Saturday Statements, Feb. 3

While still glowing over the fact that after 10 years of reading his off-beat, on-target stuff, I've finally made Dr. Dan's Diamond Notes. It's a whimsical and informative addition to every Long Beach State game program. Thanks again Dr. Dan. Now I can die.

For a look around the country on Saturday, read on.

It's all about the ears.

Ear Candy, part I:
For starters, thanks to the goading of CSTV correspondent and general college baseball know-it-all Glenn Tanner, I have listened for three games now and decided that AC/DC is THE music of choice for the SoCal baseball locations I visited this weekend.

Before last night's UCLA-Winthrop game, "Hell's Bells" and "Highway to Hell" blared between the national anthem and first pitch. Evidently the Bruins have Hell fixation. At Long Beach today, they played their usual "Back In Black" after runs scored and also added "Thunderstruck" during a pitching change. And then tonight at Goodwin Field, they blasted out "Girl's Got Rhythm" before first pitch. All this brings to mind the main reason I always liked/respected AC/DC... they never wussed out and made a ballad.

Ear Candy, part II:
Last night, after the end of the UCLA-Winthrop game, SEBaseball and CSTV's Mark Etheridge gave me a buzz to talk about what I'd just seen in the game between these two. Just in case you want to hear our back-and-forth, check out the link below. Special props to Mark for staying up 'til 11:30pm central time to record it, knowing he had to be up in a matter of hours for the drive to Tallahassee. Here's the link:

One more side note here. I know it's part of another Smogland p.r. machine, but I saw my first L.A. Galaxy Beckham soccer jersey today. (Crickets... crickets... crickets).

Okay, on to today's stuff.

Where I was today:
Blair Field, Long Beach State
Long Beach State 5

Goodwin Field, Fullerton
Stanford 5
Cal State Fullerton 6
This just in, Long Beach has found pitchers and still plays its usual scrappy defense and Fullerton merely puts new guys in those pinstripe uniforms and keeps on winning.

Beach looked good today. Starter Manny McElroy, a JC All American did a solid job in his 5.2 innings of work. And relievers Adam Wilk and Bryan Shaw kept it going, clamping down for to salt the game away. USC has a talented batting lineup, albeit young, but could do little to the Dirtbag pitchers. Anthony Vasquez launched a wicked home run in a tough park to hit in, but couldn't get much help around that as LB shut down the boys from South Central. The Trojans also committed four errors, adding significant harm to their cause.

As the fans were filing out of the stadium in the night game, the p.a. blasted The Goo Goo Dolls "Long Way Down" (nice song, Fullerton press box peeps) which was appropriate since the Titans were down 5-0 after three innings and looked listless and lacked any fire at all. But when the athletically talented Michael Taylor did his juggling act of a routine single in right field, allowing two Titans to score in the 5th inning, everything changed. Nine-hole hitter Joe Scott and leadoff man Clark Hardman did the back-to-back damage, collecting three hits each. And Coach Horton may have found an emerging starter-to-be in Adam Jorgenson, who pitched the final 6.1 innings, giving up just two hits to get the W.

Somebody pinch me. No, make that a strike to the shins with a bat.
Mercer 8
Miami 5
Okay Coach Craig Gibson, after two straight wins, get ready for a whole heap of media interview requests after this weekend. In-freakin-credible! This will be Miami's first opening weekend series loss since 1967. But at least back then they had the excuse of losing to Florida State. The Bears only managed five hits on the day but got three gift errors and rifled through seven Cane pitchers. Another stat not to forget about this Mercer team, which explains a lot - The Bears had an RPI of No. 90 last year, so it's not like they entered the 2007 season without any ability.

Seminoles look good. No, real good.
Tennessee 0
Florida State 4
Amidst the falling snow, how do we label this game? What do we chalk the two-hits by the Vols up to? Is it another great pitching performance by FSU? Or is it just a surprisingly punchless offense? Gotta give it up to FSU starter Michael Hyde, who went 6.1 innings, striking out 10 and giving up just two hits. And for the record, Mark Etheridge is the poor soul who woke up at 5am to drive six hours to the game and froze his arse off.

Best Redemption Win
San Diego 8
Texas 13
Give the Horns some credit, they got their bats to carry over from the end of last night's game and pelted a good pitcher in Josh Romanski. Nick Peoples went off for five RBI. Bradley Suttle went 3-for-5 with a yard call. Still waiting for the Burnt Orange hilltoppers to start pitching like they're capable of. USD also collected 13 hits on the day.

Players of the day: Those Jones Boys
Arkansas 2
Louisiana Tech 9
Jericho pitched. Courtney hit. The 'Dogs won big. Jericho Jones pitched 5.0 innings, giving up just four hits, striking out six and relenting just two runs in the process. Courtney went 3-for-4 with a home run and a double. I've got this one waiting for me on my TiVo. Yum.

Best comeback of the day:
Savannah State 7
Alabama A&M 8
Bulldogs score five runs in the bottom of the 9th to beat SSU. Myron Clark went the distance, striking out nine and, because of errors, gave up only one earned run. SSU came into the game ranked No. 5 in the poll. The Bulldogs also beat No. 8 Norfolk State 6-2 earlier in the day.

Strange Stat of the Day
Charlotte beat High Point in a 10-inning game, 2-0. For the day, the 49ers only got one hit. Aaron Bray got the game winning run in with an RBI sac fly. At that point, Charlotte still hadn't earned a hit, but were up 1-0. Kris Rochelle got the only hit a batter later to drive in the second run.

Best series of the weekend?
Winthrop 6
I made the statement last night that these two teams seem to be pretty equal to each other. I'm not changing that statement now either. Bruin batters 5-through-9 in the order went a combined 1-for-17. Did this game really last three hours, 45 minutes? Gah!

C'mon, put in a mercy rule
Mississippi Valley State 3
Florida Atlantic 33
Call this SWAC karma. Yesterday I got onto Prairie View for beating Texas College in two games by a combined 39-1, which was bad enough, but did they have to steal 19 bases in the process? Well, today fellow SWAC member MVSU gets its nose rubbed in it by FAU. Wonder if Coach Kevin Cooney will make some mention of this in his season diary he's keeping on

Other games of note:
Bethune-Cookman 3
Jacksonville 1
B-CC's Chris Henault gets all three RBI on a 3-for-3 day and starting pitcher Dustin Blackwell goes 7.0 innings, giving up no hits, striking out six and walking a pair. Through four Wildcat pitchers, JU got just two hits on the day.

Oklahoma 0
Texas-Pan American 2
In 18 innings of play so far the Sooners have 10 hits and are hitting .156 as a team (OU lost to Texas State 8-3 on Friday). Conversely, in 18 innings so far, UTPA pitchers have surrendered only nine hits. Considering they lost all three weekend starters from last year's team, that's pretty amazing.

Cal State Northridge 2
Pacific 1
Coach Ed Sprague has got to be wanting to grab a glove and play himself right now. CSUN scores both runs with two out in the 9th inning, after a throwing error that could've ended the game, gave the Mats new life. In a word, arrrrrrrgh!

Damn. No late Hawaii game to listen to before bedtime. Yawn... oh well.


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Eric Sorenson Eric Sorenson
Eric Sorenson is's National Baseball Columnist, and also appears on CSTV as a baseball expert