May 24, 2010
Long Beach, Calif. -
Complete Baseball Release in PDF Format
Long Beach State finishes the 2010 season this week, playing four games at Blair Field to close out the season. First up for the Dirtbags is a Tuesday date with Pepperdine at 6:30, as the two teams meet for the third and final time this season, playing for the second time at Blair Field. Then, the Dirtbags close out Big West play and the regular season over the weekend, hosting UC Irvine in the final event of the Black and Blue rivalry series for the 2009-2010 season of the athletic calendar. Coverage for all four games can be found at www.longbeachstate.com.
Sunday marks the final game for five seniors, including three who have spent four years with the program. Outfielder Tre Dennis has been with the school for two years, playing in 65 games, while in three years, David Brown has made 48 appearances with a 4.47 ERA. Jason Markoviz has worked out of the bullpen for four years, compiling a 3.11 ERA and a 5-3 record over 68 appearances, while TJ Mittelstaedt and Steve Tinoco have each had strong careers as four-year starters. Tinoco has hit .329 over his career with The Beach, and Mittelstaedt has played in 189 games as a Dirtbag, seventh-most in program history.
Last Time Out
The Dirtbags' slide in conference play continued last weekend as Cal State Northridge took three games from Long Beach State. A great start from Andrew Gagnon on Friday was lost in 11 innings, as the sophomore went nine, allowing just two hits, but two runs, one unearned, was enough to force the game into extra innings, where the team eventually lost 3-2. After a blowout on Saturday, Long Beach State rallied from an early 7-0 deficit to cut the lead to 2 runs on a number of occasions, but the Matadors held on for a 10-8 win in the series finale.
Pepperdine enters their final week of play with nearly an identical record as Long Beach State, sitting at 21-29. Zach Vinzej leads the team with a .313 batting average, and the team overall is only hitting .278, but is balanced somewhat by a 4.87 season ERA. Last weekend, the Waves took one out of three games from San Diego, winning on Friday behind Bywater before falling in the final two games.
Scouting UC Irvine
Ranked as high as No. 21 in the polls, UC Irvine is second in the Big West and preparing for postseason play as an at-large selection. The Anteaters are led by Jeff Cusick, one of the top hittiers in the Big West, who has started in 51 games for UCI and is hitting .390 with eight home runs and a team-high 55 RBI. Nine players on the team are hitting over .300, and the rotation is anchored by junior Christian Bergman, who has a 7-3 record with a 4.21 ERA.
Hitting The Books
Academic honors have been part of the story for Long Beach State in 2010. Brennan Metzger, Long Beach State's sophomore outfielder earned first-team Academic All-District honors, recognizing his success on the field as well as his 3.79 GPA, becoming the first Dirtbag to receive the honor since Shane Peterson in 2008. The team as a whole was also recognized by the NCAA, earning a Public Recognition award with an APR in the Top 10 percent for all of college baseball, the only team in the Big West so honored.
Watching the Weather
With Long Beach State's 13-4 win over Pacific, Head Coach Mike Weathers won his 300th game as the skipper of the Dirtbags, reaching the milestone in his ninth year at Long Beach State. The coach also announced that 2010 will be his last at the helm of the Dirtbags, retiring at the end of the season, with Head Associate Coach Troy Buckley assuming the role of head coach going forward for the rest of the year.