No. 25 Cal Baseball Visits No. 8 Long Beach State
Feb. 19, 2003
BERKELEY, CA -
Feb. 21 at Long Beach State Blair Field, Long Beach, CA 6:30 p.m.Feb. 22 at Long Beach State Blair Field, Long Beach, CA 1:00 p.m.Feb. 23 at Long Beach State Blair Field, Long Beach, CA 1:00 p.m.Live radio broadcast of the Cal-LBS series can be accessed onwww.calbears.com
BEAR QUICK NOTES: The No. 25 ranked (ESPN/Sports Weekly) California baseball team (9-3), winners of eight of its last nine games, travels to Blair Field this weekend for a three-game series versus No. 8 ranked Long Beach State. Cal is coming off an impressive weekend at the Express College Classic in Round Rock, Texas, defeating Texas-Pan American, 20-5; falling to Southwest Texas State, 6-5, in 13 innings; and upsetting then-No. 19 ranked Nebraska, 8-7. In the Bears' Feb. 14 victory over Texas-Pan American, junior right fielder Brian Horwitz went 4-for-4 with a double, two home runs and tied a school record with eight RBI (with Dan McInerny, Mar. 13, 1979 versus Saint Mary's). Horwitz later knocked in the game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the ninth Feb. 16 versus Nebraska. He already has 22 RBI this season after tallying 25 RBI all of last year. The Express College Classic also marked the return of preseason All-American Conor Jackson, who had sprained his right ankle in the Jan. 31 season-opener. Jackson hit a home run in his first at-bat following the injury and finished the Classic 6-for-9 with two doubles, a home run and four RBI. Also at the plate, freshman shortstop Allen Craig has continued to impress, getting a hit in all 12 games this season, batting .388 with four doubles, two home runs and 14 RBI. On the mound, Cal sports an impressive team ERA of 3.94, led by sophomore closer Jesse Ingram, who has picked up two wins and two saves with a 0.82 ERA. The Bears return 13 players who were members of Cal's 2001 NCAA Regional Squad. The Bears will be attempting to qualify for NCAA postseason for the second time in David Esquer's four-year head coaching tenure at Cal.
SERIES RECORD: Cal has a 20-19 all-time series record against the Long Beach State 49ers. In the last meeting between the two schools, the Bears won one-of-three games (L 8-1, L 9-0, W 4-3), Feb. 15-17, 2002 at Evans Diamond.
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 97-83 (.539). 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. .306, 2 RBI, 0 HR4 SS Allen Craig, Fr. .388, 14 RBI, 2 HR24 RF Brian Horwitz, Jr. .385, 22 RBI, 5 HR34 DH Conor Jackson, Jr. .583, 4 RBI, 1 HR44 1B James Holder, So. .317, 7 RBI, 2 HR35 C Chris Grossman, Jr. .375, 6 RBI, 2 HR33 CF Jeremy Burchett, Fr. .273, 5 RBI, 1 HR2 LF Ben Conley, Sr. .400, 7 RBI, 0 HR9 3B Jeff Dragicevich, Jr. .200, 4 RBI, 0 HR30 RHP Matt Brown, Jr. (Fri.) 1-0, 7.31 ERA20 RHP Brian Montalbo, Jr. (Sat.) 1-0, 6.48 ERA17 RHP Kyle Crist, So. (Sun.) 0-0, 2.79 ERA
LONG BEACH STATE: The No. 8 (Collegiate Baseball, No. 13 Baseball America and ESPN) Long Beach State 49ers, coached by Mike Weathers (2nd year as head coach at LBS, 45-24, .652), are currently 6-3, last sweeping Washington State; 7-1, 11-0, 9-4; Feb. 14-16 in Long Beach. Top hitters for the 49ers are sophomore right fielder Steve Velazco (.417, 0 HR, 4 RBI), sophomore catcher Brad Davis (.333, 0 HR, 6 RBI) and senior shortstop Tim Hutting (.333, 0 HR, 10 RBI). Long Beach State's tentative pitching rotation is junior left-hander Abe Alvarez (3-0, 1.65 ERA), sophomore right-hander Jered Weaver (2-1, 0.50 ERA) and TBA. Last season, the 49ers were 39-21, 17-7 in the Big West (2nd) and lost to Stanford, 8-4, in the Stanford Regional final.
PAC-10 RACE (as of Feb. 19) Conference Overall W L PCT GB W L T .PCTASU 0 0 .000 0.0 18 1 .947CAL 0 0 .000 0.0 9 3 .750Arizona 0 0 .000 0.0 6 3 .667USC 0 0 .000 0.0 5 3 .625Stan 0 0 .000 0.0 7 5 .583OSU 0 0 .000 0.0 3 3 .500Wash 0 0 .000 0.0 3 3 .500UCLA 0 0 .000 0.0 5 6 .455WSU 0 0 .000 0.0 0 6 .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)...
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 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.
IMPORTANT HOME DATES
Apr. 17-19 vs. USC
Cal faces the No. 6 Preseason ranked and defending Pac-10 champion Trojans.
May 9-11 vs. Stanford
The Golden Bears host Bay Area rival Stanford in the last regular season conference series.
CAL INDIVIDUAL PLAYER NOTES
MATT BROWN, JR., RHP: Is 1-0 with a 7.31 ERA...earned win Feb. 14 vs. Texas-Pan American (5.0 inning, six hits, five runs, two walks, six strikeouts)...got no decision Feb. 7 vs. Loyola Marymount (6.0 innings, seven hits, four runs, three walks, four strikeouts)...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...is on the Smith Award watch list...was the Pac-10 leader in saves (eight) as a true freshman...is slated to start Friday for the Bears...
JEREMY BURCHETT, FR., OF/RHP: Is batting .273 (9-for-33) with five doubles, a home run and five RBI...was 2-for-9 with two doubles last week at the College Express Class and was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI Tuesday vs. Saint Mary's...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 Jan. 31-Feb. 1 vs. UNLV ...also pitched in relief Feb. 2 vs. UNLV, throwing one inning (ninth) with no hits, no runs, no walks and one strikeout...
BEN CONLEY, SR., OF: Is batting .400 (8-for-20) with two doubles and seven RBI...was 1-for-3 with an RBI last week at the Express College Classic...went 2-for-4 with a double Feb. 11 vs. San Jose State...was 5-for-12 with a double and six RBI Feb. 7-9 vs. Loyola Marymount...had game-tying RBIs Feb. 7 and Feb. 8, and the game-winning RBIs Feb. 9 vs. the Lions... is batting .625 (5-for-8) with runners in scoring position...
ALLEN CRAIG, FR., INF.: Is batting .388 (19-for-49) with 13 runs, four doubles, two home runs and 14 RBI...has hit safely in every game this season...went 5-for-16 with a double and four RBI at the Express College Classic and went 2-for-4 with two RBI Tuesday vs. Saint Mary's...was the Pac-10 Player of the Week for Feb. 4-10 after going 7-for-17 (.412) with two doubles, a grand slam and five RBI Feb. 4 at San Francisco and Feb. 7-9 vs. Loyola Marymount...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 Jan. 31-Feb. 2 vs. the Rebels...is batting .588 (10-for-17) with runners in scoring position...batted .485 this past summer for the USA Junior National Team...
KYLE CRIST, SO., RHP: Is 0-0 with a 2.79 ERA and has six strikeouts in 9.7 innings...pitched 4.3 innings in relief Feb. 16 vs. Nebraska (4.3 innings, four hits, one run, two walks, three strikeouts)...got no decision in Feb. 11 start vs. San Jose State, pitching 4.0 innings with five hits, no runs, one walk and one strikeout ...is slated to start Sunday for the Bears...
JEFF DRAGICEVICH, JR., INF.: Is batting .200 (8-for-40) with a double and four RBI...went 5-for-12 with a RBI last week at the Express College Classic, including going 3-for-4 with a RBI Feb. 16 vs. Nebraska...has started the past two seasons at shortstop, but moved to third base when Conor Jackson sprained his ankle Jan. 31...
CHRIS GROSSMAN, JR., C: Is batting .375 (15-for-40) with two doubles, two home runs and six RBI...went 2-for-7 at the Express College Classic and went a career-best 3-for-4 with a double Tuesday vs. Saint Mary's...was 1-for-4 with a key home run in the eighth inning Feb. 11 vs. San Jose State...went 5-for-13 with a double, home run and two RBI Feb. 7-9 vs. Loyola Marymount, including hitting the game-winning home run in the ninth inning Feb. 7 vs. the Lions... was 4-for-11 Jan. 31-Feb. 2 vs. UNLV, including going 2-for-4 with three RBI in the Jan. 31 season-opener...is batting .308 (4-for-13) with runners in scoring position...
JAMES HOLDER, SO., 1B: Is batting .317 (13-for-41) with two doubles, two home runs, seven RBI and a team-high nine walks...went 4-for-12 with two home runs and five RBI at the Express College Classic, including going 2-for-3 with two home runs and a career-high five RBI Feb. 14 vs. Texas-Pan American...was a career-best 3-for-5 with a RBI Tuesday vs. Saint Mary's...went 3-for-6 with two doubles and a RBI Feb. 7-9 vs. Loyola Marymount...went 2-for-3 with two runs scored in the season-opener Jan. 31 vs. UNLV... 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, JR., OF: Is batting .385 (20-for-52) with a team-leading five doubles, a triple, five home runs and 22 RBI...also has a .808 slugging percentage...went 8-for-15 with two doubles, two home runs and 11 RBI at the Express College Classic...was 4-for-4 with a double, two home runs and tied a school record with eight RBI Feb. 14 vs. Texas-Pan American...went 2-for-3 with two RBI, including the game-winning home run in the eighth inning Feb. 11 vs. San Jose State...was 2-for-5 with a double, home run and three RBI Feb. 4 at San Francisco and was 4-for-12 with a triple and two RBI Feb. 7-9 vs. Loyola Marymount... went 4-for-12 with two doubles, a home run and four RBI Jan. 31-Feb. 2 vs. UNLV...already has five home runs this season after entering the year with only one career home run...holds the Cal school record with a 23-game hitting streak, set as a freshman in 2001...
JESSE INGRAM, SO., RHP: Is 2-0 with two saves and a 0.82 ERA...has 12 strikeouts and only one earned run in 11.0 innings...earned save Feb. 11 vs. San Jose State (1.0 inning, one hit, one run, no walks, one strikeout)...earned wins Feb. 7 (0.7 inning, one hit, no runs, one walk) and Feb. 9 (1.7 innings, two hits, no runs, one walk, four strikeouts) vs. Loyola Marymount...earned save Feb. 4 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)...
CONOR JACKSON, JR., INF: Is batting .583 (7-for-12) with two doubles, a home run and 4 RBI...also has a 1.000 slugging and .714 on-base percentage...went 6-for-9 with two doubles, a home run and four RBI at the Express College Classic...sprained his right ankle in the Jan. 31 opener vs. UNLV...hit a home run in first at-bat after injury, Feb. 14 vs. Texas-Pan American...went 1-for-3 Tuesday vs. Saint Mary's...is batting .667 (2-for-3) with runners in scoring position...
BRIAN MONTALBO, JR., RHP: Is 1-0 with a 6.48 ERA...has six strikeouts in 8.3 innings...got no decision in Feb. 15 start vs. Southwest Texas State (5.0 innings, four hits, two runs, three walks, three strikeouts)...picked up the win in relief Feb. 8 vs. Loyola Marymount (3.0 innings, two hits, no runs, three walks, two strikeouts)...is slated to start Saturday for the Bears...
DAVID NICHOLSON, SO., INF./OF: Is batting .306 (15-for-49) with three doubles, 10 runs scored, two RBI and is 7-for-8 in stolen bases...had a career-high eight-game hitting streak from Feb. 1-14 (15-for-32, .469, 3-2B, 2-RBI)...was only 1-for-13 with an RBI at the Express College Classic...was 5-for-12 with a double and RBI Feb. 7-9 vs. Loyola Marymount...went 3-for-5 Feb. 4 at San Francisco...was 5-for-11 with two doubles Jan. 31-Feb. 2 vs. UNLV, including going a career-best 4-for-4 Feb. 1 vs. the Rebels...is batting .444 (4-for-9) with runners in scoring position...
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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