Anxiety is Assembling the 49er Future After an Up-and-down Weekend
- By Dan Barber
- | Tuesday, 05 April 2011 06:00
2:45pm | Spring sports at Long Beach State last week were part sunshine and part puzzle.
The sun shone early for the diamond dolls and dandies (softball and baseball players) and--as expected--in two of the three tennis matches. Water polo, the ladies version, was making progress (up to No. 10 in the polls) until they had a puzzling home loss to #16 Hartwick. Softball used their ace Erin Jones-Wesley to win game one of the series at Pacific but got run down in games two and three to the team most figured will battle them for the Big West title. The Dirtbags picked up the series win on Saturday but couldn’t hold a 4-2 lead on Sunday to sweep the baseball Tigers. And oh yes, volleyball got stung in two losses to BYU in the bee hive state.
And now the shadowy details.
Baseball really needed to win their first five conference series. They got 2 of 3 from UOP to put that one on the resume and the next four weekend foes are more reasonable than rough. Davis, Riverside, UCSB and SLO are in the crowd at the bottom of the Big West standings. LBSU blasted Pacific 20-0 Friday, held on for a 5-3 W on Saturday but on Sunday the pen fumbled away the lead in a three run Tiger ninth to stop the sweep. It was a blown save and a loss for Eddie Magallon.
Softball hopped out of their bus in Stockton got off to that promising start but across campus from the baseball complex they kept coming up short. Kim Sowder and kids now can unpack for a while with six very winnable home games up next. First are Northridge and Davis, then a road trip to SLO before six more against conference foes UCSB and Fullerton at Niner-ville. The Saturday May 7th double header with the Titans deserves a full house in part because ESPN will televise the games nation-wide and because big crowds annoy CSUF so much.
This week the Tuesday Blair Field visit is from San Diego State (Financial Advisors night—at least my guy Mike and his boys will be there) and then Tulo rejoins the Bags during the weekend series vs. woeful UC Davis. Tulo will be in his bobblehead mode and free for the first 1,500 fans Saturday night. (My financial advisor's head bobbles a lot this spring because the market is finally getting healthy.)
For tennis, the regular season title will be a hard mountain to climb but the team looks locked and loaded to win the postseason slam fest in the desert at Indian Wells and earn the automatic NCAA invitation. With the 6-1 win, the 49ers handed DePaul its first loss at home this season, as the team that began the season ranked in the Top 30 had been 6-0 at home.
Long Beach State closes out its home season this weekend, hosting Oregon on Friday, before playing a key conference match with No. 42 Cal Poly on Saturday. It all goes down at 11 a.m. in the Rhodes Tennis Center.
The men of volleyball saw their overall record drop back to even, 12-12, after they lost to foreign legions of No. 2 BYU, 3-1 and 3-0. Now for some, the only prize is the NCAA title, but for some the biggest sporting hardware is a dinged up surfboard from Duke’s at the Huntington Beach Pier. You win that by beating UC Irvine in that year long all sport competition so LB has their chance to ride the marsupials when the Anteaters come to the Mid on Wednesday night and celebrate with a match vs. UC San Diego at 7 p.m. Saturday. The Beach leads 18-14 right now in the Black and Blue deal and have clinched a MPSF tourney berth somewhere on April 23.