Friday, March 12, 2010


If playing big boys from the PAC 10--USC, UCLA and Arizona, and nasty neighbors like Pepperdine and San Diego State wasn’t enough, the 49ers (5-6) now have to welcome the 9-1, 21st ranked Wichita State for their first games outside of Kansas. The Shocker log has some familiar initials on their schedule but look closely. Two teams from Florida made their way to WSU but they were North Florida and Florida Gulf Coast. Gene Stephenson also scheduled USA, that would not be the Olympic team but the University of South Alabama. WSU had a pair of contests with ND but not the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame but the Fighting Sioux of North Dakota. And CA, well not Cal but Central Arkansas.

All of that is seen by Stephenson as the necessary tune-up for clubs like his that are planted amid the corn and soy fields of middle America. In his post game video Wednesday the Shocker skipper used platitudes like “formidable opponent…annual foe…great rivalry etc.” to describe the Dirtbags. Wichita State swept LB last season. Cody Lassley has been the star so far, hitting .643 but the team batting average is a whopping .352. The Niner pitching rotation has been tweaked with Gagnon going Friday; Thompson slipping to Saturday and on Sunday possibly Pinder, but the skipper is still mulling that one over. The WSU rotation is expected to be righty Tim Kelly 1-0, 3.0; righty Jordan Cooper 2-0, 1.93 and lefty Charlie Lowell, 2-0 3.72. Shocks had 13 strikeouts in the 14-2 Tuesday romp over Central Arkansas but on Wednesday, under cloudy and moist Kansas skies, WSU pitchers were generous with ten walks and a mere six Ks. WS still locked up an 8-2 get away day win and Central A left town at 4-8 but with their bank balance beefed up.

OOC DUSTING--Back to the homeboys, that was a critical 9th inning spin move pickoff at second base Tuesday night on what Weathers called a “daylight” play. “When the shortstop (Lohman) and pitcher (Brown) see some daylight between the runner and the base they make the play. I am just glad that despite all the things going on those guys didn’t think that much and just reacted like good baseball players.” Mike also some nice words for freshmen Nate Underwood, the lanky San Jose area pitcher who Buck and the Beach swiped from under the nose of Cal. The Bears felt Nate was locked up but this honor roll student had all the choices and took LB…interesting press box chatter with SDSU radio guys who took emails from listeners and then giggled when a young Aztec fan googled the word Dirtbag and came up with that unflattering definition…the announcer laughed forgetting perhaps that the Aztec mascot Monty Montezuma was seen as politically incorrect by the indigenous people of that region…”where are theys” how about Abe Alvarez who won 23 games in the 2002-2003 seasons…this season he is on the bench as a student assistant coach for the Dirtbags…at age 22, the crooked cap kid became the youngest member of the 2004 Red Sox to receive a World Series Championship ring…good news LB’s RPI is now 103 but facing the Shockers, ranked #21, will move that number upwards…bad news in the end none of that matters unless you finish five or so games above .500…possible news flash, insiders say that the big man may retire after this year, Elvis Joe may become video Joe next year…he doesn’t give his age but Niner marketing wizards figure they could retire the guitar and sombrero and still use the “greatest act in college baseball” on that spiffy video board…and cut performance costs by eliminating that requisite hot dog…the other big Joe, Joey Terdoslavich, caught a break when Tony Gwynn looked at the message board and saw his .148 average and ,with first base open, let him pinch-hit in the eighth inning…whoops Tony, Joey got the GW RBI and is beginning to get his offensive feel going again…enjoy Joe T this season because I suspect he will sign and go during the upcoming MLB draft…his late inning heroics prevented a lot of second guessing about failed double steals and runners getting picked at first and third…the rest of the Big West is staying busy… Cal State Northridge at LMU; UC Irvine at Sac State; Northern Illinois at Santa Barbara; Notre Dame at Pacific, Southern Utah at UC Davis, CSUF (shut out losers last night) at SDSU and Houston at Cal Poly...last add rumor control...expect some of the 49er faithful to be missing tonight due to a basketball contest at the ACC, not the Atlantic Coast Conference, where Miami has upset both Wake Forest and Va Tech, but the Anahiem Convention Center...semi final vs. Pacific with a 9 p.m. tip on ESPN the Bags and set your VCRs—DR. DAN


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