May 05, 2007

CalPoly at LongBeach: Long Beach wins 15-4

15 hits. No walks. No errors. Good defense all around. Typical Dirtbag baseball.

Robert Perry goes 3-for-5 with six RBI, including a rare Blair Field home run (with the help of a pretty stout wind). Danny Espinosa chimes in with a 3-for-4, two RBI day and Matt Cline goes 2-for-4 with a pair of ribs as well. This is a bit more hitting than I'm used to seeing from the Dirtbags, but I'm sure they're not complaining.

Andrew Liebel improves to 7-2 with 6.1 innings of work.

Long Beach is now 9-2 and in first place in the Big West. UC Riverside can stay tied with them at the top with a win over last-place Pacific tonight.

CalPoly at LongBeach: Augie Garrido, as a Mustang

Did you know that Augie Garrido was the former head coach of Cal Poly?

Here's a picture from the Cal Poly media guide of the future Cal State Fullerton and Texas head coach when he was in his days in San Luis Obispo (he's the one standing). He led the 1971 team to a 39-11 record, the best season in Cal Poly history.

Damn. If Cal Poly had only upped his salary demands, they'd be the center of the college baseball world with numerous national titles and whatnot.

(Sorry for the blurry picture. It's the best I could do to take a picture of a picture)

CalPoly at LongBeach: 11-4 LB... but I'm wishing for Disco Demolition Night

In the bottom of the 6th, USC transfer Robert Perry parked a three-run shot off of SCU transfer Andrew Slorp to make it 11-0. But Cal Poly came back to score four runs in the top of the 8th, including a two-run single by Adam Melker and a pair of RBI groundouts by Logan Schafer and Kyle Smith.

So going into the bottom of the 7th, it's 11-4 Beach.

A couple of innings ago the Blair Field music coordinator played Dead Eye Dick's "Mary Moon"... one of the most underrated college radio songs of the entire 90s. I was ready to regale Blair Field as having the best music in the history of... well, ever.

But they just got done playing that damn "YMCA" by the Village People. Before that, they also played some Donna Summer song which already left my mind. Disco. Yes. Freakin' disco.

Where is Bill Veeck's "Disco Demolition Night" when we need it?

CalPoly at LongBeach: Ladies and Gentlemen, JOE!

Don't call it a Cinco De Mayo thing.

This is Elvis Joe, an enduring Blair Field institution. He's pictured here during his between-inning performance of "Tequila." And yes, he does this performance at the 7th inning of each home Long Beach game. He also does a ringing rendition of "Hound Dog" in the 3rd inning.

CalPoly at LongBeach: Things getting ugly here.

After scoring four runs in the first two innings, Long Beach scored four more in the third. So now it's the Dirtbags 8, Cal Poly zip.

For the third straight inning, the Beach got the first two batters to reach base, this time on back-to-back doubles by Danny Espinosa and Robert Perry. After a walk, CP changed pitchers, bringing in former Santa Clara Bronco Andrew Slorp.

Slorp plunked Travis Howell, then number nine hitter Taylor Krick cranked a two-run double to make it 7-0. AJ Pinnochio then hit an RBI groundout.

I gotta go get a brew man. This one's going to take a while.

CalPoly at LongBeach: Dirtbags go up by two more...

Matt Cline hit a 3-2, 2-out pitch up the middle to score a pair of LB runs. The Beach is now up 4-0 after two full innings. Mustang starter Matt Leonard nearly got out of the inning unscathed, with a close-call ball that might have been strike three. You know, one of those pitches where the pitcher starts his walk toward the dugout and all.

I'm sitting next to the Cal Poly radio guys and they said that there's a rule in minor league baseball now that prohibits batters from exiting the batter's box during an at-bat. A batter must keep one foot in, at least.

This is a measure to help speed games up since batters seem to be taking short hikes between pitches now-a-days. I'm for it.

CalPoly at LongBeach: Peterson now 39 games short of Ventura's hitting streak.

The Beach is up 2-0 now.

Long Beach didn't waste any time getting on the board today. AJ Pinocchio hit a double off the wall on the second pitch offered by Cal Poly's Matt Leonard. Matt Cline then got a walk and Shane Peterson knocked Pinocchio in with a Baltimore Chop single over first baseman Adam Buschini.

A sac fly by Danny Espinosa scored the second run.

Peterson's single extended his hitting streak to 19 games. Just 39 more games to go to catch Okie State's Robin Ventura, Shane.

We're going to the second inning now... with lots of great lookin' coeds in the crowd.

April 15, 2007

UC Irvine-Cal Poly: Irvine wins 3-2, Erickson gets the record.

A couple of quotes from tonight's game, in which UC Irvine reliever Blair Erickson set the NCAA saves record:

Blair Erickson:
On getting the saves record tonight and it being a weight off his shoulders:
"I'd be lying if I said it wasn't on my mind. It certainly feels good to get it over with and now we can move on and I can continue to go out there and pull out some games for us."

On how he felt tonight compared to some of his rough outings recently:
"I definitely felt better. There was a stretch there where things weren't going in the zone and it's hard to have confidence when you have outings like that. It was important to get my confidence back tonight and be able to throw strikes and have a good outing.

On what he'll do with the ball from tonight's game:
"I'll probably put it in a case and give it to my parents. I keep every one of them. Maybe when I have time to think about it more, it'll really hit me. I'm just fortunate that my team is able to keep me in games that many times.

On whether he'll sell the ball on Ebay:
"No." (editors note: sorry, I just had to ask... you know how those things pull good bucks nowadays)

UC Irvine coach Dave Serrano:
On what Blair Erickson means to this team:
"It's a special night for him and for us, obviously. In college baseball that's a huge record to have. It's a great tribute to Blair to get that record. I know the last few weeks he hasn't been pitching that great and it's been wearing on him, just like anyone that is coming up on a milestone like that."

On comparing Blair to some of the other pitcher's he's worked with over the years:
"I've told him this before, so I'm not afraid to say this publicly, stuff-wise he has as good as anybody I've been around. Command-wise, I've had some better in that situation. Chad Cordero was a strike-pounder. Kirk Saarloos was a strike-pounder. But Blair has a knack of taking years off my life, 'coz it's not always easy with him. Sometimes he tends to dig himself a hole and he has to claw his way out. Tonight was about as easy as it gets for him. It was good to get that one-run win tonight."

UC Irvine-Cal Poly: Erickson about to make history

Blair Erickson on the mound in the 9th.


UC Irvine-Cal Poly: 3-2 Irvine. Erickson toes the rubber

If any of you out there in America are still awake, it's now 9:05pm West coast time and we're going into the 9th inning out here in Irvine and Blair Erickson has taken over the pitching duties for Wes Etheridge. This is his chance to break the NCAA saves record.

This should be fun.

Etheridge did a bang-em-up job himself, going 8.0, giving up seven hits and striking out seven. He stands to improve to 9-1 if Erickson can pull the clamp-down job here.

April 14, 2007

UC Irvine-Cal Poly: Okay, it's now UCI leading 3-1 in the 5th.

When the Anteaters take the field in the top of the 6th, I'm hoping it's already time for Blair Erickson to take the mound and get the record-setting save.

Matt Morris and Bryan Peterson both singled to lead off the 4th inning for UCI and came around to score on hits by Jeff Cusick, brother of USC's Matt, and Ollie Linton, who tore a new one in Fullerton when I saw them play last week.

But let's stop with the scoring now Anteaters. God knows we don't want you to build on your lead without giving Erickson a chance to pick up the save opportunity. C'mon Coach Serrano, let him toss the last four innings.

UC Irvine-Cal Poly: The real reason we're here tonight

I'm hoping to see history made.

UCI's Blair Erickson has the chance to break the NCAA career saves mark with his next save. He's currently tied at 49 saves with former USC hurler Jack Krawcyzk. He picked up his 49th save in Tuesday's win at UCLA.

By the way, on the drive down to the game here in Irvine, I was listening to the very, very-delayed Vanderbilt-Kentucky game. It sounded like that nasty rain stuff just wasn't going to go away anytime soon. Chris, if you're reading this, I hope you have a nice warm, dry seat in the press box. Oh and is Joe "String Music" Dean's grandson still the S.I.D. there in Bluegrass country? I think his name is Scott Dean, if I remember correctly.

UC Irvine-Cal Poly: Just getting started here

Just got to Anteater Ballpark here on the campus of UC Irvine (it was a nasty drive from Venice tonight). Tonight's game features one of the winningest pithcers in the nation in Irvine's Wes Etheridge (8-1, 2.37). Cal Poly, the surprising first place team in the Big West at 6-1, counters with Matt Leonard (2-3, 5.67).

Nice upgrades to the ballpark here. As you see in the photo below, that big brick building behind the home dugout on the 3rd base side is a new clubouse. UCI S.I.D. Fumi Kimura, one of the greatest people in the world, has promised to give me the dime tour later on in the game.

More stadium upgrades are on the way as well. (Oap! As I've been writing this, UCI has scored a single run in the bottom of the 1st inning - a sac fly RBI by Matt Morris, who by the way, has cooled off to .370 after spending most of February and March above .400.)


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