Cal Baseball Hosts Sacramento State, Travels to UCLA for Pac-10 Series
March 31, 2003
BERKELEY, CA -
Apr. 2 vs. Sac State Evans Diamond, Berkeley, CA 2:00 p.m.Apr. 4 at UCLA Jackie Robinson Stadium 6:00 p.m.Apr. 5 at UCLA Jackie Robinson Stadium 1:00 p.m.Apr. 6 at UCLA Jackie Robinson Stadium 1:00 p.m.
RADIO: KALX Radio (90.7 FM) will broadcast the Apr. 4-6 Cal-UCLA games. Live audio provided on www.calbears.com.
BEAR NOTES: The California baseball team (17-13, 4-2) hosts Sacramento State (16-14) Wednesday before travelling to UCLA (16-16, 2-1) for a Pac-10 series. Cal is 4-2 in league play and tied for first place (with Stanford and UCLA) after winning two-of-three games last weekend at Oregon State (L 8-6, W 8-6, W 19-13). As a team, the Bears had one of their best offensive series of the season against the Beavers, combining for a .345 average with eight doubles, eight home runs and 32 runs batted in. Sophomore left fielder Justin Nelson, who had entered the series with a .209 average, led the way by going 5-for-10 with a double, four home runs and eight RBI. In the Bears' 19-13 win Mar. 30, Nelson was 3-for-4 with three home runs and had a career-high five RBI. His third round tripper of the day was a inside-the-park home run in the ninth inning. Nelson became one of only four players in Cal history to hit three home runs in a single game, joining Kevin Maas (vs. ASU, Apr. 26, 1986), Matt Luke and Jon Zuber (Luke and Zuber vs. George Mason, May 23, 1992 at the NCAA Regional in Gainesville, Fla.). Other Bears who shined offensively at Oregon State were sophomore first baseman James Holder (5-for-13, 2-2B, HR, 5-RBI), junior third baseman Conor Jackson (4-for-10, 2B, 4-RBI), junior shortstop Jeff Dragicevich (5-for-11, 2B, HR, 2-RBI) and junior catcher Chris Grossman (6-for-15, 5-RBI). Grossman is leading Cal with a .345 average and 28 RBI. He also has had two game-tying home runs, a game-winning home run and a game-winning RBI single this season. 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 159-152 all-time series record against the UCLA Bruins. In the last meeting between the two schools, the Bears won two-of-three games (W 5-3, L 19-2, W 10-6 in 15 inn.), Apr. 5-7, 2002 at Evans Diamond.
HEAD COACH DAVID ESQUER: The 37-year-old Esquer, the 2001 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, is in his fourth season at Cal and has a career record of 105-93 (.530). 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-UPNo. Pos. Player 2003 stats5 2B David Nicholson, So. .270, 5 RBI, 0 HR15 DH David Weiner, Jr. .222, 2 RBI, 0 HR34 3B Conor Jackson, Jr. .314, 19 RBI, 4 HR35 C Chris Grossman, Jr. .345, 28 RBI, 5 HR44 1B James Holder, So. .302, 20 RBI, 4 HR2 RF Ben Conley, Sr. .269, 12 RBI, 2 HR9 SS Jeff Dragicevich, Jr. .258, 9 RBI, 1 HR6 LF Justin Nelson, So. .247, 17 RBI, 6 HR3 CF Brad Smith, Sr. .139, 4 RBI, 1 HR30 RHP Matt Brown, Jr. (Fri.) 2-3, 5.44 ERA20 RHP Brian Montalbo, Jr. (Sat.) 3-2, 5.84 ERA17 RHP Kyle Crist, So. (Sun.) 2-1, 3.89 ERA
UCLA: The UCLA Bruins, coached by Gary Adams (29th year at UCLA, 938-778-7, .546), are 16-16 (2-1), winning two-of-three versus Arizona (W 6-4, W 7-5, L 12-10) Mar. 28-30 in Los Angeles. Top hitters for the Bruins are freshman first baseman Brett McMillan (.356, 1 HR, 9 RBI), sophomore center fielder Matt Thayer (.347, 4 HR, 21 RBI) and freshman catcher Chris Denove (.325, 4 HR, 24 RBI). UCLA's tentative pitching rotation is junior right-hander Chris Cordeiro (0-0, 4.07 ERA), sophomore left-hander Wes Whisler (3-4, 4.81 ERA) and junior right-hander Casey Janssen (3-3, 4.81 ERA). In 2002, the Bruins were 26-35, 9-15 in the Pac-10 (seventh).
PAC-10 RACE (as of Mar. 31) Conference Overall W L PCT GB W L .PCTStan 4 2 .667 --- 18 9 .667CAL 4 2 .667 --- 17 13 .567UCLA 2 1 .667 --- 16 16 .500ASU 3 3 .500 1.0 34 6 .850Arizona 3 3 .500 1.0 22 10 .688Wash 1 2 .333 1.5 19 9 .679OSU 1 2 .333 1.5 13 13 .500WSU 1 2 .333 1.5 8 19 .296USC 2 4 .333 2.0 14 16 .467
CAL HONOR CANDIDATESConor 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 and is on the Smith Award watch list. 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. 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 2002 World Junior Championship; is batting .324 with 12-game hitting streak from Jan. 31-Feb. 18; Feb. 11 Pac-10 Player of the Week; out with sprained left wrist suffered Mar. 22 vs. WSU, doubtful for UCLA. Chris Grossman, catcher, JR - Cal's 2003 leader in batting average (.345) and RBI (28); game-winning RBI Mar. 14 vs. UC Irvine; game-winning home run Feb. 7 vs. Loyola Marymount. Brian Horwitz, outfield, JR - Owns .293 average with five home runs and 25 RBI; 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; out with sprained left thumb suffered Mar. 20 in practice, doubtful for UCLA.
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 INDIVIDUAL PLAYER NOTES
MATT BROWN, JR., RHP: Is 2-3 with a 5.44 ERA and a team-high 39 strikeouts (7th in Pac-10) in 49.7 innings (8th in Pac-10)...opponents are batting .259 (9th in Pac-10) against him...lost Mar. 28 at OSU (7.3 inn., seven hits, six earned runs, four walks, nine strikeouts)...won Mar. 21 vs. WSU (8.0 inn., six hits, two earned runs, no walks, five strikeouts)...got no decision Mar. 14 vs. UC Irvine (7.3 innings, seven hits, five runs, three walks, seven strikeouts)...lost Mar. 7 at Stanford (4.0 innings, six hits, four earned runs, two walks, three strikeouts)...lost on unearned run Feb. 21 at Long Beach State (7.0 innings, three hits, 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 1-0 with a save and a 4.84 ERA (nine strikeouts in 9.3 innings) career vs. UCLA...is slated to start Friday...
JEREMY BURCHETT, FR., OF/RHP: Is batting .259 (22-for-85, .071 vs. Pac-10) with a team-high nine doubles, a home run and 11 RBI...had 10-game hitting streak from Feb. 18-Mar. 15 (14-for-41, .341, 4-2B, 6 RBI)...hit a double in four straight games Feb. 18-23...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 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...
BEN CONLEY, SR., OF: Is batting .269 (14-for-52, .136 vs. Pac-10) with three doubles, two home runs and 12 RBI...was 2-for-3 with two home runs and three RBI Mar. 28 at OSU...missed eight games Feb. 25-Mar. 18 due to a right hip flexer strain...went 2-for-6 Feb. 21-23 at Long Beach State...was 2-for-4 with a double Feb. 11 vs. San Jose State...went 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 .316 (6-for-19) with runners in scoring position...is 9-for-29 (.310) with a double and two RBI career vs. UCLA...
KYLE CRIST, SO., RHP: Is 2-1 with a 3.89 ERA (9th in Pac-10) and has 21 strikeouts in 34.7 innings...won Mar. 30 at OSU (5.3 inn., seven hits, two earned runs, no walks, four strikeouts)...got no decision Mar. 23 start vs. WSU (4.3 inn., seven hits, three runs, one walk, two strikeouts)...earned first collegiate win in Mar. 16 shutout vs. UC Irvine (career-high 6.0 inn., two hits, no walks, four strikeouts)...lost Mar. 9 at Stanford (3.3 inn., 12 hits, seven runs, no walks, three strikeouts)...was outstanding Feb. 23 at Long Beach State (no decision, career-high 6.0 inn., two hits, no runs, two walks, two strikeouts)...pitched 4.3 relief innings Feb. 16 vs. Nebraska (four hits, one run, two walks, three strikeouts)...got no decision Feb. 11 start vs. San Jose State (4.0 inn., five hits, no runs, one walk, one strikeout)...is slated to start Sunday...
CHRIS GROSSMAN, JR., C: Is batting a team-leading .345 (40-for-116, .407 vs. Pac-10) with eight doubles, five home runs and a team-high 28 RBI...was 6-for-15 with five RBI Mar. 28-30 at OSU, including going 4-for-6 with two RBI Mar. 30...went 5-for-12 with two doubles and four RBI Mar. 21-23 vs. WSU...was 5-for-14 with two doubles, two home runs and five RBI Mar. 14-16 vs. UC Irvine...went 4-for-6 with a double, two home runs and four RBI, including game-winning RBI in 12th inning Mar. 14 vs. UCI...was 5-for-13 with a double and two-run homer Mar. 7-9 at Stanford...was 1-for-3 with three RBI Feb. 25 at Santa Clara...went 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 2-for-4 with three RBI in Jan. 31 opener...is batting .389 (14-for-36) with runners in scoring position...is 0-for-3 career vs. UCLA...
JAMES HOLDER, SO., 1B/DH: Is batting .302 (32-for-106, .280 vs. Pac-10) with a team-high nine doubles, four home runs and 20 RBI...is first in the Pac-10 in hit by pitch (11)...was 5-for-13 with two doubles, a home run and five RBI Mar. 28-30 at OSU, including going 2-for-5 with a double, home run and four RBI Mar. 30...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. 14-16 at the Express College Classic, including going 2-for-3 with two home runs and 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 RBI Feb. 7-9 vs. Loyola Marymount...went 2-for-3 in the Jan. 31 opener vs. UNLV...
JESSE INGRAM, SO., RHP: Is 2-0 with five saves (2nd in Pac-10) and a 4.45 ERA in 17 appearances (2nd in Pac-10)...has 25 strikeouts in 28.3 innings...earned save Mar. 29 at OSU (3.0 inn., one hit, no runs, one walk, three strikeouts)...earned save Mar. 16 vs. UC Irvine (3.0 inn., two hits, no runs, two walks, one strikeout)...earned save Feb. 25 at Santa Clara (1.3 inn., two hits, two runs, two walks, two strikeouts)...earned save Feb. 11 vs. San Jose State (1.0 inn., one hit, one run, no walks, one strikeout)...won Feb. 7 (0.7 inn., one hit, no runs, one walk) and Feb. 9 (1.7 inn., two hits, no runs, one walk, four strikeouts) vs. Loyola Marymount...earned save Feb. 4 at San Francisco (2.0 inn., no hits, no runs, one walk, four strikeouts)... is 0-0 with a 1.80 ERA (one hit, one run, one strikeout in 5.0 innings) career vs. UCLA...
CONOR JACKSON, JR., INF: Is batting .314 (22-for-70, .368 vs. Pac-10) with five doubles, four home runs and 19 RBI...has a team-leading .505 on-base percentage (3rd in Pac-10) and 25 walks (4th in Pac-10)...was 4-for-10 with a double and four RBI Mar. 28-30 at OSU...went 3-for-9 with a double and a two-run homer Mar. 21-23 vs. WSU and was 1-for-2 with a grand slam Mar. 25 at Sacramento State...was 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI Mar. 14 vs. UC Irvine...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 hitting a team-best .474 (9-for-19) with runners in scoring position...is 4-for-25 (.160) with a double, a home run and three RBI career vs. UCLA...
BRIAN MONTALBO, JR., RHP: Is 3-2 with a 5.84 ERA...got no decision Mar. 29 at OSU (3.3 inn., seven hits, five runs, three walks, three strikeouts)...won Mar. 22 vs. WSU (7.0 inn., five hits, two runs, three walks, five strikeouts)...lost Mar. 15 vs. UC Irvine (4.3 inn., six hits, three earned runs, two walks, four strikeouts)...lost Mar. 8 at Stanford (5.7 inn., 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 inn., four hits, two runs, three walks, three strikeouts)...picked up win in relief Feb. 8 vs. Loyola Marymount (3.0 inn., two hits, no runs, three walks, two strikeouts) )...is 0-1 with a 21.82 ERA (two strikeouts in 3.3 innings) career vs. UCLA...is slated to start Saturday...
DAVID NICHOLSON, SO., INF./OF: Is batting .270 (33-for-122, .407 vs. Pac-10) with five doubles, a triple, five RBI and is 10-for-12 in stolen bases (4th in Pac-10)...was 6-for-14 with a RBI double Mar. 28-30 at OSU...went 5-for-13 with two RBI Mar. 21-23 vs. WSU...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 USF...was a career-best 4-for-4 with a double Feb. 1 vs. UNLV...is 3-for-13 (.231) with two home runs and five RBI career vs. UCLA...
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 outfielder David Weiner's uncle is USA Olympic swimming legend Mark Spitz.
RELATED NEWS & VIDEOS
TODAY | 1:00pm PTLive
TODAY | 3:00pm PTLive