Cal Baseball Travels to Loyola Marymount for Three-Game Series
Feb. 8, 2005
BERKELEY, CA -
Feb. 11 at Loyola Marymount Los Angeles, CA 2:00 p.m.Feb. 12 at Loyola Marymount Los Angeles, CA 1:00 p.m.Feb. 13 at Loyola Marymount Los Angeles, CA 1:00 p.m.
BEAR NOTES: The young 2005 Cal baseball team, with a starting line-up that includes four freshmen and two sophomores, travels to Loyola Marymount for its first road series of the season, Feb. 11-13 at George C. Page Stadium. The Golden Bears are 1-3, falling to Pacific, 5-4, Feb. 1 and winning one of three games (L 10-1, W 5-4 in 11 innings, L 7-3) versus 2004 NCAA Regional participant UC Irvine Feb. 4-6 at Evans Diamond. After one week, Cal's top offensive forces are sophomore center fielder Brennan Boesch (.429, two doubles, home run, two RBI) and freshman first baseman Mike Van Winden (.333, two doubles, two RBI). Freshman second baseman Josh Satin had the game-winning RBI in the Bears' extra-inning victory over UC Irvine and leads the team with three RBI, while senior designated hitter James Holder has had two pinch-hit RBI this season, including a pinch-hit home run Feb. 4 versus the Anteaters. On the mound, Cal received a strong performance from senior closer Matt Swanson in the win over UC Irvine, pitching the final 4.3 innings with three hits and no runs. The Bears' top returning starter is still junior right-hander Adam Gold, who was honorable mention All-Pac-10 in 2004, and was one out away from a no-hitter last season 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). Cal is 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 9-9 overall series record against the Loyola Marymount Tigers. In the last meeting, the Bears swept the series (5-4, 11-6, 4-2) at Evans Diamond, Feb. 7-9, 2003. The last time the two teams played at LMU, Cal won two of three games (W 14-6, L 9-8, W 8-5) Feb. 16-18, 2001.
HEAD COACH David Esquer: Esquer, 39, is in his sixth season at Cal with a career record of 142-141 (.502). 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 2005 stats42 1B Mike Van Winden, Fr. .333, 2 RBI, 0 HR3 2B Josh Satin, Fr. .294, 3 RBI, 0 HR4 LF Allen Craig, Jr. .273, 1 RBI, 0 HR22 RF Chris Errecart, So. .125, 1 RBI, 0 HR44 DH James Holder, Sr. .333, 2 RBI, 1 HR28 C Travis Howell, Fr. .182, 0 RBI, 0 HR32 CF Brennan Boesch, So. .429, 2 RBI, 1 HR14 3B Matt Einspahr, Sr. .200, 2 RBI, 0 HR6 SS Kyle Spraker, Fr. .077, 0 RBI, 0 HR27 RHP Adam Gold, Jr. (Fri.) 0-1, 11.12 ERA21 RHP Brandon Morrow, So. (Sat.) 0-0, 7.71 ERA25 RHP Eric Dworkis, Sr. (Sun.) 0-1, 3.86 ERA
NOTING LOYOLA MARYMOUNT: The Loyola Marymount Lions, coached by Frank Cruz (ninth year, 229-232-2), open their 2005 season hosting Cal. Top returning hitters for the Lions are junior third baseman Kyle Mura (.317, 6 HR, 33 RBI), junior outfielder James Cooper (.313, 2 HR, 34 RBI) and senior outfielder Joe Frazee (.296, 2 HR, 27 RBI). Loyola Marymount's tentative pitching rotation is junior right-hander Stephen Kahn (7-3, 3.61 ERA), junior right-hander Jeff Stevens (6-0, 3.73 ERA) and TBA. In 2004, the Lions finished 32-22-1 overall and 20-7 (first) in the West Coast Conference Coast Division.
YOUNG BEARS: Cal's position players are extremely young. The Bears' projected line-up this weekend includes a true freshman at shortstop (Kyle Spraker), redshirt freshmen at first base (Mike Van Winden), second base (Josh Satin) and catcher (Travis Howell), and sophomores in center (Brennan Boesch) and right field (Chris Errecart). The only upperclassmen slated to start are junior Allen Craig in left field, senior Matt Einspahr at third base and senior James Holder as designated hitter.
BOESCH AND VAN WINDEN ON FIRE: Sophomore Brennan Boesch and redshirt freshman Mike Van Winden have been swinging a hot bat for the Bears so far this season. Boesch is leading Cal with a .429 average, going 6-for-14 with two doubles, a home run and two RBI. He had a RBI in the season-opener versus Pacific and was a perfect 3-for-3 with a double, a home run and scored the winning run in the Bears' extra-inning victory over UC Irvine Feb. 5. Van Winden is batting .333 (5-for-15) and has gotten at least one hit in all four games this season. In the UC Irvine series, he was 4-for-12 with two doubles and two RBI.
SATIN'S EXPLOITS: Freshman Josh Satin, who redshirted last year after injuring his right shoulder prior to the season, has made the most of his opportunities in 2005. Satin is batting .294 (5-for-17) with a team-leading three RBI, including the game-winning RBI in the 11th inning in the Bears' 5-4 victory over UC Irvine. He is hitting an impressive 4-for-5 (.800) with runners in scoring position. Satin also caught a line drive with the bases loaded in the top of the 11th that helped contribute to Cal's win over the Anteaters.
HOLDER HAS BEEN CLUTCH: Senior designated hitter James Holder is the most experienced of the Bears, entering the 2005 season having played in 104 games with a career .285 average, 21 doubles, 13 home runs and 63 RBI. A fifth-year senior, Holder redshirted in 2002 after starting that season with a home run in his first at-bat at UNLV, only to dislocate his right shoulder later in the game. This season, he is batting .333 (3-for-9) and has had two clutch pinch-hits. Holder had a RBI single in the eighth inning of the season-opener versus Pacific, and had a pinch-hit home run versus UC Irvine in the eighth inning Feb. 4.
SWANSON SOLID IN RELIEF: Senior right-hander Matt Swanson, one of the Bears' team captains along with sophomore outfielder Chris Errecart and senior third baseman Matt Einspahr, had an impressive first outing of the 2005 season. Swanson pitched 4.3 innings of shutout relief with three hits, one walk and one strikeout in Cal's victory over UC Irvine Feb. 5. He now has a career record of 6-2 with one save and a 3.71 ERA in 42 appearances. Last season, Swanson led the Pac-10 in appearances (30) and finished 3-2 with a save and a 2.97 ERA.
CHOLOWSKY JOINS COACHING STAFF: Former Cal standout Dan Cholowsky has joined the Bears' coaching staff as a volunteer assistant and first base coach. Cholowsky played at Cal from 1989-91, helping the Bears to the 1991 NCAA Midwest Regional final in Wichita, Kansas. He was a 1991 All-Pac-10, All-District 8 and All-America selection, batting .339 with 12 doubles, three triples, 18 home runs and 57 RBI as a junior. Cholowsky now coaches with former Cal teammate and 2003 Golden Bear Hall of Fame inductee Jon Zuber, Cal's hitting instructor and third base coach. Cholowsky and Zuber played together from 1989-91.
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 first baseman 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).