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Opinion: Republic FC’s Rodrigo Lopez can dance, too

Andrew Susac walks away after getting called out on strikes April 9 at Raley Field. After playing with the Giants last season, he says he still has to “get back in the swing” of minors travel.
Andrew Susac walks away after getting called out on strikes April 9 at Raley Field. After playing with the Giants last season, he says he still has to “get back in the swing” of minors travel. jvillegas@sacbee.com

Tens of thousands of YouTubers watched Rodrigo Lopez hit that half-field shot against Vancouver the other night, but how many saw him dance after his first, more realistic goal in the 31st minute?

The Republic FC midfielder jumped the barrier to do some kind of voodoo hula in front of Mount Bonney. It drove the Battalion wild, which doesn’t take too much effort.

Lopez said he stole the move from his buddy, Marco Fabian, who scored in Chivas’ 1-0 win over Club León in the Mexican league last week. After his own top-of-the-box shot in the 89th minute, Fabian grabbed about a half-dozen teammates for a wiggle in front of a huge Guadalajara crowd.

“When he scored the game winner, I told him, ‘I’m going to copy your dance,’” Lopez said. “He said, ‘OK, go for it.’ It’s just something for the fans.”

You’ve got to wonder how much longer his Sacramento following can maintain its claim on RoRo; hard to believe somebody so dominating at this level can’t move up another bump. ...

Getaway Day came early Friday for the River Cats. They assembled at the park at 4 a.m. to catch a bus for a 5:30 a.m., one-stop Southwest Airlines flight to Salt Lake City. Pacific Coast League officials don’t want anybody showing up late. ...

Wilt Chamberlain and the Philadelphia Warriors once punched in at 10 p.m. for a scheduled 8 o’clock game at the L.A. Sports Arena.

The Warriors changed clothes on the bus and beat the Lakers 113-106. Their plane had trouble getting off the ground in Philly, and the travel nightmare knocked Wilt a bit off his game. The Dipper only had 41 points and 27 rebounds.

It was the first of a four-game set for the Warriors in L.A. and the Lakers’ eighth game in as many nights. They did things differently in the NBA in 1960. ...

In any era, River Cats manager Bob Mariano could do without 3 a.m. wakeup calls, especially when his club played until nearly 10 p.m. the night before.

“I have a pet peeve about playing a Wednesday afternoon game and then coming back and playing a night game on getaway day,” Mariano said after Thursday’s 7-4 loss to the Las Vegas 51s. “(PCL Commissioner) Branch Rickey will probably be (ticked) at me, but they should have had this game as a day game and a night game on Wednesday.”

What was the name of that movie about the Talking Heads concert? That’s right, “Stop Making Sense”

“I’ve got to get back in the swing of things with the PCL travel,” Andrew Susac said of his downward adjustment from last year’s life on the big club. “It’s not fun, but you’ve got to do it.” ...

Cory Vaughn, Susac’s one-time Jesuit High School teammate, came to town with Las Vegas and played all four for the Mets’ Triple-A team. He hit the highest level of the minors last year in a .210 season he’d like to forget.

“It was one of my worst years,” Vaughn said on getaway night for Las Vegas, which had a more reasonable mid-morning departure time Friday. “It was a real learning curve. But I played winter ball and I learned from my mistakes and learned how to handle failure.”

Vaughn is diabetic, but his health has not hurt his game. “I stay on top of it,” Greg’s kid said. ...

What happened to our college baseball teams?

Sacramento State, once 6-1, lost six of eight going into this weekend’s home series against Cal State Bakersfield. UC Davis, once 18-7-1, dropped seven of nine ahead of this weekend’s trip to Irvine for three at UC Fashion Island.

Hornets coach Reggie Christiansen isn’t worried. He believes his young team will improve as local freshmen Vinny Esposito, Devin Lehman and PJ Floyd grow up.

“It takes guys time to adjust,” Christiansen said. “We have to get hot at the end and make another run.”

He said plentiful pitching gives him hope Sac State can still finish in the top two in league and draw a first-round bye in the Western Athletic Conference playoffs.

One of these years, college baseball will be as big here as it is in Baton Rouge, La. and Wichita, Kan. ...

Rookie Name of the Year Award has been decided. Give the trophy to Boston’s Mookie Betts. ...

Happy 80th birthday to the Torch Club. A good present for Marina Texeira and the rest would be an 8x11-framed glossy photo of Deontay Wilder.

Now that Wilder has brought one of the three heavyweight title belts back to the United States, the Torch can update its photos of the American championship lineage that ring the bar. Their collection stops right about Larry Holmes. ...

Last add, Mariano: The Cats manager laughed when told Baseball America ranked the Giants’ minor-league talent 27th of 30 organizations.

“Is that right?” he said. “You can tell Baseball America to keep us down there, and I’ll show them the three rings we’ve got.”

Call The Bee’s Andy Furillo, (916) 321-1141. Follow him on Twitter @andyfurillo.

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