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Great OC Register Piece On Brian Anderson


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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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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Great OC Register Piece On Brian Anderson

From the Orange County Register (take a look at the article...nice picture of Brian):
Long Beach St. pitcher on learning curve

Experience is paying off for Anderson, who has thrown more than 24 consecutive scoreless innings.

The Orange County Register

LONG BEACH - Brian Anderson wasn't totally doing it with smoke and mirrors a year ago, but he acknowledges there was a kind of blind magic to his pitching.

He achieved success even though his mechanics were off, and he would often just try to muscle the ball past hitters instead of thinking his way through a game.

"I would have it in the back of my head, 'I hope this pitch is a strike,'" he said.

This season, Anderson has figured out the tricks of his trade. The Long Beach State senior enters tonight's three-game series against top-ranked Cal State Fullerton at Blair Field as one of college baseball's most effective setup men.

Anderson, a Laguna Hills High graduate, is on a 241/3 consecutive scoreless innings streak dating to last season. He has allowed just five hits in 201/3 innings this year with and 19 strikeouts.

The bridge to closer Neil Jamison, Anderson helped Long Beach State record series road victories against Top 25 teams Arizona State, Baylor, Wichita State and retired the final nine batters in a victory against Houston this month.

The key to his success?

"It's making a lot more sense now that I've had a lot of experience," Anderson said. "The mechanics part of it is just really coming to me. I've really been able to actually learn how to pitch this year."

Last year, Anderson hurled 21 consecutive scoreless innings to start the year but produced a 12.60 ERA in the final three regular-season series, against UC Riverside, CSF and Miami. There wasn't much intent behind his pitches, and hitters had him figured out.

Still, Anderson turned it around in a remarkable fashion when he got the final five outs at Stanford in the NCAA Regional to send the 49ers to the super regional, then got the final eight outs against Arizona to get his team to the tournament's championship game.

Said Long Beach pitching instructor Troy Buckley about Anderson's growth: "What you're seeing is a kid who's got a lot of experience."

Buckley added, "He has a passion for trying to learn."

Anderson corrected his tendency to swing his front leg open on his follow through for more extension, and the result is better velocity on his fastball, from 83-86 mph to 87-89 this year. He has above-average command on a slider and change-up.

Anderson's late-season heroics last year were not enough to get him selected in the amateur draft. Buckley likens him to Cal State Fullerton third baseman Ronnie Prettyman as a senior who is invaluable to a college baseball team.

Anderson and Jamison, also a senior, have an exact pregame routine. During stretching they lay their gloves down, and Anderson always has his face up with the ball inside. Jamison will not touch his glove until Anderson picks it up and tosses it to him.

It's intended to maintain their focus and has little to do with superstition.

Anderson doesn't pay much attention to his streak, the fifth longest in school history. He is nine innings shy of the school record 331/3 scoreless innings by Rocky Biddle in 1995.

"I need to know I'm going to give up hits, I'm going to give up runs," Anderson said. "I've got to be able to handle it mentally."

posted on 3/24/2005 by Jeff Agnew

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