Monday, March 16, 2009


For many years Mondays around Long Beach baseball would be spent checking on the three, four or five national polls. And fearing Tuesdays. This year, regrettably the opposite is true, no polling places but instead of mid week miniseries that seems to be the time to shine for the Beach Boys. Back on Wednesday February 25th the Niners shook off the losing of two of three to USC and walloped LMU 9-6 jumping out eight zip after six. On Tuesday March 10 our jet lagged lads welcomed top 15 U San Diego and pasted them 17-3. Not that Weathers and company wouldn’t prefer winning weekend series, but you take what you get.

The Lions of course remember that windy February afternoon but have other issues. Like a disturbing nine game losing streak no thanks to Hawaii, Riverside and UCSB. At least the Niners pick up a W now and then, for example the last two Sundays have been good, wins over South Carolina and the other day a 6-5 come from behind sweep-avoiding win over Washington State. Still working with some fragile newcomers, the victory was important and maybe occasioned by the tough love message from Mike Weathers in which he at least verbally stripped the club of their coveted Dirtbag status. The final margin was made possible by a Rylan Sandoval's run-scoring single in the bottom of the eighth inning and nifty closing by Charlie “What Do You Think of that Splitter” Ruiz. Even the other dugout grudgingly gave LB a compliment. "We had a golden opportunity and let it get away from us," WSU Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. "Give credit to Long Beach State, but we had a chance to sweep a fine club on the road and did not get it done." The skipper in the other dugout tonight comes in a little warm. When Hawai'i had added three insurance runs in the eighth ex-Titan and Lion Head Coach Jason Gill was ejected for “arguing” a play at the plate.

NOTES ON MY NAPKIN—Busy LB training room…freshman standout Derek Legg is suffering from an oblique and groin injury and Jordan Casas' ankle ailment will cancel both guys tonight…if we see Senior catcher Kip Masuda it will be his first duty since returning from a hamstring injury…we do expect promising Jeff Lease to start for the Niners…This just in from Wolf Blitzer on election desk…student athletes are still playing ball of some sort and many of the 49er faithful and some admins are still floating doomsday scenarios…update--there is no apocalypse at Seventh and Bellflower…odd side effect, the some important student athletes who got the bad news on Friday from BLR did not adjust well in their competitions…they had worked very hard for the BLR passage…TJ Mittelstaedt got his stroke going with a triple made out of pure hustle… “I was just trying to be more aggressive than normal knowing that they’d want to get ahead in the count,” Mittelstaedt said about his last at-bat. He was 2-for-3 in the game with two RBIs and started at second base for the first time since his sophomore year in high school…Ruiz put out the Cougar fire in the 8th but Dustin Rasco entered the game and pitched a scoreless ninth to collect his first save of the season…overall Sunday was a strong day for the Big West, Cal Poly 11, California 4; Cal State Fullerton 4, Rhode Island 3; Pacific 10, Houston 2; UC Irvine 5, Tulane 4; UC Riverside 15, Columbia 5; and UC Santa Barbara 25, St. Mary's 11…when UCR 14-3 got in the polls this week the wags said “With the consistency and nice wins the Highlanders have put together so far this season, it only was a matter of time before they were ranked” that makes up to five teams fighting for the two maybe three post season spots, CSUF, UCI, UCSB, SLO and …now UCR…crowded up Wichita State who beat Pepperdine two of three and hosts Arkansas-Pine Bluff in a DH today with a single tomorrow...for the youngsters in the 25 man Dirtbag travel party, the weather might not be nice (37 to 56 with rain on the weekend) but the underground batting cages, erector set stadium and outdoor BBQ areas are impressive.—and welcome my green beer drinking Century Club St. Patrick’s dance team tonight--DR. DAN


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