Cal Opens 2005 Season Hosting Pacific and UC Irvine at Evans Diamond
Jan. 31, 2005
BERKELEY, CA -
Tue. Feb. 1 vs. Pacific Evans Diamond, Berkeley, CA 1:30 p.m.Fri. Feb. 4 vs. UC Irvine Evans Diamond, Berkeley, CA 1:30 p.m.Sat. Feb. 5 vs. UC Irvine Evans Diamond, Berkeley, CA 1:00 p.m.Sun. Feb. 6 vs. UC Irvine Evans Diamond, Berkeley, CA 1:00 p.m.
BEAR NOTES: The 2005 Cal baseball team, featuring junior right-hander Adam Gold, a 2004 Pac-10 honorable mention selection, opens the 2005 season hosting Pacific Feb. 1 and UC Irvine in a three-game series at Evans Diamond Feb. 4-6. Gold was 6-7 with a 4.47 ERA in 2004, and was one out away from a no-hitter at Fresno State. He was the Feb. 23, 2004 NCBWA National Co-Pitcher of the Week and finished eighth in the Pac-10 in strikeouts (89) and ninth in innings pitched (94.7). The Golden Bears will also be led by senior first baseman James Holder and junior shortstop Allen Craig, who both have .285 career batting averages, and sophomores Chris Errecart, Brennan Boesch and Garrett Bussiere, part of a 2004 recruiting class ranked fifth in Baseball America. Top newcomers for Cal include senior right-hander Eric Dworkis, a transfer from Gonzaga, and true freshmen Jason Corder and Kyle Spraker. Dworkis is a two-time second team All-WCC selection and went 8-4 with a 4.86 ERA and five complete games last season. Corder is an outfielder/right-handed pitcher from Capistrano Valley High School and was first team All-CIF Southern Section as a senior. Spraker is vying a starting spot in the Bears' infield after batting .420 with second team all-state honors at St. Francis High School. Cal will be looking to qualify for NCAA postseason for the 10th time in school history and the second time in David Esquer's six-year head coaching tenure.
SERIES RECORD: Cal has a 52-18 overall series record against the Pacific Tigers. In the last meeting, the Bears won 8-2 at Billy Hebert Field, Apr. 20, 2004. Cal has an 8-10 overall series record against the UC Irvine Anteaters. In the last series, the Bears won one-of-three games at Anteater Ballpark, Feb. 13-15, 2004 (L 9-7, L 4-3 in 12 innings, W 10-4).
HEAD COACH David Esquer: Esquer, 39, is in his sixth season at Cal with a career record of 141-138 (.505). In 2001, he was the Pac-10 Coach of the Year after leading the Bears to a 34-25 mark, a third place finish in the Pac-10 (14-10) and a berth to the NCAA Regional in Baton Rouge, LA (1-2). Twenty five Cal players have signed professional contracts since Esquer became coach, including Conor Jackson, who was a first round draft choice of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2003. On June 10, 1999, Esquer became only the 10th coach in the history of Cal baseball, which began in 1892. He came to Berkeley after serving as the top assistant at Pepperdine from 1996-99. Esquer was the No. 2 assistant coach at Stanford under Mark Marquess from 1991-96. A shortstop at Stanford from 1984-87, he was a starter on the 1987 College World Series championship team, earning All-Tournament honors. Esquer also earned All-Pac-10 Southern Division honors and went on to play professional baseball for four seasons with the Baltimore, California and Milwaukee organizations.
TENTATIVE CALIFORNIA LINE-UPNo. Pos. Player 2004 stats14 3B Matt Einspahr, Sr. .230, 6 RBI, 1 HR4 SS Allen Craig, Jr. .285, 21 RBI, 6 HR22 LF Chris Errecart, So. .256, 19 RBI, 3 HR32 CF Brennan Boesch, So. .284, 15 RBI, 4 HR34 C Garrett Bussiere, So. .307, 21 RBI, 5 HR3 2B Josh Satin, Fr. .000, 0 RBI, 0 HR44 1B James Holder, Sr. .273, 22 RBI, 6 HR28 DH Travis Howell, Fr. .000, 0 RBI, 0 HR33 RF Jeremy Burchett, Jr. .278, 0 RBI, 0 HR or11 RF Jason Corder, Fr. .000, 0 RBI, 0 HR TBA (Tue.)27 RHP Adam Gold, Jr. (Fri.) 6-7, 4.47 ERA21 RHP Brandon Morrow, So. (Sat.) 1-3, 6.07 ERA TBA (Sun.)
NOTING PACIFIC AND UC IRVINE: The Pacific Tigers, coached by Ed Sprague (second year, 20-34, .370), open their 2005 season at Cal. Top returning hitter for the Tigers is senior infielder Jesse Kovacs (.296, 0 HR, 27 RBI in 2004). Pacific's starting pitcher is TBA. Sprague was teammates with David Esquer on Stanford's 1987 NCAA championship team, and went on to play in the major leagues for 11 seasons, helping the Toronto Blue Jays to back-to-back World Series titles in 1992 and 1993. Pacific's assistant coach, Steve Pearse, was an assistant for Cal on its 1992 College World Series squad. The UC Irvine Anteaters, coached by Dave Serrano (first year), begin their 2005 season at Cal. Top returning hitters for the Anteaters are junior third baseman Matt Anderson (.336, 6 HR, 42 RBI), junior catcher Mark Wagner (.286, 4 HR, 34 RBI) and junior outfielder Erik Johnson (.288, 4 HR, 31 RBI). UC Irvine's tentative pitching rotation is junior right-hander Chris Nicoll (7-5, 3.49 ERA), sophomore right-hander Justin Cassel (4-3, 3.93 ERA) and TBA. In 2004, UC Irvine finished 34-23-1 overall and 10-11 (tied for fourth) in the Big West Conference. The Anteaters went 0-2 in the Notre Dame NCAA Regional, falling to Arizona, 7-3, and Notre Dame, 6-5.
ZUBER JOINS COACHING STAFF: Cal hired former major leaguer and 2003 Golden Bear Hall of Fame inductee Jon Zuber as an assistant baseball coach on July 12, 2004. Zuber, Cal's chief hitting instructor and third base coach, was named Co-Pac-10 Player of the Year and NCAA East Regional MVP in 1992 and remains Cal's career leader in hits (291), doubles (61) and putouts (1,299). He led the Bears to the 1991 NCAA Midwest Regional finals and the 1992 College World Series. Zuber was also a three-time first team All-Pac-10 selection and went on to play first base and outfield in the major leagues for the Philadelphia Phillies from 1996-99. Zuber also played for the New York Yankees, the Yokahama Baystars in Japan, and the Milwaukee Brewers, before retiring from professional baseball in 2002. Most recently, Zuber was the head coach of the Acalanes High School baseball team in Lafayette where he was named the 2004 Contra Costa Times high school Coach of the Year.
EINSPAHR, ERRECART AND SWANSON NAMED TEAM CAPTAINS: Senior infielder Matt Einspahr, sophomore outfielder Chris Errecart and senior right-hander Matt Swanson have been selected 2005 Cal team captains. Einspahr was named the third baseman on the 2004 Northwoods League Postseason All-Star Team this past summer for the LaCrosse (Wisc.) Loggers. He finished the summer campaign batting .293 with 12 doubles, a triple, two home runs and 22 RBI, and was second in the Northwoods League with 67 hits. Errecart, who hit .256 with four doubles, three home runs and 19 RBI as a freshman in 2004, played for the Mat-Su Miners of the Alaska Summer League, helping the Miners to the Alaska League title along with Cal teammate Josh Satin. Errecart batted .246 with nine doubles, two triples, four home runs and 17 RBI, while Satin hit .309 with 12 doubles, two triples, four home runs and 31 RBI. Swanson, a 6-7 right-hander, is projected to be a top reliever for the Bears after leading the Pac-10 in appearances (30) and finishing 3-2 with a save and a 2.97 ERA in 2004.
COLORADO BATTERY OF GOLD AND BUSSIERE: In a rarity for Cal baseball, two of the Bears' top players, junior right-hander Adam Gold (Lakewood, CO) and sophomore catcher Garrett Bussiere (Thornton, CO), are from the state of Colorado. Bussiere is Cal's top returning hitter, average-wise, after batting .307 with seven doubles, two triples, five home runs and 21 RBI in 36 games as a freshman. He also hit a home run in his first collegiate at-bat last year versus Long Beach State Feb. 8, and had a two-home run game versus Arizona May 1. The two did not play against each other in high school. In coach David Esquers' five seasons, he has only had nine players from outside the state of California, with five on the 2005 squad - senior right-hander Eric Dworkis (Bellevue, WA), Bussiere, Gold, sophomore infielder Stephen Carlson (Bellevue, WA) and senior infielder Matt Einspahr (Port Orchard, WA).
NEW LOOK AT EVANS DIAMOND: Fans will notice changes at Evans Diamond in 2005, as construction has begun on the Carl Van Heuit Training Facility, plus new artwork, sponsored by Truitt and White, graces the back of Edwards Track Stadium and the Recreational Sports Facility. The Carl Van Heuit Training Facility, named after the former Cal football Hall of Famer who was a staunch supporter of the Bears' baseball program, will provide the team with indoor batting cages, indoor and outdoor bullpens, as well as weight training and conditioning equipment. The graphics on the RSF wall are of former Cal standouts Chuck Hensley (1980 All-Pac-10), Rod Booker (1980 All-American, All-Pac-10), Lance Blankenship (1985 All-American, four-time All-Pac-10), Jon Zuber (1992 Pac-10 Co-MVP with Cal teammate Troy Penix, three-time All-Pac-10), Matt Luke (1991 and 1992 All-American, two-time All-Pac-10), Bobby Kahlon (1993 All-American, Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year), Xavier Nady (three-time All-American 1998-00, three-time All-Pac-10) and Conor Jackson (2003 All-American, two-time All-Pac-10).
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 become 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).
*Cal is the 15th winningest Division I baseball program in the nation with 2,170 wins in 123 seasons.
*Freshman infielder/outfielder Mike Van Winden's great, great uncle is the late Cal football Hall of Famer Vic Bottari.
*Three Cal players, junior infielder Allen Craig, sophomore outfielder Brennan Boesch and sophomore catcher Garrett Bussiere hit home runs in their first collegiate at-bats - Jan. 31, 2003 versus UNLV for Craig, Jan. 29, 2004 versus BYU for Boesch and Feb. 8, 2004 versus Long Beach State for Bussiere.
*Nineteen Cal baseball players and three head baseball coaches (Clint Evans, 1930-54; George Wolfman, 1955-73; Bob Milano, 1978-99) have been inducted into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame. Milano, Arleigh Williams (1932-35) and John Fiscalini (1946-48) were members of the 2004 Cal Hall of Fame class. Milano led the Bears to three College World Series appearances (1980, 1988, 1992) and was twice named Pac-10 Southern Division Co-Coach of the Year (1980, 1992).
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