Cal Baseball Travels to No. 23 Baylor for Three-Game Series
Feb. 15, 2006
BERKELEY, CALIF. -
Fri., Feb. 17 at Baylor Baylor Ballpark, Waco, Texas 6:00 p.m.Sat., Feb. 18 at Baylor Baylor Ballpark, Waco, Texas 3:00 p.m.Sun., Feb. 19 at Baylor Baylor Ballpark, Waco, Texas 1:00 p.m.
BEAR NOTES: California (3-5) will face a talented non-conference opponent this weekend as the Golden Bears travel to Waco, Texas to play No. 23 Baylor in a three-game series. The Baylor Bears were a 2005 College World Series participant and fell, 4-3, to eventual national champion Texas in Omaha. Last week, Cal showed it can compete with the nation's best as the Bears won two-of-three (lost 7-6, won 3-2, 4-1) over then-12th-ranked Long Beach State. On Feb. 11, Cal defeated the 49ers in dramatic fashion, trailing 2-1 going into the bottom of the ninth, only to have junior preseason All-Americans Brennan Boesch and Chris Errecart hit back-to-back homers to win the game. On Feb. 12, the Bears received a solid pitching performance from freshman right-hander Tyson Ross, who threw 6.0 innings with a career-high nine strikeouts. Cal captured its season-opener, 6-2, Feb. 3 at UC Irvine behind the superb pitching of junior right-hander Brandon Morrow, who was named National Pitcher of the Week (Collegiate Baseball, The Rosenblatt Report) after throwing 6.3 no-hit innings with one walk and 12 strikeouts. The 2006 Cal squad features three players - Boesch, Errecart and Morrow - who were selected as Baseball America preseason All-Americans. The Bears also highlight sophomore infielder Josh Satin, a 2005 first-team All-Pac-10 selection and Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American, and senior shortstop Allen Craig, a 2005 Baseball America Summer All-American. On Tuesday, Satin was 3-for-5 with two doubles, a home run and a career-high seven RBI at UC Davis, while Craig has posted solid numbers to start the year, batting .344 with a team-high 11 hits and three doubles.
SERIES RECORD: Cal has a 1-0 all-time series record against the Baylor Bears. The Golden Bears defeated the Baylor Bears, 8-5, in the opening game of the 1991 NCAA Midwest Regional in Wichita, Kan, May 24, 1991. Cal went on to reach the Midwest Regional final before falling, 11-5, to host Wichita State.
HEAD COACH David Esquer: Esquer, 40, is in his seventh season at Cal with a career record of 178-166 (.517). 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 nine 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 2006 stats4 SS Allen Craig, Sr. .344, 2 RBI, 0 HR5 2B Brett Munster, Jr. .318, 2 RBI, 0 HR3 3B Josh Satin, So. .265, 7 RBI, 1 HR32 CF Brennan Boesch, Jr. .290, 4 RBI, 3 HR22 LF Chris Errecart, Jr. .310, 9 RBI, 4 HR42 1B Mike Van Winden, So. .300, 4 RBI, 0 HR16 RF Charlie Cutler, Fr. .286, 3 RBI, 0 HR34 C Garrett Bussiere, Jr. .250, 1 RBI, 0 HR20 DH Jordan Karnofsky, So. .333, 3 RBI, 1 HR21 RHP Brandon Morrow, Jr. (Fri.) 1-0, 1.59 ERA39 RHP Michael Cooper, Jr. (Sat.) 0-1, 5.23 ERA44 RHP Tyson Ross, Fr. (Sun.) 1-1, 4.91 ERA
NOTING BAYLOR: The No. 23-ranked (Collegiate Baseball) Baylor Bears, coached by Steve Smith (12th year, 422-258-1, .620), are 4-0 after sweeping Stephen F. Austin last weekend (9-2, 8-3, 3-1) and defeating UT-Arlington, 17-4, Tuesday at Baylor Ballpark. Leading hitters for the Bears are senior left fielder Seth Fortenberry (.385, 1 HR, 6 RBI), junior center fielder Chase Gerdes (.308, 0 HR, 2 RBI) and senior catcher Zach Dillon (.300, 1 HR, 7 RBI). Baylor's tentative pitching rotation is senior right-hander Ryan LaMotta (1-0, 0.00 ERA), junior left-hander Cory VanAllen (1-0, 0.00 ERA) and sophomore right-hander Tim Matthews (0-0, 1.50 ERA). In 2005, the Bears finished 46-24 overall, 19-8 (first) in the Big 12 Conference, 3-0 in the Waco Regional, 2-1 in the Waco Super Regional and 2-2 in the College World Series, falling to eventual national champions, Texas, 4-3.
BEARS ARE HUNGURY: Cal is returning seven regular position players from a squad that finished 34-23 overall and 13-11 (fifth) in the Pac-10 in 2005. Last season, the Bears notched 13 wins against teams that advanced to an NCAA Regional; captured Pac-10 series versus highly-ranked Stanford, Arizona State and Arizona; and swept Long Beach State; yet were denied an NCAA berth. Cal became the first Pac-10 team not to advance to postseason with an over .500 record in the conference play. Baseball America predicts the Bears to be one of six Pac-10 teams to make a 2006 NCAA Regional, and felt Cal was the most deserving team left off the 2005 NCAA tournament field.
ACCOLADES GALORE FOR BOESCH: Junior center fielder Brennan Boesch enters the 2006 season with the most preseason accolades since Xavier Nady was Baseball America's National Preseason Player of the Year in 2000. Boesch is a preseason All-American with the Collegiate Baseball Writers (first-team), Baseball America (second-team) and Collegiate Baseball (third-team). He is also predicted to be the 2006 Pac-10 Player of the Year by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball, and is on the Brooks Wallace List as a candidate for national player of the year honors. Last season, Boesch batted .355 (fifth in the Pac-10) with 21 doubles (fifth in the Pac-10), two triples, seven home runs and 33 RBI. His 21 doubles were third on the Cal all-time single-season doubles list, and he hit .367 (22-for-60) with runners in scoring position, earning first-team All-Pac-10 honors.
SATIN'S STELLAR FRESHMAN CAMPAIGN: Sophomore infielder Josh Satin had one of the finest freshman seasons in school history in 2005, earning All-Pac-10 and Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-America honors. As a redshirt freshman second baseman, Satin was second on the team with a .348 average and 40 RBI. He also had 77 hits, 15 doubles, a triple, five home runs, a team-leading 26 multiple-hit games, a team-high 15-game hitting streak and a team-best .434 average with runners in scoring position. Satin was the first Cal freshman to earn both Freshman All-America and All-Pac-10 honors since Xavier Nady was the National Freshman of the Year in 1998.
CRAIG PRIMED FOR SENIOR SEASON: Senior Allen Craig is coming off a phenomenal summer playing shortstop for Alexandria (Minn.) of the Northwoods League, batting .362 with 12 home runs and 40 RBI, earning first-team Summer All-America accolades in Baseball America. Craig was honorable mention All-Pac-10 in 2005, batting.358 against conference foes and leading off a game with a home run three times during the year. In 2006, he is 11-for-32 (.344) with three doubles and two RBI, hitting safely in seven of eight games. For his career, Craig now has a .295 average with 36 doubles, a triple, 16 home runs and 74 RBI in 149 games.
ERRECART AND MORROW SHINE IN THE CAPE: Competing for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox this summer in the prestigious Cape Cod League, juniors Chris Errecart and Brandon Morrow wooed the professional scouts. Errecart hit .303 with six home runs and 22 RBI and was selected the fifth-best professional prospect by Baseball America. Last spring, he hit .298 with 15 doubles, eight home runs (ninth in the Pac-10) and 35 RBI for the Bears. After striking out 24 batters in 14.7 innings with a 1.84 ERA and three saves over the summer, Morrow was selected the fifth-best professional prospect out of the Cape Cod League by Baseball America. He is also on the Roger Clemens Award Watch List as a candidate for the nation's top collegiate pitcher.
ADDITIONAL CAL NOTES: The Bears have already recorded nine home runs this season, tops in the Pac-10...Errecart leads Cal with four homers, and has hit home runs in four of the last five games...junior infielder Stephen Carlson, who had to sit out the 2003 and 2004 seasons after having surgery on both shoulders, has taken advantage of his opportunities this season, going 4-for-6 (.667) in four games...last season as a freshman, Mike Van Winden batted .296 with three game-winning RBI and is projected to be an All-Pac-10 first baseman by Baseball America...freshman Tyson Ross, a 6-5 right-hander, was a member of the USA Junior National Team this fall and only yielded two hits in 5.0 innings against Cuba...senior right-hander Alex Trafton was an Alaska League All-Star last summer, leading the league with a 5-1 record and a 1.72 ERA for the Matsu Miners...sophomore catcher Travis Howell was the recipient of the Rawlings Silver Glove Award for his defensive prowess for the Mankato (Minn.) Moondogs of the Northwoods League...fans will notice changes at Evans Diamond in 2006, as construction has been completed on the Carl J. Van Heuit Training Facility (which includes the Jeff Kent Batting Cages and the Stuart Gordon Bullpens) down the right field line, plus a new picnic and patio area graces the left field line...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, provides the team with indoor batting cages, indoor and outdoor bullpens, as well as weight training equipment.
PAC-10 RACE (AS OF FEB. 15) Conference Overall W L PCT GB W L .PCTWSU 0 0 .000 --- 3 1 .750OSU 0 0 .000 --- 2 1 .667Wash 0 0 .000 --- 2 1 .667Arizona 0 0 .000 --- 4 2 .667Stan 0 0 .000 --- 4 2 .667USC 0 0 .000 --- 5 3 .625ASU 0 0 .000 --- 5 4 .555CAL 0 0 .000 --- 3 5 .375UCLA 0 0 .000 --- 2 5 .286
CAL INDIVIDUAL PLAYER NOTES
Brennan Boesch, JR., CF: Is batting .290 (9-for-31) with three home runs (first in Pac-10) and four RBI...went 5-for-10 with three home runs and four RBI last weekend vs. Long Beach State...hit two homers, including the game-tying homer against the 49ers Feb. 11, and was 3-for-3 with a homer Feb. 12...was 3-for-4 with two runs at UC Irvine Feb. 5...was selected a first-team preseason All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association of America (NCBWA), is a second-team preseason All-American in Baseball America and a third-team preseason All-American in Collegiate Baseball...was first-team All-Pac-10 in 2005 and is on the watch list for the 2006 Brooks Wallace Award as the nation's top collegiate player...
Michael Cooper, JR., RHP: Is 0-1 with a 5.23 ERA...has eight strikeouts in 10.3 innings...got no decision vs. Long Beach State Feb. 11 (career-high 7.0 innings, four hits, two runs, three walks, three strikeouts)...lost at UC Irvine Feb. 4 (3.3 innings, eight hits, five runs, four earned runs, one walk, five strikeouts)...in 2005, was 3-2 with a 3.47 ERA...is slated to start Saturday at Baylor...
Allen Craig, SR., SS: Is batting .344 (11-for-32) with three doubles (4th in Pac-10), two RBI and a team-leading 11 hits (5th in Pac-10)...has hit safely in seven of eight games...went 2-for-4 Tuesday at UC Davis...was 2-for-3 with an RBI vs. San Francisco Feb. 7 and 3-for-12 with two doubles last week vs. Long Beach State...went 4-for-13 with a double and RBI at UC Irvine Feb. 3-5...is hitting .333 (2-for-6) with runners in scoring position...was honorable mention All-Pac-10 last season, and a 2005 Baseball America first-team Summer All-American ...
Chris Errecart, JR., OF: Is batting .310 (9-for-29) with four home runs (1st in Pac-10) and nine RBI (2nd in Pac-10)...is also third in the Pac-10 in total bases (21) and ninth in slugging percentage (.724)...has hit a home run in four of the last five games...was 1-for-4 with a home run Tuesday at UC Davis...went 4-for-10 with two home runs, including the game-winner Feb. 11 vs. Long Beach State...was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer vs. San Francisco Feb. 7...is hitting .364 (4-for-11) with runners in scoring position...is a second-team preseason All-American in Baseball America...
Brandon Morrow, JR., RHP: Is 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA...has 13 strikeouts (3rd in Pac-10) in 11.3 innings (8th in Pac-10)...got no decision vs. Long Beach State Feb. 10 (5.0 innings, eight hits, two earned runs, two walks, one strikeout)...was named National Pitcher of the Week by Collegiate Baseball and The Rosenblatt Report after throwing 6.3 innings with no hits, no runs, one walk and a career-high 12 strikeouts at UC Irvine Feb. 3...was named a third-team preseason All-American by Baseball America, and was a Cape Cod League All-Star this summer for Yarmouth-Dennis, striking out 24 batters in 14.7 innings with a 1.84 ERA and three saves...is slated to start Friday at Baylor...
Brett Munster, JR., INF: Is batting .318 (7-for-22) with a double and RBI...went 2-for-11 with an RBI last week vs. Long Beach State...was 2-for-3 vs. San Francisco Feb. 7...went 3-for-8 with a double at UC Irvine Feb. 3-5, including going 2-for-4 with a double and RBI in the season-opener...is hitting .667 (2-for-3) with runners in scoring position...
Tyson Ross, FR., RHP: Is 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA...has 13 strikeouts (3rd in Pac-10) in 11.0 innings (9th in Pac-10)...won vs. Long Beach State Feb. 12 (career-high 6.0 innings, six hits, one run, four walks, career-high nine strikeouts)...lost at UC Irvine Feb. 5 (5.0 innings, six hits, five runs, two walks, four strikeouts)...pitched for the USA Junior National Team this past fall versus Cuba, yielding only two hits in 5.0 innings...is slated to start Sunday at Baylor...
Josh Satin, SO., INF: Is batting .265 (9-for-34)...went 3-for-5 with two doubles, a home run and a career-high seven RBI Tuesday at UC Davis...is on a four-game hitting streak from Feb. 10 (6-for-18, .333, 2-2B, HR, seven RBI)...was 2-for-3 at UC Irvine Feb. 5...was first-team All-Pac-10 and a Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American last season, batting .348 with 15 doubles, a triple, five home runs and 40 RBI...
Alex Trafton, SR., RHP: Is 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA and a save in five appearances (2nd in Pac-10)...has five strikeouts in 6.0 innings...earned win and save last week vs. Long Beach State (2.0 innings, two hits, no walks, three strikeouts)...was a Alaska League All-Star this past summer...
Mike Van Winden, SO., 1B: Is batting .300 (9-for-30) with three doubles and four RBI...is on a six-game hitting streak from Feb. 5 (8-for-24, .333) and has gotten a hit in seven of eight games this season...was 5-for-11 with two doubles and an RBI last week vs. Long Beach State and had a RBI double Tuesday at UC Davis...is batting .429 (3-for-7) with runners in scoring position...
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 2000.
*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). The Bears have competed in five College World Series (1947, 1957, 1980, 1988, 1992).
*Three Cal players, senior shortstop Allen Craig, junior outfielder Brennan Boesch and junior 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.
*Last season, third baseman Matt Einspahr led the nation in sacrifice bunts (20, 0.36 per game), while also leading the Bears in RBI (41).
*This season Cal plays two games in professional ballparks. On Saturday, March 18, the Bears will face Pacific at 1 p.m. at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton (home of the Oakland A's Single A affiliate). Cal will then play the University of San Francisco in the inaugural Dante Benedetti Classic, Tuesday, April 25 at 1 p.m. at SBC Park, home of the San Francisco Giants.