LSU Eunice Bengal Ball Prevails, Again! Thursday, May 31 2012 

Kirk Savoy, an irregular (but effective) starter during the season, was on his game Thursday afternoon, shutting out Madison in an abbreviated game.

Another run rule win:  9-0 against a quality opponent.

Great pitching.  Clutch hitting.  Solid defense.  Against quality opposition.

Yes, these guys are good.  When deciding what performances to write about, I’m lost, because so many are so deserving of mention and praise.

Suffice it that the pitching, again, was stellar.  Kirk Savoy was not even a regular in the rotation all season, but he showed the quality depth of this pitching staff.  Undoubtedly, if LSU Eunice goes on to win the whole thing, pitching depth will be cited among the Bengals’ edges.

But the bats are hardly slouching.  I’m excited that sophomores like Dalton Herrington and Zack Hawkins have come through with big hits the last couple of games.  The whole team is hitting well, though.  This gang knows its pedigree!

For the second game in a row, sophomore first bagger Hawkins got a clutch first inning hit to put the Bengals out front early.

Bengal Ball is Back: LSU Eunice Shines! Wednesday, May 30 2012 

Brady Domangue shut down DMACC with a little help from his Bengal friends.

Bengal Ball, the style of baseball characterized by hard-charging offense, hits and steals in bunches, clutch pitching and defense, and constant pressure on the opposition.  We saw it more today than in the previous World Series games.

I like our chances.  Sure, we have to play the games, but this team is showing what it did all season.  The 13-o win this afternoon over Des Moines Area Community College is consistent with the kinds of scores we saw in the Region 23 tournament that sent us to Oklahoma, but let’s face it: the close, low-scoring games that preceded this gasser are more typical of our season than today’s gaudy 5 inning shut-out.

The mark of this team since mid-January is the ability to overcome adversity: Look at the record and note how many low-scoring games they won, remember the games they rallied to come from behind.  I like our odds!

Today’s game is special because no one player stands out–It was a team effort.

Congrats to Brady Domangue for a job well done, getting out of some tight spots over five innings to come away with a shutout.  Woe to the opponent who goes against the Bengals!

Magical “Stu’sday” at the NJCAA Div. II Series: LSUE Bengals Stun Scottsdale! Tuesday, May 29 2012 

Stuart Turner, LSUE’s hometown hero with the clutch bomb.

When the guys fell behind 2-1 in the top of the 8th, I began resigning myself to the cruel hand of fate.  Cruel because too many times in this game, the Bengals had pulled off dazzling defensive plays to get out of tight jams,  and they even accomplished a brazen, almost unthinkable steal of home to tie the game in the third by cleanup hitter Drew Forbes, one ordinarily known for a spunky bat much more than base stealing prowess.   So at several points during this particularly hard-fought, tenuous contest, including Drew’s steal of home, I  sensed that charm was on the Bengals’ side and that we would break it open: only a matter of time.

So losing the lead in the top of the eighth really was dismaying, especially as the NJCAA TV announcer billed the closer coming on for Scottsdale as the top closer in the country during 2012.  Landon Thibodeaux had weasled a two-out walk from the Scottsdale starter, a guy who’d pitched a whale of a game, and needing only four outs to clinch, odds looked pretty good for the Scottsdale Fighting Artichokes.  Anyway, here comes “Mr. Closer” with his microscopic ERA and a gaudy tally of something like 17 or 19 saves.  I don’t think this fellow had blown a save all season.

Not that I didn’t believe in Stuart Turner, the first batter “Mr. Closer” would deal with, but gosh, the odds just didn’t look too good: two outs, the tying run not even in scoring position, and besides, we needed two-out clutch hits all game long, but not a one ever fell in.  Why would I suppose the big hit would come now with “Mr. Closer” ably manning the fire hose to put the game away for Scottsdale, as he evidently had done all season long?  And besides, two outs and a runner on first didn’t look like much of a fire for “Mr. Closer” to put out, given his impressive resume.

Well, Dave, ye of little faith!  Home town Eunice boy Stu Turner stunned the Artichoke nation with a stormy blast over the left-center field fence that established the Bengals first lead of the game, 3-2.  That score stood as the Bengals swapped closer roles in the top of the ninth: Our guys got the job done, and the ‘chokes got to save some money on motel rent by going home a few days early.

(‘Chokes?  Aptly named?  Ooh, not to be cruel!)

A dazzling pitching performance by Cody Boutte set up Stu’s heroic fireworks.

True, this was one of those games where somebody had to lose, and what a pity.  But the game was also rewarding to Bengal fans, in a sense, in that the Bengals avenged a loss to this same Scottsdale team that sent the Bengals home early a couple of years ago in the Series.

So we live on to play another day.  Who will dispense the magic the next time out?

LSUE Bengals Baseball Bash: From NJCAA Region 23 to the World Series Monday, May 21 2012 

Last week, I witnessed a kind of utter dominion in a post-season championship tournament that I’ve never witnessed (or can recall) in any sport at any level.  To say the Bengals made winning the regional tournament look easy amounts to understatement.  Our guys played each of the other three teams in the tournament and won by gaudy scores, respectively 10-0, 17-2, and 17-0.  Those scores clearly set the Bengals apart, considering that when the other three teams played one another, final scores like 5-2 and 3-2 and 7-2 looked pretty competetive.  So obviously, home field advantage notwithstanding, LSU Eunice showed up as not just the first place team in the quartet, but as a truly dominant opponent.

True, the team only lost four games all season, and I’m fairly sure those four losses were all to Division I teams (the Bengals are Division II), but still I expected a more competetive tournament.  What happened?

Simple: They played to their ability, and they’re simply that good.  Everything that I witnessed during the season seemed to come together as kind of a “perfect storm” of performance.  (For sure, storm if you played for any of the opposing teams in the tournament).  I believe the ingredients of this tightly-wound tempest that unleashed such an efficient and debilitating fury on the visiting teams include the following:

Dominant Pitching:  And we’re just talking about the starters, because the three starters were so dominant that no extra hands were needed.  (The middle inning, set-up guys, and closers were so effective all season long that, had any of them been needed, they would have sustained the dominance anyway, I’m sure.)

Blazing bats: How does a team score 44 runs in three games?  Lots of different guys have to hit the ball really hard, and hit the ball all over the ball park.  Curiously, for such prolific production, no one hit a home run.  But they crushed a ton of hard-hit singles with a generous scattering of extra-base smashes that screamed into the corners and bounded through the gaps as the opposing outfielders often found themselves chasing balls to the walls (literally, no pun intended, but the word play is irresistable).

Snazzy Defense: The team wasn’t perfect.  They made a normal number of slop errors, maybe 2 or 3 that were noticeable, but the aspect of defense that supported their dominance was their consistent ability to make big plays, the kinds of plays that make highlight reels, like a third baseman diving across the foul line behind third and gunning out the runner with a laser-like dart across the diamond, or an out-fielder sprinting to the deepest part of his field in pursuit of a powerful drive, speeding to the fence just in time to snatch the ball  that we assumed was extra bases when it exploded off the batter’s bat.

“Bengal Ball”: When these guys are on their game, I call the style “Bengal Ball.”  I’ve watched it for five years now:  flashy, aggressive hustle.  Stretching out a hit into an extra base.  Hit and run executed to perfection.  Stolen bases in bunches.  Playing “fast” but under control.  It’s the most entertaining style of baseball because it’s ever in motion, ever pressing, ever intimidating.

Intangibles: Coach stated in recent interviews that this is the most closely-knit team he’s had in his successful tenure at LSU Eunice.  They played like a bonded band all year.  I believe that’s why, during the regular season, they won so many close games, overcoming adversity frequently to come from behind or come through in late innings with clutch hitting and pitching at game-deciding moments.  They seemed not to need the intangibles last week in the tournament because no contest was ever in doubt for more than the first couple of innings, but I believe those qualities lurked quietly in the background of their dominance.  Moreover, going forward to the national tournament, the intangibles could provide a decisive edge.   Almost assuredly, the team will be tested by quality opposition in Oklahoma, so they will need their sharpest edge!

So off we go to the Plains next week.  I believe this gang is ready.  They play with confidence, but never overconfidence.  Their confidence is the kind born of battle-tested trust and dependence on one another, tempered by belief in their proven skills; it’s not confidence born of self-centered cockiness or brash foolishness.

Yesiree, if I played for a team in the national tournament and I saw “LSU Eunice” on the bracket opposite my team, I think I might start start to sweat just a little bit.

Geaux, Bengals!

Deflatulence: An immodest proposal Wednesday, May 9 2012 

Marketers come up with curious names for products.  When products deal with touchy personal subjects, the challenge for marketers is obviously to apply a product name that accurately represents the product and its application without resorting to crudity or personal offense.

For the purpose of illustration, consider Gasex.

What is the product’s function?

Why, elimination of flatulence, of course.

The root for “Gasex” is gas, specifically in this context the objectional abdominal gas that kids (and grownups) associate with crude innuendo and raunchy jokes.  As such, what a vulgar and common product name!  They might as well call the pills”Fartex” or “Pootex!”

So let’s make a case for a re-name:

Why not call the product “Flatulex?”

That’s a lot more classy sounding than “gasex,” and flatulence is a legitimate medical/scientific term not nearly so subject to association with crude jokes and coarse, bathroom humor.

Good idea.  Next, maybe I will tackle some indelicate product names from the diahrrea section at the local pharmacy.  Readers are welcome to post comments to offer suggestions.

 

 

A Follower I Will Be Friday, May 4 2012 

The ladies, hellbent to shop at Perkins Row a few weeks ago. Me following reluctantly behind, as usual.

What happened to men in my life?

When it comes to gender, I’m subjugated to followerhood of women.  Here I am last week gone to Baton Rouge at daughter’s invitation to supper, but dragged mercilessly to shop as a prerequisite for the meal, the daughter aided and abetted by her mother (a.k.a. my wife).

Why do the dames stick together?  Are they really the weaker sex?

I don’t think so, for they are so adept at getting their way.

Methinks me protest, or at least I would’st,  for all the good it doeth.

Tuesday, May 1 2012 

Inventio!

When I was in college, most of my professors went to graduate school in the era of the fifties and sixties when Freudian psychoanalysis was practically a fad.  Of course they would never have agreed that Freudianism was a fad, because the Freudian principles of analysis were accepted as gospel and applied across disciplines outside of psychology to explain just about everything: for instance, characters’ motives or authorial intent were psychoanalyzed in Freudian terms in literature, Freudian explanations of historical figures’ behavior was popular , and so on and so forth.  That generation believed Freud explained everything.  225px-sigmund_freud_life-1

But it turns out it was kind of a fad, because by the time I went to graduate school in the early 1990’s, nobody talked about Freud (pictured to the right, photo courtesy of Wikipedia).  By this time, the Freudian fad had been supplanted by fashionable scholarly preoccupations with feminism and…

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