Cal Baseball Hosts UC Irvine in Three-Game Series
March 10, 2003
BERKELEY, CA -
Mar. 14 vs. UC Irvine Evans Diamond, Berkeley, CA 2:00 p.m.Mar. 15 vs. UC Irvine Evans Diamond, Berkeley, CA 1:00 p.m.Mar. 16 vs. UC Irvine Evans Diamond, Berkeley, CA 1:00 p.m.
RADIO: KALX Radio (90.7 FM) will broadcast the Mar. 14-16 UCI-Cal games. Live audio on www.calbears.com.
BEAR NOTES: The California baseball team (11-8) will be looking to rebound this weekend against UC Irvine (6-12), returning to Berkeley after being swept by No. 7 ranked Stanford (11-2, 9-4, 11-2) last weekend in a three-game non-conference series at Sunken Diamond. It marked the first time Cal had been swept in a series since losing three games to the Cardinal, May 3-5, 2002 at Sunken Diamond. The Bears will also be looking to give head coach David Esquer his 100th career victory (99-88) this weekend when Cal hosts the Anteaters. On a positive note after the Stanford series, junior catcher Chris Grossman went 5-for-13 with a double and a two-run homer versus the Cardinal. Grossman is currently batting .348 with four doubles, three home runs, 14 RBI and had the game-winning home run Feb. 7 versus Loyola Marymount. The Bears' freshman center fielder Jeremy Burchett got a hit in each of the three games against Stanford to extend his hitting streak to nine games from Feb. 18 (11-for-32, .344, 4-2B, 6-RBI). A couple of Cal players who had been struggling at the plate entering the series against the Cardinal, sophomore left fielder Justin Nelson and junior third baseman Jeff Dragicevich, also hit well against Stanford. Nelson went 4-for-10 with a triple and three RBI, while Dragicevich went 2-for-6 with a double and three RBI. The Bears, who are trying to qualify for postseason play for the second time in coach Esquer's four-year tenure, return 13 players who were members of Cal's 2001 NCAA Regional squad.
SERIES RECORD: Cal has a 5-7 all-time series record against the UC Irvine Anteaters. In the last meeting between the two schools, the Bears won one-of-three games (W 3-1 in 10 innings, L 5-4 in 10 innings, L 7-3), Mar. 15-17, 2002 at UC Irvine.
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 99-88 (.529). 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. Prior 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-UP
No. Pos. Player 2003 stats4 SS Allen Craig, Fr. .312, 14 RBI, 2 HR33 CF Jeremy Burchett, Fr. .300, 9 RBI, 1 HR34 1B Conor Jackson, Jr. .333, 5 RBI, 1 HR35 C Chris Grossman, Jr. .348, 14 RBI, 3 HR24 RF Brian Horwitz, Jr. .308, 23 RBI, 5 HR44 DH James Holder, So. .318, 8 RBI, 3 HR6 LF Justin Nelson, So. .224, 8 RBI, 1 HR9 3B Jeff Dragicevich, Jr. .196, 7 RBI, 0 HR5 2B David Nicholson, So. .247, 2 RBI, 0 HR30 RHP Matt Brown, Jr. (Fri.) 1-2, 5.67 ERA20 RHP Brian Montalbo, Jr. (Sat.)2-1, 5.64 ERA TBA (Sun.)
UC IRVINE: The UC Irvine Anteaters, coached by John Savage (2nd year, 39-38, .506), are currently 6-12 (play Mar. 11 UNLV and Mar. 12 Pepperdine), last winning two-of-three versus San Diego State (W 10-5 in San Diego, W 7-2 in Irvine, L 5-3 in San Diego) Mar. 7-9. Top hitters for the Anteaters are sophomore right fielder Jordan Szabo (.409, 1 HR, 5 RBI), senior left fielder Chris Klemm (.359, 1 HR, 9 RBI) and sophomore designated hitter Gregg Wallis (.356, 0 HR, 6 RBI). UC Irvine's tentative pitching rotation is sophomore left-hander Glenn Swanson (1-2, 3.14 ERA), sophomore right-hander Brett Smith (3-1, 5.06 ERA) and TBA. In 2002, the Anteaters were 33-26 overall and 14-10 in the Big West Conference (fourth tie).
PAC-10 RACE (as of Mar. 10)
Conference Overall W L PCT GB W L .PCTASU 0 0 .000 0.0 28 1 .965Stan 0 0 .000 0.0 14 7 .667Arizona 0 0 .000 0.0 12 7 .632Wash 0 0 .000 0.0 9 6 .600CAL 0 0 .000 0.0 11 8 .579OSU 0 0 .000 0.0 8 7 .533UCLA 0 0 .000 0.0 12 12 .500USC 0 0 .000 0.0 9 10 .474WSU 0 0 .000 0.0 3 13 .188
CAL HONOR CANDIDATES
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), on the Smith Award watch list. Brian Horwitz, outfield, JR - Cal's 2003 leader in home runs (five) and RBI (23); tied school record with eight RBI Feb. 14 versus Texas-Pan American; is school record holder with 23-game hitting streak set as a freshman in 2001.
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 this summer; 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 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA and has 18 strikeouts in a team-high 27.0 innings...lost Mar. 7 at Stanford (4.0 innings, six hits, four earned runs, two walks, three strikeouts)...suffered loss on unearned run Feb. 21 at Long Beach State (7.0 innings, three hits, no earned runs, two walks, four strikeouts)...won 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)...got no decision Jan. 31 vs. UNLV (5.0 innings, eight hits, four runs, one walk, one strikeout)...is slated to start Friday...
JEREMY BURCHETT, FR., OF/RHP: Is batting .300 (18-for-60) with a team-high eight doubles, a home run and nine RBI...is currently on a eight-game hitting streak (11-for-32, .344, 4-2B, 6 RBI) from Feb. 18...hit a double in four consecutive games Feb. 18-23...was 3-for-13 last weekend at Stanford...went 5-for-10 with three doubles and three RBI Feb. 21-23 at Long Beach State...was 2-for-9 with two doubles Feb. 14-16 at the College Express Classic...went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI Feb. 18 vs. Saint Mary's...got a hit in his first collegiate at-bat, Jan. 31 vs. UNLV...went 2-for-7 with a home run and three RBI Jan. 31-Feb. 1 vs. UNLV...pitched in relief Feb. 2 vs. UNLV (1.0 inning, no hits, no runs, no walks, one strikeout)...
BEN CONLEY, SR., OF: Is batting a team-leading .385 (10-for-26) with two doubles and seven RBI...went 2-for-6 Feb. 21-23 at Long Beach State...was 1-for-3 with an RBI Feb. 14-16 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. LMU... is batting .500 (5-for-10) with runners in scoring position...
ALLEN CRAIG, FR., INF.: Is batting .312 (24-for-77) with a team-high 18 runs, seven doubles, two home runs and 14 RBI...started season with a 12-game hitting streak (19-for-49, .388, 4-2B, 2-HR, 14 RBI Jan. 31-Feb. 18)...went 2-for-11 with two doubles last week at Stanford...was 2-for-5 with three runs Feb. 25 at Santa Clara...went 5-for-16 with a double and four RBI Feb. 14-16 at the Express College Classic...was 2-for-4 with two RBI Feb. 18 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 4-for-9 with a home run and two RBI Jan. 31-Feb. 2 vs. the Rebels...is batting .435 (10-for-23) with runners in scoring position...
KYLE CRIST, SO., RHP: Is 0-1 with a 4.74 ERA...lost Mar. 9 at Stanford (3.3 innings, 12 hits, seven runs, no walks, three strikeouts)...was outstanding Feb. 23 start at Long Beach State (career-high 6.0 innings, two hits, no runs, two walks, two strikeouts)...pitched 4.3 relief innings Feb. 16 vs. Nebraska (4.3 innings, four hits, one run, two walks, three strikeouts)...got no decision Feb. 11 start vs. San Jose State (4.0 innings, five hits, no runs, one walk, one strikeout)...is possible starter Sunday...
CHRIS GROSSMAN, JR., C: Is batting .348 (23-for-66) with four doubles, three home runs and 14 RBI...went 5-for-13 with a double and a two-run homer last weekend at Stanford...was 1-for-3 with three RBI Feb. 25 at Santa Clara...went a career-best 3-for-4 with a double Feb. 18 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. LMU... 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 .375 (6-for-16) with runners in scoring position...
JAMES HOLDER, SO., 1B: Is batting .318 (21-for-66) with five doubles, three home runs and eight RBI...was 3-for-10 with a double last weekend at Stanford...went 3-for-4 with a home run Feb. 25 at Santa Clara...was 4-for-12 with two home runs and five RBI Feb. 14-14 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 3-for-5 with a RBI Feb. 18 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...
BRIAN HORWITZ, JR., OF: Is batting .308 (24-for-78) with five doubles, a triple, a team-leading five home runs and 23 RBI...went 8-for-15 with two doubles, two home runs and 11 RBI Feb. 14-16 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-5 with two RBI, including the game-winning RBI Feb. 16 vs. Nebraska...was 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...went 4-for-12 with two doubles, a home run and four RBI Jan. 31-Feb. 2 vs. UNLV...is batting .308 (8-for-26) with runners in scoring position...
JESSE INGRAM, SO., RHP: Is 2-0 with three saves and a 3.86 ERA...has 16 strikeouts in 16.3 innings...earned save Feb. 25 at Santa Clara (1.3 innings, two hits, two runs, two walks, two strikeouts)...earned save Feb. 11 vs. San Jose State (1.0 inning, one hit, one run, no walks, one strikeout)...won 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)...was second in the Pac-10 in appearances last season (29)...
CONOR JACKSON, JR., INF: Is batting .333 (12-for-36) with three doubles, a home run and five RBI...went 6-for-9 with two doubles, a home run and four RBI Feb. 14-16 at the Express College Classic...sprained his right ankle in the Jan. 31 opener vs. UNLV, missing seven games...hit a home run in first at-bat after injury, Feb. 14 vs. Texas-Pan American...is batting .500 (3-for-6) with runners in scoring position...
BRIAN MONTALBO, JR., RHP: Is 2-1 with a 5.64 ERA...lost Mar. 8 at Stanford (5.7 innings, five hits, five earned runs, five walks, four strikeouts)...won Feb. 22 at Long Beach State (career-high 8.3 innings, five hits, three runs, one walk, five strikeouts)...got no decision Feb. 15 vs. Southwest Texas State (5.0 innings, four hits, two runs, three walks, three strikeouts)...picked up relief win Feb. 8 vs. Loyola Marymount (3.0 innings, two hits, no runs, three walks, two strikeouts)...is slated to start Saturday...
DAVID NICHOLSON, SO., INF./OF: Is batting .247 (19-for-77) with three doubles, a triple, two RBI and is 8-for-9 in stolen bases...had a career-high eight-game hitting streak from Feb. 1-14 (15-for-32, .469, 3-2B, 2-RBI)...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...
JOE TODOROFF, SO., RHP: Is 3-0 with a 3.24 ERA...won in relief Feb. 25 at Santa Clara (career-high 6.3 innings, five hits, one run, one walk, career-high eight strikeouts)...earned win Feb. 18 start vs. Saint Mary's (5.0 innings, six hits, no runs, one walk, two strikeouts)...got no decision Feb. 8 vs. Loyola Marymount (5.7 innings, nine hits, one earned run, one walk, three strikeouts)...earned first collegiate win Feb. 1 vs. UNLV (5.0 innings, three hits, three runs, three walks, two strikeouts)...
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 with the Red Sox and Jeff Kent was the National League MVP in 2001 with the Giants.
*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.
RELATED NEWS & VIDEOS
TODAY | 5:00pm PTLive
TODAY | 7:00pm PTLive