Friday, May 15, 2009


Another weekend and the 49er faithful (faith both shaken and stirred) will limp into Blair searching for parking and playing for pride. On the road again to Fullerton next weekend, this is the last set of home games and the school has emptied its special events list. Tonight of course is possibly the last Friday night home work by junior lefty Adam Wilk who has flourished this season after his first two years in the pen (bull pen not the place where USC athletes reside).

Wilk (along with Charlie Ruiz now very draftable) is 7-2, 2.68 ERA and 4-1, 2.03 in conference. Saturday begins with a Salute to the Services and two post game parties, the massive Jewels of the Night in the Pyramid and the popular, semi-private affair at Bill and Marcia Scharfen’s home. I’ve been to both but as much as I like Bill’s restored classic cars, us Medicare recipients limit ourselves. There is more ball on Sunday, the "Be The Match" project for Bone Marrow donations and the last game senior salute, a Kodak moment for catcher Kip Masuda and pitchers David Born, Anthony Carrillo, Dustin Rasco, and Tyler Topp.

Those details out of the way we should mention the Niner opponent, the Cal Ply Mustangs, are in a log jam for third place in the Big West along with LBSU, UCSB and Riverside. The ‘Stangs (33-16, 11-7, RPI 48) have lost six of their last nine games after improving their season record to 30-10 in late April. For SLO to survive they will need to finish strong this weekend with their old foe the 49ers (24-24, 10-8) and next weekend when they host Riverside. Accomplish that mission--get a ticket to the NCAA dance. Stumble, and the post-season dream is filed under wait until next year. The same is true for the team formerly known as the Dirtbags who may just be relegated to playing spoiler (although my poker pals always say that if you have a chip and a chair). Midweek for SLO and LB was grim, on Tuesday Pepperdine jumped out 5-0 lead and beat Poly 8-4 while Long Beach’s MASH unit got spanked 15-2 by UCLA. Although iffy this weekend, six key Niners have been on the DL of late, Jones, Casas, Metzger, Tinoco, Masuda and Young.

NOTES ON MY NAPKIN--Admission Saturday is free for servicemen and servicewomen (vets, fire folk and cops too) plus one free guest…the Bags partner with the Soldiers' Angels charity to send care packages overseas. Fans are asked to bring new, unopened items and write messages to the troops…Cal Poly had national rankings of No. 18 by Baseball America and No. 22 by Collegiate Baseball, their best record since moving to Division I 15 years ago and their best chance to make D-1 post season….like LBSU last year, the Stangs won two of three games opening weekend against then-No. 3 Rice and topped Fullerton 7-4 last Sunday…Long Beach had a nightmare on Nutwood last weekend getting swept by Santa Barbara in the fire-moved series…the Beach went 38-21 a year ago, finished tied for first in the BWC at 16-8 and hosted an NCAA regional…49ers have eight Big West titles, made 19 regionals and the College World Series four times (1989, 1991, 1993 and 1998)….LB is hitting .293 as a team but the 49er pitching staff has a 4.99 ERA with opponents hitting .297 against it with 59 errors in 48 games for a .967 fielding percentage…good historical notes, the 49ers own a 78-41 advantage, including wins in 16 of the last 18 meetings including a sweeping SLO in Baggett Stadium a year ago, 7-3, 6-2 and 3-2…The Mustangs own a .326 team batting average and Adam Buschini leads the Big West with a .409 average and a .678 slugging percentage. …Kip Masuda has asked for a fifth season via a medical redshirt…Dirtbag Baseball is legend for “little things” and 2009 LB has great numbers in stolen bases, 110 (record 123; Jordan Casas, 21) and sacrifices, 51, which ranks among the nation's best… In softball the Big West extended its multi-bid streak to 25years as three teams’ made the NCAA Tournament. Cal Poly (playing Nevada) Cal State Fullerton (playing LSU) and Long Beach State who drew UCLA in it’s first game Friday…know about the campus ban on selling beer?...they solved that problem at Cal Poly by just not selling beer, if you buy a $450 top level seat you become a member of SLO's Athletic Club: Crew Coast, and they pour for free

Last writing, super fan John Connolly’s family has set the dates for his services: Monday, May 18 a ‘Celebration of John' at Acapulco Inn, Noon - 3pm, (5283 E 2nd St) and next Friday, May 22 a Funeral Mass at St. Anthony's Church, 10am, (600 Olive Ave, Long Beach)…keep an eye on the umps for us John—DR. DAN


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