LONG BEACH, Calif. -- The 2004 Long Beach State baseball team was known as the best team to never make the College World Series. Jered Weaver and Jason Vargas headlined a team that lost in the Super Regional Round, but the Dirtbags were never down for too long.
Four years later, it was a team that was so loaded and so stacked a record 11 were drafted and six would reach the major leagues. But the 2008 Dirtbag team failed to make it out of their own regional tournament, replacing the one four years before it as the best team to never make the College World Series.
But 11 draft picks opened some eyes and the program tilted in another direction.
Go to Long Beach State, they said. You'll be a big leaguer, they said. But go to rival Cal State Fullerton and you'll go to the College World Series.
When pitching coach Troy Buckley, a longtime part of the Dirtbag program, took the reigns as the head coach in 2011, he decided to put an end to that notion. This wasn't the Dirtbag wa...