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My Thoughts On A Tough Weekend


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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, May 24, 2004

My Thoughts On A Tough Weekend

I listened to the game on the Dirtbag's internet radio Friday night, and attended the games on Saturday and Sunday. Perhaps somewhat random, here are some of my observations and opinions:

The game on Friday featured Jered Weaver, by leaps and bounds the best pitcher in college baseball this year, against Jason Windsor. This may well have been the best matchup of pitchers in all of Division I baseball this season. For the entire year, Windsor is 8-4 with a 2.12 ERA. But in Big West play, he is 7-0, with a 1.14 ERA. The Beach came within one out of beating him 1-0. Though we always hate losing to the Titans (especially in our house), Friday's loss was not a crushing blow. Both starters pitched more than well enough to win.

Jered Weaver once again showed why there is no contest in deciding who is college baseball's pitcher of the year. He clearly was not on his best game. On the evening, he stranded nine Titans on base, including four at third. Fullerton finally got a run with two out in the ninth. In my opinion, the biggest improvement in Jered's game over last year is his performance when he doesn't have his best stuff.

Saturday was the most frustrating. By far, this was one of Cesar Ramos' best games in a Dirtbags uniform. Through six innings he no hit Fullerton, yet the game was tied 1-1. And that was only thanks to a solo home run by John Bowker. In the end, over 7.2 innings, he would give up two runs (one earned) and only two hits. But the Dirtbags bats were dead as door nails, despite the fact that the Titans' Ricky Romero was no Jason Windsor. I did not count, but I would guess that Romero bounced at least 10 pitches in front of home plate during the game. In addition to six hits by the Beach, Romero walked one and hit two Dirtbags with pitches. Long Beach stranded eight runners. Romero was very beatable, but to paraphrase Houston Bob, we did not "Git 'er done."

On Sunday, Beach pitching was off its game. Starter Jason Vargas lasted only three innings, giving up five runs on seven hits, three walks and a hit batter. Over the next 3.1 innings, Scott Juneau, Brandon Villalobos and Brian Anderson would collectively give up another eight runs. In the fourth, with the 49ers down 7-0, hope sprang to life when Sean Boatright drove a grand slam over the left field wall. But by the end of seven, Fullerton had scored another six unanswered runs, leaving the score at 13-4. As Coach Mike Weathers was quoted in the Long Beach Press-Telegram, "If we'd have walked out of here with a 13-4 loss, I'm really afraid of where this team might have gone." But then the improbable happened. The Beach jumped all over Fullerton's relievers, scoring four in the eighth, and three in the ninth. The comeback was fueled by John Bowker's three run blast in the eighth. The game ended on a popup by Mike Hofius, who represented the winning run with two on base. As an aside, on senior day, Mike Hofius was clearly a leader. He went 2 for 5, with an RBI. Watching him on the field, he played with amazing determination. And repeatedly he bucked up his team mates to keep battling. Mike finishes his career at Long Beach State as a true Dirtbag.

There is no question in my mind that had the Dirtbags knocked Fullerton's starter out of the game an inning earlier, they would have come away with the victory. There was no quit in the Dirtbags! Though it was painful to be swept, it ended on a positive note. Hopefully, that will carry over to what is now a critical series against the Miami Hurricanes at Coral Gables next Thursday through Saturday. The result there is likely to decide whether we will host a regional at Blair Field as a #1 seed, or travel to another regional as a #2.

posted on 5/24/2004 by Jeff Agnew

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