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Welcome to Dirtbags Baseball blog! I was introduced to Long Beach State baseball in 2002 when my nephew, Neil Jamison, joined the team (and university) as a freshman. I started the blog in March of 2004, and generally discuss the team, current players and those that have moved on to professional baseball - as Neil has done in the San Diego Padres organization. Living in San Diego County, and with Neil moving to the next level, I won't be attending as many Dirtbags games. But, mostly from a distance, I'll remain a Dirtbags fan. I welcome tips on stories and information concerning the Dirtbags (current, past and future). I can be contacted at


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Monday, March 29, 2004

It was a tough weekend for the Dirtbags. Coming off a five game winning streak, and having swept three games against then No. 17 ranked Arizona and two games against No. 7 ranked Wichita State, the Dirtbags lost their first series of the year against Big West opponent Irvine in a non-conference two game set at UC Irvine's Anteater Ballpark.

Long Beach State's pitching remained stellar, giving up only four earned runs in the two games. But the Dirtbag's, usually excellent on defense, committed five errors (though I have to disagree with the official scorer on one error charged on a grounder deep in the hole to second). One error on Sunday led to two unearned runs that proved to be the margin of victory for the Anteaters.

Cesar Ramos, who started Saturday, was outstanding. The only run he allowed over seven innings was a solo home run by Matt Anderson. Brian Anderson pitched a scoreless eighth. Give Irvine's pitching their due. They nearly shut down the 49ers at the plate. But in a tight game, the Dirtbags ran themselves out of a great scoring opportunity in the eighth inning. With Travis Udvarhelyi at first, and Josh Buhagiar at third, Brad Davis was at the plate with one out. In an apparent miscue, Udvarhelyi was hung up in a rundown after he took off for second on the pitch. Buhagiar strayed too far off the third base bag and was picked off as Udvarhelyi retreated to first. It would be the Dirtbags last scoring opportunity as they were shut out for the first time this season.

The fireworks for Long Beach went off in the fifth inning. Mike Hofius was called out attempting to steal second. Whether or not he was nailed with the tags is debatable, but there was little question for the Dirtbag's faithful present that the Anteater shortstop was guilty of interference for blocking the bag without the ball. Normally calm, cool and collected Coach Mike Weathers shot out of the dugout to argue the call with third base umpire David Diaz. The exchange was heated, and coach Weathers was tossed. I have never seen Coach Weathers run so fast to argue a call (I'm not sure I have ever seen him run), nor have I ever seen him ejected from a game. Diaz' call may well have cost the Beach the game, as Danny Mocny followed with a triple that would have scored Hofius.

On Sunday, freshman Brandon Villalobos was solid in his second start (Jason Vargas was scratched because of a blister). He allowed just two earned runs over 4.2 innings, with six hits, three strikeouts and no walks. The two unearned runs scored on a grounder that should have ended the inning. Kenny Maiques followed with 1.1 innings, giving up his first run of the season on a solo home run. Brett Andrade then pitched a perfect inning, followed by Neil Jamison doing the same.

Now a word of criticism for the host UC Irvine. Last year I sent an email to Irvine to bring to their attention that the singers who perform the National Anthem face the crowd, rather than the flag, when they sing. While not proper, I assumed it was an oversight. I never received a reply. This weekend, the practice continues. To most, it is probably a small thing. But not to me.

posted on 3/29/2004 by Jeff Agnew

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