Cal Baseball Offically Begins Fall Practice Oct. 8

Oct. 5, 2001

BERKELEY, CA - The University of California baseball program will be shooting for a return trip to an NCAA Regional as the 2002 Bears officially begin fall practice Monday, Oct. 8 at Evans Diamond.

Cal finished the 2001 season 34-25 overall, 14-10 in the Pac-10 and advanced the NCAA South Regional in Baton Rouge, LA in head coach David Esquer's second year directing the Bears. Cal will be led in 2002 by senior right-hander Trevor Hutchinson, senior second baseman Carson White and sophomore right-hander Matt Brown, plus returning position starters John Baker, Ben Conley, Conor Jackson and Jeff Dragicevich. The Bears will also be featuring 10 new players.

Last season, Hutchinson was Cal's number one starter, going 6-7 with a 3.85 ERA and had 91 strikeouts in 114.7 innings. White was a first team All-Pac-10 selection, batting .338 with 19 doubles, four triples, eight home runs and 49 RBI. As a freshman, Brown was 3-3 with a 4.38 ERA and had a Pac-10 best eight saves.

The Bears will wrap-up fall practice with an Alumni Game on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 12 p.m. at Evans Diamond. Following the Alumni Game, there will be a barbecue for alumni, players and family.

In other Cal baseball news, several former Bears are enjoying outstanding summer's in professional baseball. Ryan Drese, who pitched at Cal from 1995-98, is a member of the Cleveland Indians pitching staff and is currently 1-1 with a 3.25 ERA, having pitched in eight games with four starts (36.0 innings, 13 walks, 22 strikeouts). Right-hander Doug Nickle, a pitcher for the Bears from 1995-97, was called up recently with the Philadelphia Phillies and has made two appearances (2.0 innings, one hit, one strikeout).

In the minor leagues, former Cal players Xavier Nady, Mike Tonis and Jason Dennis have gathered some accolades. Nady, the schools home run and RBI leader who played from 1998-00, was named the No. 2 prospect in the California League and was a member of the advanced Class A All-Star Team in Baseball America. Playing for San Diego's Lake Elsinore squad, Nady batted .302 with 38 doubles, a triple, 26 home runs and 100 RBI.

Tonis, a top catcher for the Bears from 1998-00, was selected the 19th top prospect in the Texas League, according to Baseball America. Tonis played for Wichita in the Kansas City Royals Double A organization and hit .270 with 11 doubles, a triple, nine home runs and 43 RBI.

Dennis is a left-handed pitcher who played at Cal from 1998-01 and helped lead the Bears to an NCAA Regional last season. Pitching for for Anaheim's Provo Rookie League team, he went 5-0 with a Pioneer League leading 2.05 ERA.

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