Wednesday, February 03, 2010


A lot of college baseball marketeers like to suggest that their game is where you can see tomorrow’s stars today. True. Parking and concessions are cheaper. True. Alums, even those fond basketball memories, have developed a fondness for diamond action. True. So what’s missing in this equation? Oh, something about winning championships, or at least post season invitations.

The answer to that question, at least at LBSU, may reside in the nagging suspicion by the 49er baseball faithful that the Beach is better at building draft choices than adding to the school’s trophy room.

All everything Angel Jered Weaver opened Saturday’s alumni contest with a perfect first inning. The MLB talent hunters have mined the Niner infield for years, picking up Evan Longoria, Bobby Crosby, Troy Tulowitzki, Chris Gomez and Jason Giambi with Danny Espinosa and Adam Heether leading another pack of good ones coming through the ranks.

Another case in point are the Phillies who have ex-Niner Greg Dobbs parked behind all-star Ryan Howard at first base, pitcher Andrew Carpenter in the mix for making the opening day roster and last summer the Phil’s out bid the ‘Bags for perhaps the best pure first-base prospect in their system, Millikan High’s Jonathan Singleton. Translated, no NCAA success for a really long time but lots of lads in the line-scores.

Last season the Beach posted a somewhat dismal 25-29 season after years of not only making the post-season party but serving as a regional host. Finished counting the cash from their lead-off dinner and golf tournament, the 2010 Dirtbags are back in practice awaiting that new national start date of February 19th. For the locals it will be sort of a round robin, LB starts by hosting Pepperdine and Oregon then goes to Fullerton. Oregon, reborn under old Titan coach George Horton, who also plays Pepp and CSUF in what you could call “friendlies,” but everybody keeps score.

Where are theys—at Abilene Christian ex-Niner Aaron Lambrix, a sophomore is in the pitching mix…at Blair Field, former Miami Hurricane Joey Terdoslavich hit a solo home run to highlight a 10-4 new guys beat the old guys exhibition game. Best of the newcomers, and one that got away from Fullerton, was freshman reliever Eddie Magallon.

Going outside, Beach Tennis (2-1) returns from a pair of 6-1 victories last weekend at Maryland and George Washington and anxious for their home opener against Fullerton (0-2) in a Big West match at 2 p.m. on Friday. Arguably the gold standard for LBSU sports, Jenny Hilt-Costello’s 2010 team appears a favorite for a seventh consecutive BWC title and their seventh straight NCAA invite. Good players? True. Titles? True. Happy alums and admins? True.

Closing Dust—This is a huge week for Beach men’s basketball starting with a national TV ESPN game against Fullerton in the Pyramid tonight (Thursday) and a FOX regional game Saturday against Northridge. At stake, staying on track for a top four finish and a first round bye in the Big West tournament. The lady Niners have the same high hoop hopes and play at CSUF and CSUN.

Last add conference tourneys. This March will be the 20th anniversary of LMU's run in the NCAA Tournament. After the on court death of Hank Gathers, the Lions went on to upset both Michigan and Alabama in the NCAA first round at the Long Beach Convention Center.

NOTES ON MY NAPKIN—A potential nightmare for announcers comes up on February 20th when the Niner hoop heroes head to Idaho where their head coach Dan Monson's played and his dad, Don Monson, coached. So which Monson man are they talking about…it is that “Bracket Buster” game between mid majors and the Vandals will return the trip in two years…after a nice run last year the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Committee has picked Hawaii was selected as one of four regional sites for the 2011 NCAA Tournament, alongside Regionals at the University of Florida, the University of Minnesota and the University of Kentucky...this will be the first time Hawaii has hosted an NCAA Regional since 2006…maybe football is coming back to the Beach, hummm, still not likely but a former LBSU footballer Bill Brady will leave his post as UNLV’s Associate Athletic Director for Development to replace the talented David Benedict who took that job at Virginia Commonwealth…the Brady bunch include wife Diana and three boys: Cooper, Spencer and Turner….before UNLV he was an admin at TCU…national baseball expert Aaron Fitt has some radical ideas “I actually think I've got Conference USA over the Big 12 and Pac-10, and believe it or not I like the Big West more than the Pac-10, and maybe more than the Big 12…Long Beach should be the third team in the Big West. Terdoslavich and Jake Thompson are the two main guys to watch for the draft -- could see both going as high as the top three or maybe even top two rounds.”…newest Grasshopper (Florida Marlin affiliate) is hitting coach Kevin Randel who Dirtbagged a few years ago…he spent the 2009 season as a player for the Jacksonville the Suns who won the 2009 Double A Championship. Randel spent the 2003 and part of 2004 seasons as a Greensboro Bat…the 2010 Bags return seven starters from 2009 and two starting pitchers in Andrew Gagnon and Jake Thompson…Friday in the ‘Mid are the services for Dr. John Kashiwabara but many baseball fans in the crowd will also mourn the recent passing of a great OC based writer Larry Bortstein, super fans Rick “Coach” Chapman and John Connolly among others…last number, 56 schools submitted votes to override the legislation for making the college baseball season 14 weeks with the week added to the beginning of the schedule…and it all starts on the 19th… Closing Quote: For those tempted by side bets at your Super Bowl party (not just the chip and green dip) these words from Auburn coaching legend Shug Jordan, “Always remember Goliath was a 40 point favorite over David.”…finish the wings and hit the light on your way out.-DR. DAN


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