Cal Baseball Hosts Loyola Marymount in Three-game Series at Evans Diamond
Feb. 5, 2003
BERKELEY, CA -
Fri. Feb. 7 vs. LMU Evans Diamond, Berkeley, CA 1:30 p.m.Sat. Feb. 8 vs. LMU Evans Diamond, Berkeley, CA 1:00 p.m.Sun. Feb. 9 vs. LMU Evans Diamond, Berkeley, CA 1:00 p.m.
BEAR QUICK NOTES: The California baseball team (2-2) will try to push its record over the .500 mark this weekend as they host Loyola Marymount in a three-game series at Evans Diamond. The Golden Bears will likely be without their preseason All-American Conor Jackson, who sprained his right ankle rounding second base in the season-opener Jan. 31 versus UNLV, but have had some players perform well at the plate in Jackson's absence. Freshman shortstop Allen Craig (.417, 1 HR, 2 RBI) replaced Jackson and proceeded to hit a home run in his first collegiate at-bat. Junior right fielder Brian Horwitz is batting .353 with a team-best three doubles, two home runs and seven RBI, after coming into this season with one career home run. Sophomore second baseman David Nicholson is batting .500 (8-for-16) with two doubles and is a perfect 6-for-6 in stolen bases. On the mound, the Bears had five pitchers combine for 15 strikeouts Tuesday at San Francisco, the most team strikeouts for Cal since the Feb. 1, 2002 season-opener at UNLV. The Bears return 13 players who were members of Cal's 2001 NCAA Regional Squad. The Bears are predicted to be a NCAA Regional team by Baseball America and are selected to finish fourth behind USC, Arizona State and Stanford in the Pac-10 Coaches Preseason Poll. Cal will be attempting to qualify for NCAA postseason for the second time in David Esquer's four-year head coaching tenure with the Bears.
SERIES RECORD: Cal has a 6-9 overall series record against the Loyola Marymount Lions. In the last meeting between the two schools, the Bears won two-of-three games, Feb. 16-18, 2001 in Los Angeles (W 14-6, L 9-8, W 8-5).
HEAD COACH DAVID ESQUER: The 2001 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, Esquer, 37, is in his fourth season at Cal and has a career record of 90-82 (.523). He became only the 10th coach in the history of Cal baseball, which began in 1892, when he was hired June 10, 1999. Esquer replaced longtime Bear mentor Bob Milano, who retired May 17, 1999 after 22 years as the Bears head coach and 29 years involved in the Cal baseball program. Esquer came to Berkeley after serving as the top assistant at Pepperdine from 1996-99. Rrior to working at Pepperdine, he was the No. 2 assistant coach at Stanford under Mark Marquess from 1991-96. A shortstop at Stanford from 1984-87, Esquer was a starter on Stanford's 1987 College World Series championship team, earning All-Tournament honors after hitting .350 with six RBI in Omaha. He also earned All-Pac-10 Southern Division honors as a senior and went on to play professional baseball for four seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, California Angels and Milwaukee Brewers organizations.
TENTATIVE CALIFORNIA LINE-UPNo. Pos. Player 2003 stats5 2B David Nicholson, So. .500, 0 RBI, 0 HR4 SS Allen Craig, Fr. .417, 2 RBI, 1 HR24 RF Brian Horwitz, Jr. .353, 7 RBI, 2 HR44 1B James Holder, So. .200, 0 RBI, 0 HR6 LF Justin Nelson, So. .231, 4 RBI, 0 HR9 3B Jeff Dragicevich, Jr. .154, 0 RBI, 1 HR35 C Chris Grossman, Jr. .333, 3 RBI, 0 HR33 DH Jeremy Burchett, Fr. .286, 3 RBI, 1 HR3 CF Brad Smith, Sr. .000, 0 RBI, 0 HR30 RHP Matt Brown, Jr. (Fri.) 0-0, 7.20 ERA26 RHP Joe Todoroff, So. (Sat.) 1-0, 5.40 ERA31 RHP Brent Hale, So. (Sun.) 0-1, 12.46 ERA
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT: The Loyola Marymount Lions, coached by Frank Cruz (7th year at LMU, 171-180-1, .487), open their 2003 season at Cal. Top returning hitters for the Lions are junior shortstop Billy Lockin (.371, 1 HR, 38 RBI), sophomore outfielder/infielder Carl Stoeber (.370, 0 HR, 9 RBI) and sophomore shortstop Sean Smith (.320, 3 HR, 41 RBI). LMU's tentative pitching rotation is junior left-hander Josh Mueke (2-5, 6.10 ERA), junior right-hander Vince Cordova (8-4, 6.52 ERA) and senior right-hander Justin Abreu (5-5, 5.76 ERA). In 2002, the Lions finished 22-34 overall and 15-15 (fifth) in the West Coast Conference.
PAC-10 RACE (as of Feb. 5)
Conference Overall W L PCT GB W L T .PCTUSC 0 0 .000 0.0 1 0 1.000ASU 0 0 .000 0.0 11 1 .917Arizona 0 0 .000 0.0 2 1 .667CAL 0 0 .000 0.0 2 2 .500UCLA 0 0 .000 0.0 2 2 .500Stan 0 0 .000 0.0 2 3 .400OSU 0 0 .000 0.0 0 0 .000Wash 0 0 .000 0.0 0 0 .000WSU 0 0 .000 0.0 0 0 .000
CAL PLAYERS TO WATCH
Conor Jackson, third base, JR - preseason All-American in Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers; 2002 first team All-Pac-10 selection; member of the 2002 USA National Team; led the Pac-10 in total bases (152) and slugging percentage (.691), and was second with a .382 batting average in 2002; is a candidate for the Golden Spikes Award as the nation's top collegiate baseball player...Matt Brown, right-handed pitcher, JR - preseason All-American in Baseball America; two-time Pac-10 Honorable Mention; 2002 Cape Cod League All-Star; is tied for fourth on the Cal all-time save list (14)...David Nicholson, outfielder/infielder, SO - 2002 Freshman Mid-Season All-American in Baseball American; 2002 Pac-10 Honorable Mention.
Scott Cheo, first base, outfield, JR - Saddleback College (Mission Viejo, CA)2002 Junior College All-American; 2002 SoCal Offensive Player of the Year; batted .398 with school-record 23 home runs and 76 RBI.Allen Craig, infield, FR - Chaparral HS (Temecula, CA)Batted .485 with 11 runs, three doubles, two home runs and 10 RBI for USA Junior National Team; helped Team USA to bronze medal at World Junior Championship in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada; All-CIF Southern Section.
BEARS NOTED BY BASEBALL AMERICA
Baseball America selected Jackson and Brown as projected all-conference picks, and both are listed as top prospects for the 2003 Major League Amateur Draft. Jackson was also selected as the Pac-10's second-best pure hitter, Brown as having the league's best fastball and Nicholson was picked as being the conference's fastest runner.
IMPORTANT HOME DATES
Apr. 17-19 vs. USCCal faces the No. 6 Preseason ranked and defending Pac-10 champion Trojans.
May 9-11 vs. StanfordThe Golden Bears host Bay Area rival Stanford in the last regular season conference series.
Cal did not qualify for a NCAA Regional in 2002 with an 29-27 overall record (11-13, fifth in the Pac-10), but had two players, junior catcher John Baker and sophomore infielder Conor Jackson, earn first team All-Pac-10 honors and finish first (.383) and second (.382) in the Pac-10 batting race, respectively. The Bears also had four other players (Matt Brown, Trevor Hutchinson, David Nicholson, Carson White) selected honorable mention All-Pac-10, including right-hander Trevor Hutchinson, who finished his Cal career as the school's all-time career strikeout leader (284).
CAL INDIVIDUAL PLAYER NOTES
MATT BROWN: Is 0-0 with a 7.20 ERA...started season opener and got no decision Jan. 31 vs. UNLV (5.0 innings, eight hits, four runs, one walk, one strikeout)...is a third team Preseason All-American in Baseball America and a two-time honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection...is tied for fourth (Joe Buckley, 1986-89) on the Cal all-time saves list with 14...was a Cape Cod League All-Star last summer...was the Pac-10 leader in saves (eight) as a true freshman...is slated to start Friday for the Bears...
JEREMY BURCHETT: Is batting .286 (2-for-7) with a home run and three RBI...also has a .714 slugging percentage...got a hit in his first collegiate at-bat, Jan. 31 vs. UNLV...went on to go 2-for-7 with a home run and three RBI in two games vs. UNLV ...also pitched in relief Feb. 2 vs. UNLV, throwing one inning (ninth) with no hits, no runs, no walks and one strikeout...
ALLEN CRAIG: Is batting .417 (5-for-12) with a team-high six runs, and has one home run and two RBI...also leads the Bears with a .611 on-base percentage and has a .667 slugging percentage...hit a home run in his first collegiate at-bat, Jan. 31 vs. UNLV...went on to go 4-for-9 with a home run and two RBI last week vs. the Rebels ...was 1-for-3 Tuesday at San Francisco...is batting .400 (2-for-5) with runners in scoring position...batted .485 this past summer for the USA Junior National Team...
JEFF DRAGICEVICH: Is batting .154 (2-for-13) with a double and RBI...went 1-for-9 with a double and RBI last week vs. UNLV...was 1-for-4 Tuesday at San Francisco...has started the past two seasons at shortstop, but moved to third base when Conor Jackson sprained his ankle Jan. 31...
CHRIS GROSSMAN: Is batting .333 (4-for-12) with three RBI...has started three of the Bears' four games behind the plate...went 4-for-11 last week vs. UNLV, including going 2-for-4 with three RBI in the Jan. 31 season-opener...is batting .667 (2-for-3) with runners in scoring position...
BRENT HALE: Is 0-1 with a 12.46 ERA...suffered the loss in Feb. 2 start vs. UNLV, pitching 4.3 innings with eight hits, six runs, two walks and a strikeout...last season went 2-3 with a 5.74 ERA, and had 27 strikeouts in 42.3 innings...is a possible starter Sunday...
JAMES HOLDER: Is batting .200 (3-for-15)...went 2-for-3 with two runs scored in the season-opener Jan. 31 vs. UNLV...was 1-for-3 Tuesday at San Francisco...hit a home run in his first at-bat last season at UNLV (Feb. 1, 2002), but later in the game dislocated his right shoulder and sat out the 2002 season...
BRIAN HORWITZ: Is batting .353 (6-for-17) with a team-leading three doubles, two home runs and seven RBI...also leads the Bears with a .882 slugging percentage...went 4-for-12 with two doubles, a home run and four RBI last week vs. UNLV...was 2-for-5 with a double, home run and a career-high three RBI Tuesday at San Francisco...already has two home runs this season after entering the year with only one career home run...is batting .429 (3-for-7) with runners in scoring position...holds the Cal school record with a 23-game hitting streak, set as a freshman in 2001...
JESSE INGRAM: Is 0-0 with a save and a 0.00 ERA...has five strikeouts in 4.0 innings...pitched 2.0 innings Feb. 1 vs. UNLV (four hits, no earned runs, one walk, one strikeout)...earned his second career save Tuesday at San Francisco (2.0 innings, no hits, no runs, one walk, four strikeouts)...led the team and was second in the Pac-10 in appearances last season (29)...
JUSTIN NELSON: Is batting .231 (3-for-13) with two doubles and four RBI...is tied for the team lead with four walks and has a .412 on-base percentage...was 2-for-10 with a double a three RBI last week vs. UNLV...went 1-for-3 with an RBI double Tuesday at San Francisco...is batting .600 (3-for-5) with runners in scoring position...
DAVID NICHOLSON: Is batting .500 (8-for-16) with two doubles, five runs scored and is 6-for-6 in stolen bases...has a .579 onn-base percentage and a .625 slugging percentage...was 5-for-11 with two doubles last week vs. UNLV, including going a career-best 4-for-4 Feb. 1 vs. the Rebels...went 3-for-5 Tuesday at San Francisco...
MATT SWANSON: Is 1-0 with 6.75 ERA...picked up the win in relief Tuesday at San Francisco, pitching 2.7 innings with three hits, two runs, one walk and a career-high six strikeouts...
AARON SWICK: Has pitched well in relief, throwing 4.7 innings with no earned runs, one hit, no walks and two strikeouts in two appearances...got out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth inning Tuesday at San Francisco and struck out two of the seven batters he faced...
JOE TODOROFF: Is 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA...earned his first collegiate victory Feb. 1 vs. UNLV, pitching 5.0 innings with three hits, three runs, three walks and two strikeouts...was 0-2 with a 6.09 ERA last season and had 15 strikeouts in 34.0 innings...is slated to start Saturday for the Bears...
DID YOU KNOW?
*Cal won the inaugural College World Series title in 1947, defeating former President George Bush's Yale team, 8-7, in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
*The Golden Bears have had two players go on to be league MVPs in professional baseball - Jackie Jensen was the American League MVP in 1958 and Jeff Kent was the National League MVP in 2001.
*Cal is one of only 20 schools that have won NCAA Baseball titles and only one of 12 schools that have won more than one national championship (1947, 1957).
*Junior third baseman Conor Jackson played for the USA National Team last summer and is one of six Golden Bears to have competed for Team USA. Former Bear head coach Bob Milano (1978-99) was an assistant coach for the 1988 United States Olympic team and was the USA National Team coach in 1997. Paul Mohler was a trainer for the USA National Team in 1988.
*Since 1947, Cal has had 31 All-American selections, 72 All-Pac-10 selections and 40 major leaguers. Since 1978, the Bears have had 97 athletes play professional baseball.
*Conor Jackson's dad, John Jackson, plays Admiral A.J. Chegwidden on the television series JAG. Junior first baseman/outfielder Noah Jackson's godfather is Chicago Cubs manager Dusty Baker. Junior left-hander Matt Irwin was a member of the Cal band from 1999-2000 before again taking up baseball.
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