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Long Beach slump is no surprise to me

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  • Long Beach slump is no surprise to me

    On March 24, the Dirtbags were 17-3 and ranked fifth in the nation after winning series against Rice, Wichita State, Hawaii, Southern California and UCLA. Fifteen of those first 20 games were at home in spacious Blair Field, where the pitching-and-defense-first Dirtbags transform into supermen.

    On March 25, Long Beach embarked upon a 10-game road swing to Pepperdine, California, Stanford, Fresno State, UC Riverside and Loyola Marymount. On Tuesday, the Dirtbags finished that stretch with a 1-9 record, dropping them to 18-12 overall. What went wrong?
    I'll tell you exactly what "went wrong." They no longer had their own umpires behind the plate. You think I'm kidding.
    The other good news: this series is at home, and there's no place like Blair for the Dirtbags.

  • #2
    In that 3 games series, WSU pitchers walked 14 and struck out 16. LBSU pitchers walked 1 and struck out 35

    We weren't that bad, and they weren't that good.

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    • #3
      Could it be the very difficult schedule they have played has finally caught up to them? I mean playing 20 games against Top 70 RPI teams has got to wear a team down a little bit.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by haysdb
        In that 3 games series, WSU pitchers walked 14 and struck out 16. LBSU pitchers walked 1 and struck out 35

        We weren't that bad, and they weren't that good.
        If things were ever this one-sided in basketball there would be four five-page threads talking about how bad the officiating is.

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        • #5
          I've held my tongue, in part because not one player used that as an excuse, and I did not want to "make excuses" for our loses. But when the discussion suggests that because we got swept by Long Beach the second weekend of the season, we may have all but sacrificed our chance to host a regional, I get angry. You CANNOT hold one weekend against ANY team, because this kind of stuff happens. The RPI does not take that into account, but the polls do, at least to a certain extent. Outside of that freak weekend, we are 23-1, and yet Boyd Nation says we have to finish 25-1 to host a regional. BAH!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by haysdb
            In that 3 games series, WSU pitchers walked 14 and struck out 16. LBSU pitchers walked 1 and struck out 35

            We weren't that bad, and they weren't that good.
            KCShox,

            Please reread the facts above and comment.

            I am interested in your response

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            • #7
              I don't get it, now we are complaining about a team that all of a sudden people think have shown their true colors and may not be as good as we thought they were. Great, we didn't get swept 3-0 to a great team, come to find out, we got swept by an above average team. Hooray, that makes me feel better.

              Did Long Beach state get some home cookin' while we played them at their joint? I wasn't there, but I'd be willing to bet they did. Who cares, most teams do don't they. Besides, the first game we should have won, we just didn't get the timely hitting when we had the chance.

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              • #8
                I have always respected and admired the Dirtbags. Yeah, I'm a little ticked about that weekend, but I will not deny that LBSU is a quality baseball team and they played well. I felt like we were very evenly matched, as demonstrated by the 2-2 tie of game 1 after 9 innings. I just don't feel that their sweep was truly representative of the way WE played, which I felt was better than the final scores would indicate. I think too much weight is being placed on that series. Unfortunately, it's the only series we have played against a top 50 team, so it's going to be with us all season.

                I need to correct something: In fact, 5 of LBSU's first 20 games were on the road, including three games at Hawaii and single games at UCLA and California. They were obviously playing good baseball, my personal opinion about their umpires notwithstanding.

                My expectation was that LBSU would struggle some to score runs this season, but they would win with pitching and defense. It's especially puzzling then that they have given up 6 or more runs in 9 of their last 11 games. Pitching isn't supposed to go into a slump.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by haysdb
                  Unfortunately, it's the only series we have played against a top 50 team, so it's going to be with us all season.
                  Did everyone forget about our impressive sweep over TCU? They have an RPI of 41 right now and continue to play good baseball:

                  They have taken 2 of 3 from #34 Mississippi.
                  They beat #38 Dallas Baptist 20-3.
                  They are also 2-0 against Baylor.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for the reminder. I HAD forgotten about them, since after they played us, it seemed they didn't play very well. Still, a series win over a top 20 team at least would be nice.

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                    • #11
                      What school doesn't schedule their own umpires when they are playing a home non-conference game or series? I know WSU does, in fact I've heard that Gene Stephenson assigns them personally. So the fact that LBSU schedules their own umpires has nothing to do with why we got swept

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by shockerfanmas
                        What school doesn't schedule their own umpires when they are playing a home non-conference game or series? I know WSU does, in fact I've heard that Gene Stephenson assigns them personally. So the fact that LBSU schedules their own umpires has nothing to do with why we got swept
                        Your conclusion doesn't fit your argument. I've never seen us get the kind of favoritism from a home-plate umpire that LBSU got in that series.

                        I would like to be clear though. LBSU may have swept us in that series with neutral umpires. The Friday game was a well called game, until the home plate umpire decided he wasn't getting paid overtime and decided to end it in the 12th by requiring Andy Womack to put it on a tee in order to get a called strike, while we were getting called out on pitches you couldn't reach if you standing with your toes on the edge of home plate. The Saturday game was well called until about the 5th or 6th as I remember, and then it was more of the same - they got w-i-d-e outside corners and our pitchers had to groove pitches or walk runs in.

                        Brent Kemnitz got thrown out of Friday's game AFTER the game, and served a one game suspension on Saturday. On Saturday, Gene had a long face-to-face discussion with the home-plate umpire on the pitcher's mound.

                        We saw on Friday night in Omaha how a game can turn on ONE bad call. The first base umpire totally blew a call at first. Everyone in the stadium saw it except for the guy who was 10' away. The game was on TV and clearly showed that Taylor Brown stepped on first base. You didn't need instant replay or multiple angles, or slow motion to see it. If we get the out on that play, Creighton scores one instead of three and maybe the game turns out differently. The difference is, I don't think the umpire knowingly made the wrong call - he was just not in position to see it, and guessed wrong. You live with those calls, just like the one at K-State where we were called out at home when the catcher clearly did not tag the runner. What I saw at LBSU was not mistakes, but a measured decision to call the game decidedly in favor of one team. That's just wrong, and I honestly do not think Gene would ever stand for that on his field.

                        Long Beach State did some other Chicken Sh%t things, like refusing to honor the pass list on Friday. Shelly got them straightened out for Saturday but they were pretty stubborn about it.

                        On Friday night some Long Beach fans sitting above the Shocker fans were exceptionally obnoxious, and after the game went down and yelled into our dugout. Dusty's dad went after them and they ran like hell. Cowards.

                        It just wasn't a good weekend, all things considered. I hope we keep the series going, but I would not blame Gene one bit if he doesn't schedule them again.

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                        • #13
                          I agree with you hays, my whole point was that the argument about LBSU having their own umpires for the series SHOULDN'T be valid, because no umpire should play the home field advantage like that. I agree 100%, Gene would not put up with a guy like Mark Wagers or Greg Mudd or Josh Schepis giving WSU all the calls in a non-conference game. I can't believe it would have happened at Long Beach, but I really don't know.

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