Saturday, May 10, 2008


A Tale of Two Cities (1859) is the renowned historical novel by Charles Dickens with a plot that centered on the years leading up to the French Revolution. On a night when the fireworks began a bit early, Blair Field was the setting for a tale of two very different baseball games. Friday was a taut 2:12, 3-0 suffocation of the Dirtbags enemy of the week, UC Santa Barbara, with the combatants combining for ten hits. Fast forward to last night and the Gauchos and the Dirtbags slugged each other around for 18 runs on 27 hits, ran through 12 pitchers and one manager. That would be UCSB’s veteran skipper Bob Brontsema who got his fuse lit in the third on an out call at the plate, and exploded in the fourth, with a no out call at the plate.

We shall attempt to explain with the help of the winning pitcher, set up guy David Roberts and his coach Mike Weathers. “We knew we took a blow early (two SB runs in the first) but this team is beginning to fight back,” Roberts offered. The Weatherman’s version, “I felt good when both teams had to go to the pens in the fourth because I knew we had a better set of guys.” Brontsema’s exclusion prevented his post game interview but likely his opinions made him turn red about the blues. It appeared to many in the stands that an out call on Gaucho Patrick Rose heading home could have gone either way and really opened up the contest. Instead UCSB settled for one run and a 3-0 lead. The Beach struck for an answering single run in their third but the Gauchos, who came into the weekend with 30 wins and a three way tie for third in the Big West, got two more in the fourth to up their advantage to 5-1 thanks to a triple by unheralded Brian Gump. The brawl at Blair however was just underway with that disputed check swing call that kept Tweedy’s at-bat alive. Brontsema view of the 2-2 pitch did not agree with the men in blue and he was ejected by home plate umpire Dennis Smythe. Tweedy then doubled as part of a four run outburst that tied the game at 5-5. So what to do next, ell LB got cranking again. The Dirtbags broke the tie in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single up the middle from Tweedy and consecutive infield singles with the bases loaded plated two more Beach runs. At the end of five, Long Beach held an 8-5 advantage. UCSB fought back in the top of the sixth, with three scores to re-tie the affair at 8-8 and the kids in the 2074 crowd getting anxious about the fireworks show. Good news for the homeboys however was that LB scored twice in the bottom of the seventh inning when with Jones on first, Shane Peterson doubled to right field to put Long Beach up one, 9-8. Then with two-out Danny Espinosa laced an RBI single into left field to lengthen the Dirtbag lead to two, 10-8. Putting another Shane Peterson pitching experiment behind them (he got nobody out for the second game this week) Roberts got rid of his five batters and Nick Vincent his six to pick up the save and mess up the Big West standings. Fullerton lost to Cal Poly 11-4 and UC Riverside fell to UC Davis 6-5 thus moving the Beach up to a tie for second with UC Riverside. All three teams, including Fullerton, have six conference losses. There will be a test later.

END DUST—With just a week of bull pens Peterson was ineffective from the mound but drove in the go-ahead run in a two-run seventh inning as…the Niners have now hit the 30 win plateau (30-17, 11-6 Big West) and won another series… Worley did not get out of the and is a puzzle considering he began the year 3-0…the mound matchup today features another UCSB lefty, Chuck Huggins (7-2, 4.04) going up against improving LB youngster Jake Thompson (2-4, 4.20).one SB mom got an early start on her special day when two uniforms escorted her out…all I heard was a minor rag on Espy as “program”…heard worse and will again…for the record the other Big West scores were UC Davis 6, UC Riverside 5; Pacific 10, UC Irvine 9 (10); CSUN 5, USC 4; and Cal Poly 11, Cal State Fullerton 4…meanwhile tonight at 7-ish at Legends the Big West Champion women’s softball team will await the ESPN-U telecast of their NCAA field and where everybody will play…LB bid to host but…Ashley Weber's second-inning RBI triple was the difference in a great pitching battle between Brooke Turner and Alyce Jorgensen to end the regular season as the 49ers prevailed 1-0….Turner outdueled Joregensen and the Long Beach State's freshman star extended her own shutout record with her 17th of the year…she is 26-4 on the year and feeling better thanks to an injection that cooled off a hot nerve in her back…striking out seven batters, Turner benefitted from error-free defense behind her, scattering four hits on the way to the win. Prior to the game, the 49ers also paid tribute to the team's four departing seniors, Jessica Beaver, Brooke LeSage, Franciska Morlet and Lacy Tyler---last add looking good, LB alum Paul Goydos took the lead Saturday at the PGA Player’s championship wearing the inter-locking LB baseball hat for all the world to see…and a happy Mother’s Day to all here, around and up there—DR. DAN


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