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.

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