Important Dates for Baseball Fans

cwl-logo-black-text-thumbnailBaseball in Palm Springs is ending soon as the California Winter League comes to a close on February 12th. In the week between the start of Major League baseball’s Arizona Cactus League, baseball fans should venture out to a college baseball ballpark.

Southern California boasts some of the best college baseball programs in the nation.  Below are the dates of opening day for local colleges.

USC– February 17 vs Coppin State2000px-interlocking_usc_logo-svg

UCLA– February 17 vs San Jose Stateucla_bruins_script_logo

Long Beach State– February 17 vs Oklahoma

Cal State Northridge– February 17 vs Portland

Cal State Fullerton– February 17 vs Stanford

2000px-csuf_titans_logo-svgUC Irvine– February 17 vs Minnesota

UC Riverside– February 17 vs Nebraska

College of the Desert– February 10 vs West LA

 

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Los Angeles Football Fans Confused, not Bad Fans

NFL fans in Los Angeles are confused and that is why the Los Angeles Chargers are not being immediately embraced.
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It is natural to want to support local teams, but Angelinos saw two teams leave in the 90’s and chose other NFL teams as the team they root for on Sundays.  Cowboys, Steelers, Bears, and other team’s jerseys are worn by fans each Sunday in sports bars around the city. 

Now NFL two teams back. So which one do Angelinos embrace more?

Should Los Angeles football fans stick with whatever team they adopted when the Rams and Raiders left?

Do they drop that team and choose the Rams or Chargers?

Do they stay neutral and root for individual players on their fantasy teams as opposed to one specific team? 

Many fans forgot about the NFL since USC and UCLA were such big college football programs. Do they decline to choose an NFL team and claim one of these college team’s as LA’s team?

If Angelinos have $100 to spend on a ticket to a football game in October, do they buy a UCLA, USC, Rams, or Chargers ticket?

If they buy a $50 jersey, do LA residents buy a UCLA, USC, Rams, Chargers, or another team’s jersey?

Around the nation, football fans are saying Los Angeles is filled with bad or fickle fans that are unwilling to embrace two teams. Try this alternate reality to fully understand how Angelinos feel. 

Media SquareLet’s say the Jets and Giants left New York in 1995. The Jets went onto win a Super Bowl a few years later in their new city and the Giants went to a Super Bowl by 2003. Meanwhile two major college football programs thrive in Giants stadium with one team winning two national titles.

In this alternate reality, the Jets moved back to New York in 2016 and brought back the Chargers a year later while the Giants stayed in their new city.  Meanwhile the two major college football programs continue to thrive in the city.

Which team would New York embrace?

Would New York fans be confused as to where their loyalty lies in this scenario?

Los Angeles football fans are in that exact scenario.

The Rams won a Super Bowl in St. Louis, the Raiders got to the Super Bowl once, USC won two national titles, and UCLA featured top ten teams sporadically while the NFL teams were gone.

So are Angelinos bad fans?  No.

Just confused and how can they not be?

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USC and UCLA not the only Baseball Powers in Los Angeles

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UCLA and USC had an epic 14 inning battle in the Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic. Casual baseball fans probably had their interest piqued, yet might not know much about college baseball in Los Angeles.

Unlike college football where UCLA and USC are the only division one powers in Los Angeles, there are many college baseball programs that can compete, and even beat, the Bruins and Trojans.

While UCLA beat USC in the Dodger Stadium Baseball Classic, they lost 10-1 to Long Beach State of the Big West earlier in the year and Long Beach State is not even the highest ranked team in the Big West!

Cal State Fullerton is the highest ranked Big West team at number 23 and the Titans are arguably the best program in the Los Angeles area with four national titles and 17 College World Series appearances.

The Titans (6-4) have won the Big West Conference title 28 times and have never had a losing season.2000px-csuf_titans_logo-svg

Senior Dalton Blaser has started strong for the Titans with a .385 batting average and .467 OBP. Junior infielder Timmy Richards has shown speed on the base paths stealing four bases on four attempts while batting .348. Both will probably be drafted by Major League Baseball teams later in the year.

Colton Eastman has burst on the scene as a freshman starting pitcher this year going 3-0 in his first three starts with a 1.89 ERA.  He has also struck out 17 while only walking three batters.

Fellow Fresno product Blake Quinn has had three quality starts in his first three games.  Quinn has struck out 21 batters in only 17 innings of work.

Fullerton has a nine game home stand starting tonight against Arizona State.  The home stand also features Wichita State, San Diego State, and Maryland.

The Titans will start grueling conference games March 24 against college baseball powers Long Beach State, CSUN, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Irvine as they try to repeat as Big West champion.

Historic USC UCLA Baseball Game ends in 14 Innings

Never in the storied rivalry of cross town rivals USC and UCLA have the two teams played a baseball game that lasted 14 innings. It happened on Sunday with the Bruins topping the Trojans 5-3 in the Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic. dodger_stadium_field_from_upper_deck_2015-10-04

Freshman UCLA starting pitcher Brian Gadsby had a rough start as he allowed the Trojans (6-5) to score three runs in the first two innings before settling down to throw three straight scoreless innings.

Brett Stephens had a big day at the plate for the Bruins notching four hits on the day with two runs batted in. Designated hitter Kort Peterson added three hits for UCLA (6-5).

USC jumped out to a 3-0 lead and had plenty of chances to get a clutch hit and win the game, but it never happened. The Trojans left 13 runners on base in the game.

David Oppenheim went 3-4 with a walk for the Trojans. Joe Navilhon, Jeff Paschke, and Brooks Kriske all pitched well for USC (6-5).

The schedule for the Trojans does not get any easier as they head to Texas to face 11th ranked TCU. UCLA takes on CSUN on Tuesday in Northridge.

Close Games on Saturday in College Baseball Classic

Late heroics defined Saturday’s games in the Dodger Stadium Baseball Classic featuring USC, UCLA, Oklahoma, and Mississippi State.

At Dedeaux Field on the USC campus, #22 Mississippi State was able to hold off #20 USC 8-7 when the Bulldogs got out of a ninth inning jam to secure the victory.

The Trojans had the tying run on third with one out in the bottom of the ninth. Bulldog closer Kale Breaux struck out the next batter and his defense made a great play on a ball up the middle to record the third out.

Across town, #14 UCLA scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh to defeat Oklahoma 4-2. Eric Filia drove in two runs for the Bruins and had three hits on the day. Sooner pitcher Alec Hansen was the tough luck loser throwing six and a third solid innings giving up only two runs in the seventh inning.

Sunday’s games move to Dodger Stadium as Oklahoma takes on Mississippi State at 11 and USC battling cross town rival UCLA at 3.

Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic Friday Results

The Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic is off to a strong start with two close games Friday night at Dedeaux Field and Jackie Robinson Stadium.

USC (6-3) defeated Oklahoma 5-4 after nearly blowing a 3-0 lead. The Sooners dropped to 4-6 on the season after the loss to the number 22 ranked Trojans. 2000px-interlocking_usc_logo-svg

Oklahoma rallied in the ninth loading the bases with just one out before reliever Brad Wegman got the save by forcing the final Sooner batter to ground into a double play.

 

Meanwhile across town, the number 14 UCLA Bruins used a strong pitching performance by sophomore Griffin Canning to post a 2-1 victory over the number 24 ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs.

ucla_bruins_script_logoCanning went 8.2 innings and improved his record to 2-0 with the win.

The Bruins will host the Sooners at Jackie Robinson Field today at 1 PT while the Trojans take on the Bulldogs at Dedeaux Field at 1 PT.

The Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic will conclude Sunday at Dodger Stadium with Mississippi State taking on Oklahoma in the early game and USC battling UCLA in the late game.

 

Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic

Baseball will take place in Dodger Stadium this weekend, but not Major League Baseball with the boys in blue.  Instead, top college players from four top college baseball teams will clash in the Dodger Stadium Baseball Classic.

Oklahoma (4-5), #20 Mississippi State (7-2), #22 USC (5-3), and #21 UCLA (3-5) will battle all weekend culminating with games on Sunday being played at Dodger Stadium.cropped-dodgerstadiumbanner.jpg

The first games of the classic start on Friday night when Oklahoma plays USC at Dedeaux Field at 6. Across town at Jackie Robinson Field, Mississippi State will take on UCLA at 6.

The Sooners and Trojans met in in the 1995 College World Series with USC posting a 9-4 win in Lincoln. USC right hander Kyle Davis will take the bump for the Trojans and Oklahoma will counter with Jake Elliot and his 3.00 ERA.

In a replay of the College World Series final of 2013, Mississippi State will try to avenge their loss to UCLA in the championship game when they take the field Friday night. Junior Dakota Hudson of the Bulldogs will take his 1.64 ERA into the game and try to improve his 1-0 record.  UCLA will counter with sophomore right hander Griffin Canning.

On Saturday, Oklahoma will travel to UCLA while Mississippi State heads to USC.

The Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic will culminate at Dodger Stadium on Sunday.

Oklahoma will take on Mississippi State on Sunday at 11 in the opening game. Crosstown rivals USC and UCLA will do battle at 3. The USC and UCLA game will be televised live by the Pac-12 Network.

Tickets for the Sunday games are very reasonably priced with Pavillon seats $10 and Field Level seats only $15.