of the biggest events in our town was the annual Iowa picnic, in fact many old timers used to call this town Iowa by Sea. Now the Beach, at least Beach Softball, is headed to Iowa as the number 14 national seed in the NCAA’s Iowa City Regional. LBSU earned their lofty seeding, and avoided traditional trips to UCLA or Fresno, by racking up an impressive 39-15 record and the Big West championship.

Former coach Pete Manarino called this year’s invite “the best draw ever”. He should know having taken five of his teams to the College World Series in 1986, 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993. And his star shortstop from 1989 to 1992, the current Beach head coach Kim Sowder. "I'm very excited to get the number one (regional) seed," Sowder told the celebrants Sunday night at Legends, "I think that we've earned it with the schedule we've played along with the success that our team has had this season."

Creighton (49-15) is the Niners first game opponent. The Bluejays went into the semifinal game at the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament and had their ace, two-time MVC Pitcher of the Year Tara Oltman working but could not pitch around three infield errors and lost to Drake. The 49ers had the top strength of schedule in the nation entering conference play with wins over national-seeds Texas A&M, Northwestern and #1 national seed Florida. The host Iowa Hawkeyes will play Missouri in the second game Friday. The winner of the Iowa City Regional will face the winner of the Tuscaloosa Regional in the Super-Regionals the following weekend for the right to go to the ladies CWS in Oklahoma City.

Meanwhile their diamond buddies known as Dirtbag baseball (30-18, 11-7 in the BWC) won three of four last week and are now on their final road trip of the season working this weekend to keep their post season dreams alive at Cal Poly Friday through Sunday. The all righty pitching staff remains a puzzle. Senior Andrew LIebel (7-2, 1.69 ERA) is lights out with back to back gems, veteran Vance Worley is struggling, and Coach Weathers himself went out to visit rookie Jake Thompson who does Sundays. “I told him to be his own man, really to be his own pitching coach.” That’s a tough assignment, SLO as a team is hitting .303 and loaded with left handed bats.

All of this out of town travel complicates life on Saturday night. Between cell phone updates and game tracking on the internet most of the 49er royal family will be in the Pyramid for the 14th Annual Jewels of the Night festivities that begin with a Silent Auction at 5:00 PM followed by the most diverse feasting you will ever see, entertainment by the Stone Soul Band and then the wildly popular live auction items. Funds are all for the good cause of scholarships and support for 49er athletes.

Our closing note is a salute to Paul Goydos, LB lid in front of America all weekend in his battle for the PGA Players championship. He lost in sudden death to Sergio Garcia but his modest persona won the hearts of the nation. Oh yes there was the consolation cash of $1.026 million. Goydos is a different kind of pro golfer, he doesn't have a club contract because he likes what he plays and his closet is a selection of brands from high schools where he subbed, Poly, Jordan, Wilson and of course his alma mater, Long Beach State. He studied finance and somewhere along the line, modesty. "Sergio played better than everybody else, look at the stats," the gracious Goydos said. "I'm glad that's rewarded."—DR. DAN


Post a Comment

<< Home