Tuesday, March 15, 2011

LBSU Pitcher Receives Well-Deserved Honors

LBSU Ace Andrew Gagnon.
Courtesy of LBSU Athletics

Junior starting pitcher Andrew Gagnon was named the Big West Conference pitcher of the week for the second time this season. Gagnon has already faced four ranked opponents this season, and still boasts a stunningly low 2.33 ERA with a record of 3-3
Long Beach State finished their longest road trip of the season this past week with a matchup against Stanford, the 12th ranked team in the nation. In the three game set, the Dirtbags went 1-2, one of the two losses being a close one, 6-5.

The Dirtbags finished their non-conference schedule with a respectable 12-11 record, but it is not where they want to be going into Big West Conference play. Conference play starts April 1st against Pacific up in Stockton. You can see the the full schedule and results here.

Long Beach State's biggest struggle thus far this season has been their lack of offense. In 23 games played, they have only 75 runs scored, 60 runs batted in, one homerun, and a team batting average of .246. Offensive numbers like that spell doom for any baseball club.

The pitching has been nothing short of fantastic. The team ERA is very good at 2.99, the pitching staff also has 177 strikeouts in 211 innings pitched. Opponents are only hitting .244 against the Dirtbag pitching staff, but six homerun's given up are definitely a blip on the radar. Full offensive, defensive, and pitching stats can be found here.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Rich Traditions, High Expectations

Long Beach State University's baseball team is one of rich traditions, and high expectations. Deemed as perennial NCAA powers by many of the college baseball analysts and experts, both players and coaches alike feel the pressure that comes with being a member of this prestigious baseball program.

With so many players who have come out of this program and had extreme success at the Major League level, such as: Steve Trachsel, Jason Giambi, Bobby Crosby, Troy Tulowitski, and Evan Longoria, it seems as if CSULB is a professional baseball factory. The past two years have been a struggle for the Dirtbags, however, they had an overall record of 25-29 in 2009, and in 2010, they posted a 23-32 record.

The uncharacteristically bad seasons that this team has suffered the past two campaigns has not deterred the 2011 CSULB Dirtbags from striving for success. First year head coach Troy Buckley is one of the most well-respected pitching coaches to ever grace the mound, and he is ready to lead his squad back into supremacy.

This team is led by Junior starting pitcher Andrew Gagnon, Junior multi-faceted player Mike Marjama, and Sophomore third baseman Matt Duffy. The loss of infielder Danny Espinosa to the Major League Baseball draft is a huge blow to the middle infield of the Dirtbags, Freshman Kirk Singer is going to have to step up in a big way and fill the hole that Espinosa left behind.

The Dirtbags have started off with a lackluster 3-6 record for the 2011 season. This group of young players will need a few more games to get on the same page, but they possess some of the best talent that you will find amongst any college campus. Expect big things out of this very talented 2011 CSULB baseball squad.