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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 dirtbagsfan@yahoo.com.

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Monday, February 21, 2005

That Was Ugly!

Links:
Story at LongBeachState.com
Cal. Bears website
Box Score - game 1
Box Score - game 2
The only thing more dreary than the weather yesterday was the performance by the Dirtbags, who were swept in a damp doubleheader (and the 3 game series) by the unranked California Bears, 7-4 and 3-1. Long Beach State will likely join the ranks of the unranked when the weekly polls come out. It's the first time since 1991 that California has swept the Dirtbags. Their record now stands at 5-6, the first time below .500 since the first weekend of the 2003 season when, ironically, they lost 2 of 3 to the Arizona State Sun Devils at Blair Field. So far, the high point of this young season has been their total domination of ASU on their opening weekend, when they took 2 of 3 from the Sun Devils in Tempe.

So, how bad was it? In the first game, Cal scored 7 runs, 4 of which were unearned. In game two, the Bears scored 3 runs, all unearned. In the worst defensive performance by the Beach that I have seen, they committed 4 errors in the first game, and capped it off with 2 in the second game. Add that to Friday, when 2 of the 3 Cal runs were unearned. Trust me, this did not look like the same team that finished 6th in fielding in NCAA Division I baseball last year (at .975). Their 6 errors yesterday (and 1 on Friday) brought the season total to date to 14, and dropped their fielding percentage to .967.

The 8th inning of the first game will, hopefully, be the low point of the season (though there certainly were other candidates this weekend). Brian Anderson entered the game in relief of Steve Hammond, with runners at 1st and 2nd and none out. As Cal's batter prepared to bunt the runners over, the Dirtbag fielders ran a radical shifting play...with a fielder sneaking in behind the runner at 2nd. The play worked, as Brian's throw to 2nd caught the runner in a pickle. But then Chuck Sindlinger dropped the ball in the rundown, and the runners were safe at 2nd and 3rd. Brian stuck out the next batter, but the runner at 3rd scored (unearned) on a sac fly to center field. The next batter grounded to shortstop, but reached safely on Evan Longoria's error. With runners at the corners, Brian walked the next hitter to load the bases. The inning finally ended on a pop up to short. It took 5 outs, and 25 pitches to get out of the inning. The run that scored hurt, as Long Beach had just scored 2 in the bottom of the 7th to even the score at a 4-4.

Sean Boatright made his return, albeit for a lone pinch hitting at bat. Sean came up in the bottom of the 9th in the second game with the bases loaded and 1 out (and the Dirtbags down by 2). Unfortunately, he grounded into a double play. It was good, though, to see him back in there. Hopefully, we'll see him back in the swing next weekend against San Diego State.

Is it too late to get into the bull market in health care stocks? The Dirtbags' injury parade continued. On Friday Neil Jamison was hit by a line drive in the right arm, that he picked up and threw to 1st for the final out. Fortunately, he escaped with a nasty bruise. He was unavailable yesterday, but should be back in action next weekend. Then in the first game yesterday, Danny Mocny was injured diving to field a ball. The word filtering up through the stands was that he suffered a slight separation of his shoulder. His status is listed as day-to-day.

There were a couple of former Dirtbags in attendance yesterday. Jered Weaver caught the first few innings of game 1 behind the Dirtbags dugout. And John Bowker was there with his dad and sister. John, drafted last year by the Giants in the 3rd round, is in transit today to spring training in Scottsdale.

This team will get better. With the injuries, there are a lot of guys without D-I experience playing. They are now getting that experience, and it should pay dividends down the road. But it was fairly painful to watch the lessons learned this weekend.

posted on 2/21/2005 by Jeff Agnew

Comments:
hey Jeffrey -
Chuck did not drop the ball, in the rundown he was not given a target to pick the runner or make the throw. So the ball hit the runner.
Sorry to see the Dirtbags having such a tough go of it. Remember though last year Fullerton started off poorly and won in Omaha. Can't ever loose sight of the big one. Go DirtBags!
 
Hi. Thanks for the correction. I couldn't see well enough to see the ball hit the runner. Was that the play for which Chuck was charged with an error? If so, the scorer got it wrong.

Definitely not time to panic!
 
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