Cal Baseball Hosts USC in Key Pac-10 Series
April 16, 2003
BERKELEY, CA -
Apr. 17 vs. USC Evans Diamond, Berkeley, CA 2:00 p.m.Apr. 18 vs. USC Evans Diamond, Berkeley, CA 2:00 p.m.Apr. 19 vs. USC Evans Diamond, Berkeley, CA 1:00 p.m.
RADIO: KALX Radio (90.7 FM) will broadcast the Apr. 17-19 USC-Cal games. Live audio provided on www.calbears.com.
BEAR NOTES: The California baseball team (21-18, 6-6) hosts defending Pac-10 champion USC (19-17, 5-4) this weekend for a Pac-10 series at Evans Diamond. It is an extremely important series for the Bears, as they are trying to rebound after being swept by No. 4 Arizona State (11-3, 6-0, 10-1) last weekend at Evans Diamond, while the Trojans swept crosstown rival UCLA (7-6, 7-4, 8-5) at Dedeaux Field. Cal made a big step towards improving its play for this weekend with a 13-2 victory at Saint Mary's Tuesday, scoring 13 runs on 18 hits. The Bears offense was paced by junior All-America candidate Conor Jackson, who went 4-for-5 with a double, and sophomore left fielder Justin Nelson was 2-for-5 with a home run and four RBI. Jackson is now batting .347 with nine doubles, four home runs and 24 RBI, and is one of the Pac-10 leaders with a .531 on-base percentage. Nelson is hitting .257 overall, but has a .367 average in conference play and leads the Bears with eight home runs. Junior catcher Chris Grossman is tops for Cal with a .359 average (.442 versus Pac-10) and 34 RBI. Grossman has had two game-tying home runs, a game-winning home run and a game-winning RBI single this season. On the mound, the Bears will start a pair of sophomore relievers against the Trojans - Jesse Ingram and Mike Padgett. Ingram was the Apr. 8 Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week after picking up two saves Apr. 5-6 at UCLA, while Padgett earned the win in relief Apr. 6 against the Bruins. Cal, which is trying to qualify for postseason play for the second time in head coach David Esquer's four-year tenure, returns 13 players who were members of the Bears' 2001 NCAA Regional squad.
SERIES RECORD: Cal has a 127-214 all-time series record against the USC Trojans. In the last meeting between the two schools, the Bears were swept (11-3, 9-1, 13-9), Mar. 28-30, 2002 at Dedeaux Field in Los Angeles.
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 109-98 (.527). 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 stats2 CF Ben Conley, Sr. .241, 18 RBI, 4 HR14 3B Matt Einspahr, So. .333, 4 RBI, 0 HR34 1B Conor Jackson, Jr. .347, 24 RBI, 4 HR35 C Chris Grossman, Jr. .359, 34 RBI, 6 HR24 RF Brian Horwitz, Jr. .314, 28 RBI, 5 HR44 DH James Holder, So. .301, 27 RBI, 5 HR6 LF Justin Nelson, So. .257, 23 RBI, 8 HR9 SS Jeff Dragicevich, Jr. .258, 10 RBI, 1 HR5 2B David Nicholson, So. .268, 7 RBI, 0 HR19 RHP Jesse Ingram, So. (Thu.) 2-0, 4.15 ERA41 RHP Mike Padgett, So. (Fri.) 3-2, 2.62 ERA TBA (Sat.)
USC: The No. USC Trojans, coached by Mike Gillespie (17th year at USC, 664-373-2, .640), are 19-17 (5-4), last sweeping UCLA (7-6, 7-4, 8-5) Apr. 11-13 at USC, and defeating Loyola Marymount, 8-5, Apr. 15 at LMU. Top hitters for the Trojans are freshman catcher Jeff Clement (.353, 17 HR, 39 RBI), senior shortstop Anthony Lunetta (.345, 5 HR, 18 RBI) and senior center fielder Travis McAndrews (.328, 3 HR, 18 RBI. USC's tentative pitching rotation is freshman left-hander Bobby Paschal (2-4, 4.12 ERA), junior right-hander Brian Bannister (4-3, 4.50 ERA) and either senior right-hander Anthony Reyes (1-2, 4.11 ERA) or junior left-hander Fraser Dizard (5-2, 6.69 ERA). In 2002, the Trojans were 37-24, 17-7 in the Pac-10 (first) and 3-2 in NCAA Regional play.
PAC-10 RACE (as of Apr. 16) Conference Overall W L PCT GB W L .PCTStan 7 2 .778 --- 24 10 .706ASU 6 3 .667 1.0 38 7 .844Arizona 5 4 .556 2.0 26 13 .667USC 5 4 .556 2.0 19 17 .528CAL 6 6 .500 2.5 21 18 .538Wash 4 5 .444 3.0 23 12 .657OSU 3 6 .333 4.0 16 17 .485UCLA 3 6 .333 4.0 17 22 .436WSU 3 6 .333 4.0 11 24 .314
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 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 USC. Chris Grossman, catcher, JR - Cal's 2003 leader in batting average (.359) and RBI (34); game-winning RBI Mar. 14 vs. UC Irvine; game-winning home run Feb. 7 vs. Loyola Marymount. Brian Horwitz, outfield, JR - Owns .314 average with five home runs and 28 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.
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
BEN CONLEY, SR., OF: Is batting .241 (20-for-83, .195 vs. Pac-10) with five doubles, four home runs and 18 RBI...was 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI Apr. 11 vs. ASU...went 4-for-10 with a double, home run and three RBI Apr. 4-6 at UCLA...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 flexor 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 7-for-20 (.350) with three RBI career vs. USC...
JEFF DRAGICEVICH, JR., INF: Is batting .258 (32-for-124, .311 vs. Pac-10) with seven doubles, a home run and 10 RBI...was 4-for-13 with two doubles Apr. 4-6 at UCLA and 5-for-11 with a double, home run and two RBI Mar. 28-30 at Oregon State...was 3-for-4 with a double Mar. 18 at Saint Mary's and 3-for-4 with a RBI Feb. 16 vs. Nebraska... is 3-for-19 (.158) with a double career vs. USC...
MATT EINSPAHR, SO., INF/C: Is batting .333 (14-for-42, .348 vs. Pac-10) with four doubles and four RBI...has started seven of the Bears' last eight games...was a career-high 3-for-5 with a RBI Tuesday at Saint Mary's...went 3-for-9 with a double Apr. 11-13 vs. ASU...was 5-for-13 with two doubles and a RBI Apr. 4-6 at UCLA...is batting .308 (4-for-13) with runners in scoring position...
CHRIS GROSSMAN, JR., C: Is batting a team-leading .359 (51-for-142, .442 vs. Pac-10) with 11 doubles (8th in Pac-10), six home runs and a team-high 34 RBI...is on a six-game hitting streak from Apr. 4 (11-for-23, .478, 3-2B, HR, 6 RBI)...was 2-for-4 Apr. 11 vs. ASU and 2-for-4 with a RBI Tuesday at Saint Mary's...went 6-for-12 with three doubles, a home run and five RBI Apr. 4-6 at UCLA...was 6-for-15 with five RBI Mar. 28-30 at OSU, 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-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. LMU, 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 2-for-4 with three RBI in Jan. 31 opener...is batting .362 (17-for-47) with runners in scoring position...is 1-for-2 career vs. USC...
JAMES HOLDER, SO., 1B/DH: Is batting .301 (40-for-133, .295 vs. Pac-10) with a team-high 11 doubles (8th in Pac-10), five home runs and 27 RBI...is first in the Pac-10 in hit by pitch (13)...had career-high eight-game hitting streak Mar. 25-Apr. 8 (12-for-32, .375, 5-2B, 2-HR, 12 RBI)...was 4-for-7 with a double, home run and six RBI Apr. 4-6 at UCLA, including 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI Apr. 6...went 5-for-13 with two doubles, a home run and five RBI Mar. 28-30 at OSU, going 2-for-5 with a double, home run and four RBI Mar. 30...was 3-for-4 with a home run Feb. 25 at Santa Clara...went 4-for-12 with two home runs and five RBI Feb. 14-16 at the Express College Classic, 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. LMU...
BRIAN HORWITZ, JR., OF: Is batting .314 (33-for-105) with six doubles, two triples, five home runs and 28 RBI...missed 12 games (Mar. 21-Apr. 8) with sprained left thumb...went 4-for-11 with a triple Apr. 11-13 vs. ASU and 2-for-2 with three RBI Tuesday at Saint Mary's...was 8-for-15 with two doubles, two home runs and 11 RBI Feb. 14-16 at Express College Classic...was 4-for-4 with a double, two home runs and a school record eight RBI Feb. 14 vs. Texas-Pan American...went 2-for-5 with two RBI, including game-winning RBI Feb. 16 vs. Nebraska...was 2-for-3 with game-winning home run Feb. 11 vs. SJS...was 2-for-5 with double, home run and three RBI Feb. 4 at USF...went 4-for-12 with two doubles, a home run and four RBI Jan. 31-Feb. 2 vs. UNLV...is batting .333 (11-for-33) with runners in scoring position...is 4-for-22 (.182) with a double and two RBI career vs. USC...
JESSE INGRAM, SO., RHP: Is 2-0 with seven saves (1st in Pac-10) and a 4.15 ERA in 20 appearances (1st in Pac-10)...has 33 strikeouts in 34.7 innings...had four strikeouts in 2.3 innings Apr. 13 vs. ASU...was the Apr. 8 Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week, picking up two saves Apr. 5-6 at UCLA (4.0 inn., no hits, no runs, two walks, four strikeouts)...his seven saves are eighth on Cal's single-season save list...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. LMU...earned save Feb. 4 at San Francisco (2.0 inn., no hits, no runs, one walk, four strikeouts)... is 0-0 with 15.88 ERA (three strikeouts in 1.7 innings) career vs. USC...is slated to make his first collegiate start Thursday vs. USC...
CONOR JACKSON, JR., INF: Is batting .347 (35-for-101, .333 vs. Pac-10) with nine doubles, four home runs and 24 RBI...has team-leading .531 on-base percentage (3rd in Pac-10) and 37 walks (2nd in Pac-10)...went 4-for-5 with a double Tuesday at Saint Mary's...had 10-game hitting streak from Mar. 25-Apr. 11 (13-for-32, .406, 4-2B, HR, 13 RBI)...was 4-for-11 with a double and RBI Apr. 4-6 at UCLA...went 2-for-3 with two doubles and three RBI Apr. 2 vs. Sac. State...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...hit grand slam Mar. 25 at Sac. 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 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 .433 (13-for-30) with runners in scoring position...is 9-for-18 (.500) with two doubles, two home runs and six RBI career vs. USC...
JUSTIN NELSON, SO., OF: Is batting .257 (27-for-105, .367 vs. Pac-10) with six doubles, a triple, a team-high eight home runs and 23 RBI...went 2-for-5 with a home run and four RBI Tuesday at Saint Mary's...was 4-for-8 Apr. 11-13 vs. ASU, going 3-for-3 with a double Apr. 11 against the Sun Devils...was 5-for-10 with a double, four home runs and eight RBI Mar. 28-30 at Oregon State...went 3-for-4 with three home runs, including an inside-the-park home run, and a career-high five RBI Mar. 30 vs. OSU...was 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBI Mar. 8 at Stanford...is 1-for-8 (.125) career vs. USC...
DAVID NICHOLSON, SO., INF./OF: Is batting .268 (42-for-157, .321 vs. Pac-10) with seven doubles, a triple, seven RBI and is 12-for-15 in stolen bases (3rd in Pac-10)...went 2-for-3 with a RBI double Tuesday at Saint Mary's...was 6-for-14 with RBI double Mar. 28-30 at OSU...went 5-for-13 with two RBI Mar. 21-23 vs. WSU...had career-high eight-game hitting streak Feb. 1-14 (15-for-32, .469, 3-2B, 2 RBI)...was 4-for-4 with a double Feb. 1 vs. UNLV...is 4-for-11 (.364) with a double career vs. USC...
MIKE PADGETT, SO., RHP: Is 3-2 with a 2.62 ERA in 16 appearances (6th in Pac-10)...has 16 strikeouts in 24.0 innings...batters are hitting .217 against him...made two appearances Apr. 13 vs. ASU, throwing 3.3 innings (no hits, no earned runs, three walks, four strikeouts)...picked up win in relief Apr. 6 at UCLA (season-high 4.3 innings, one hit, no runs, one walk, one strikeout)...won in relief Mar. 14 vs. UC Irvine (3.7 innings, three hits, no runs, no walks, two strikeouts)...won in relief Feb. 16 vs. Nebraska (1.3 innings, one hit, one run, one walk, two strikeouts)...is slated to make his first Cal start Friday vs. USC...
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.
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