Baseball BeatApril 17, 2004
Ho Hum...Weaver Throws Another Gem
By Rich Lederer

Jered Weaver pitched a four-hit, complete-game shutout as the #5-ranked Long Beach State 49ers (24-9) beat the #7-ranked UC Irvine Anteaters (23-8-1), 3-0, on Friday evening at Blair Field in Long Beach. Weaver (11-0) struck out 12 and did not allow a walk in outdueling UCI's Brett Smith, who was also undefeated going into the game.

The All-American threw 107 pitches (77 strikes and 30 balls) while facing only 30 batters. In addition to his dozen Ks, Weaver induced seven outs through the air, seven on the ground, and one via a caught stealing. The junior righthander has struck out ten or more batters in eight of his 11 starts this season.

Weaver and Smith pitched a scoreless game for six innings before the 49ers scored the decisive run in the bottom of the seventh, the first Smith (6-1) had allowed in the past 31 innings. Jered's victory was his first ever against UCI, a team that had roughed him up to the tune of a 8.64 ERA in his previous two outings against them. (Box Score)

Weaver's Line vs. UCI:

IP  H   R   ER  BB  K
9   4   0   0   0   12

With the win over UC Irvine, Weaver now has six wins over top-30 opponents. The Pride of the Beach previously had beaten Cal, USC, Baylor, Arizona, and Wichita State. Opponents are hitting .146 against him.

Season Totals:

IP     H    R   ER   BB   K    ERA    W-L
80.2   40   9   9    11   118  1.00   11-0

Weaver, who has already been named the National Pitcher of the Week a record five times (2/9, 2/16, 3/8, 3/15, 3/29), is in a good position to earn his sixth weekly award. He is also a leading candidate for The Roger Clemens Award honoring the outstanding pitcher in college baseball, Baseball America's College Player Of The Year, and the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award.

Last year's Golden Spikes Award winner was Rickie Weeks of Southern University. Other past winners of this prestigious award include current major major leaguers Mark Prior ('01), Jason Jennings ('00), Pat Burrell ('98), J.D. Drew ('97), Travis Lee ('96), Mark Kotsay ('95), Jason Varitek ('94), Darren Dreifort ('93), Phil Nevin ('92) and Robin Ventura ('88). Former major leaguers that have captured the award include Alex Fernandez ('90), Ben McDonald ('89), Jim Abbott ('87), Will Clark ('85), Dave Magadan ('83), Terry Francona ('80), Tim Wallach ('79), and Bob Horner ('78).

Career Totals:

IP     H    R   ER   BB   K    ERA    W-L
306.2  207  90  83   63   336  2.44   33-8

Weaver's latest victory tied ex-Dirtbag pitcher Andy Croghan's school mark for career wins with 33. Before the season is out, Jered could also pass Croghan in innings pitched (356 2/3) and Rocky Biddle in strikeouts (361). Weaver is on pace to become the single-season leader in innings (currently held by Steve Trachsel with 148 2/3), strikeouts (144 by Scott Rivette and Weaver in '03), and wins (17 by Daniel Choi).