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More From The Press-Telegram On The Big West Title Series


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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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Friday, May 21, 2004

More From The Press-Telegram On The Big West Title Series

Gordon Verrell writes in the Long Beach Press-Telegram (entire article here):

In examining the always entertaining, sometimes bitter yet rock-solid rivalry that is Long Beach State vs. Cal State Fullerton baseball one that since 1989 stands at 39-39 it has long been the theory of George Horton, the Fullerton coach, that the team most in need generally prevails.

"Typically, that's way it's been,' he said on the eve of yet another showdown between the two.

The desperate team this time around is Long Beach State.

The Dirtbags trail Fullerton by two games in the Big West race. Three games remain.

Do the math.

The Dirtbags need to sweep the Titans in order to successfully defend their Big West championship, the one they won last year when Fullerton was in a similar position. The Titans won two of the three games in that final regular-season conference series, but the Dirtbags won the one game they needed, and won the pennant.

It was one time Horton's theory didn't pan out....

The Dirtbags come in with a 36-13 overall record, 14-4 in the Big West and are ranked No. 8 by Baseball America. Fullerton is 33-20, 16-2 and No. 22.

"At least we have the opportunity,' Dirtbags coach Mike Weathers said, hopefully.

The pitching matchup for tonight is such that a sellout crowd is expected at 3,000-seat Blair Field. Only 200 tickets remained Thursday morning.

Jered Weaver takes his 14-0 record, 1.17 earned run average and Big West-leading 171 strikeouts to the mound for his seventh career start against the Titans. He's yet to lose to them, going 3-0 (plus three no decisions) with a 2.38 ERA, including a complete-game, four-hit, nine-strikeout performance in the Big West title clincher last May 17. Weaver has hurled complete-game two-hitters his last two starts.

"He's in a different league,' Horton said of Weaver. "But, we welcome the challenge.'

The Titans' starter will be right-hander Jason Windsor (7-4, 2.24), who has won six consecutive decisions, including a five-hit shutout last week at UC Irvine, since losing to Weaver and the Dirtbags, 6-2, in a nonconference game April 2 at Fullerton.

Fullerton catcher Kurt Suzuki leads the Big West in hitting with a .429 average, in RBI with 68, is second in home runs with 11 and third in runs scored with 59.

"I always look forward to facing Long Beach State,' Horton said. "It's great for the fans, for the media. Everyone who's who in Southern California baseball will be there.'

Weathers agrees, saying, "It's much different than playing Pacific, or (Cal Poly) SLO. The games are no less important, of course, but you see those teams only three days all year. With Fullerton, we play each other so much, everybody knows everybody. It'll be fun.'....

posted on 5/21/2004 by Jeff Agnew

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