Cal Baseball Visits UNLV for Three-Game Series
March 8, 2006
BERKELEY, CALIF. -
Fri.,Mar. 10 at UNLV Wilson Stadium, Las Vegas, Nev. 6:30 p.m.Sat.,Mar. 11 at UNLV Wilson Stadium, Las Vegas, Nev. 2:00 p.m.Sun.,Mar. 12 at UNLV Wilson Stadium, Las Vegas, Nev. 1:00 p.m.
BEAR NOTES: California (8-6), winners of seven of its last nine games, will travel to Las Vegas this weekend for a three-game series at UNLV. After opening the season 1-4, Golden Bears have turned their fortunes around, winning two-of-three games over No. 22 Long Beach State, sweeping UC Santa Barbara and most recently splitting games with No. 11 Stanford. Of Cal's six losses this year, four have been by one run. The Bears will be looking to avenge a home series loss to the Rebels last season at Evans Diamond. UNLV went on to be an NCAA Regional team after entering last year's series with Cal at 3-13. The Bears have been boosted by the pitching of junior preseason All-American Brandon Morrow and freshman right-handed standout Tyson Ross. Morrow was spectacular in the Feb. 3 season-opener at UC Irvine, throwing 6.3 no-hit innings with one walk and 12 strikeouts, earning National Pitcher of the Week (Collegiate Baseball, The Rosenblatt Report) honors. He is now 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA and has 29 strikeouts in 24.7 innings. Ross, a member of the USA Junior National Team, has already picked up wins over Long Beach State, UCSB and Georgetown. He is 3-1 with a 2.84 ERA and has recorded 23 strikeouts in 19.0 innings. Offensively, the Bears have been led by middle infielders (junior) Brett Munster and (senior) Allen Craig with .375 and .351 averages, respectively. Munster entered the year with a .232 career average, but already has two homers, while Craig has hit safely in 12 of 14 games with a team-high 20 hits. Cal also features two preseason All-Americans - junior outfielders Brennan Boesch and Chris Errecart - who have combined for eight of the Bears' 14 home runs, including back-to-back homers in the bottom of the ninth to defeat Long Beach State, Feb. 11.
SERIES RECORD: Cal has a 6-9 all-time series record against the UNLV Rebels. In the last series, the Bears won one-of-three games (W 13-2, L 5-2, L 7-4) Mar. 11-13, 2005 at Evans Diamond. In the last series in Las Vegas, Cal won one-of-three Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 2003 (L 9-6, W 8-7, L 10-4).
HEAD COACH David Esquer: Esquer, 40, is in his seventh season at Cal with a career record of 183-167 (.523). 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. .351, 7 RBI, 2 HR5 2B Brett Munster, Jr. .375, 5 RBI, 2 HR3 3B Josh Satin, So. .259, 10 RBI, 1 HR32 CF Brennan Boesch, Jr. .278, 10 RBI, 4 HR22 LF Chris Errecart, Jr. .288, 9 RBI, 4 HR42 1B Mike Van Winden, So. .283, 7 RBI, 0 HR16 RF Charlie Cutler, Fr. .281, 4 RBI, 0 HR34 C Garrett Bussiere, Jr. .262, 2 RBI, 0 HR20 DH Jordan Karnofsky, So. .273, 3 RBI, 1 HR21 RHP Brandon Morrow, Jr. (Fri.) 2-0, 1.46 ERA44 RHP Tyson Ross, Fr. (Sat.) 3-1, 2.84 ERA39 RHP Michael Cooper, Jr. (Sun.) 1-1, 5.66 ERA
NOTING UNLV: The UNLV Rebels, coached by Buddy Gouldsmith (third year, 82-63, .565), are 7-10 after winning one-of-two this week versus Texas Tech (L 9-0 Mar. 6, W 16-11 Mar. 7). Leading hitters for the Rebels are junior center fielder Zach Borba (.439, 0 HR, 9 RBI), junior first baseman Chris Bonnell (.333, 2 HR, 18 RBI) and junior left fielder Blake Gailen (.308, 2 HR, 5 RBI). UNLV's tentative pitching rotation is junior left-hander Chris Saddoris (2-2, 5.74 ERA), TBA, and sophomore left-hander Kevin Skogley (0-1, 4.67 ERA). In 2005, the Rebels finished 35-29 overall, 23-7 in the Mountain West Conference (first) and 1-2 in the NCAA Regional in Tempe, Ariz. In 1980, the Bears went 2-1 versus the Rebels in the NCAA Midwest Regional in Tulsa, Okla, including winning the final two games to advance to the College World Series, where they placed third under head coach Bob Milano.
BEARS ARE HUNGRY: 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 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 20-for-57 (.351) with four doubles, two home runs and seven RBI. For his career, Craig has a .298 average with 37 doubles, a triple, 18 home runs and 79 RBI in 155 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 wowed the professional scouts and were named preseason All-Americans in Baseball America (Errecart second-team, Morrow third-team). 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 are currently first in the Pac-10 with a .984 fielding percentage...on Feb. 11, Cal defeated Long Beach State in dramatic fashion, trailing 2-1 going into the bottom of the ninth, only to have Boesch and Errecart lead off the inning with back-to-back homers...Errecart hit the game-winning homer on his 21st birthday...along with Ross, two other true freshmen performing well are right-hander Matt Gorgen and right fielder/catcher Charlie Cutler...Gorgen has not given up an earned run in 10.0 innings, and picked up a save against UCSB and win over Stanford in relief...Cutler has started the last nine games in right field, is batting .281 with a double and four RBI, and threw a runner out at the plate against Long Beach State Feb. 11...senior Jeremy Burchett has performed well as strictly a reliever after playing both ways the past three seasons, limiting opponents to a .188 average this season while striking out six batters in 9.3 innings with a 2.89 ERA...last year as a redshirt 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...Ross 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 in the summer, leading the league with a 5-1 record and a 1.72 ERA for the Matsu Miners.
PAC-10 RACE (AS OF Mar. 8) Conference Overall W L PCT GB W L .PCTWSU 0 0 .000 --- 14 3 .823ASU 0 0 .000 --- 14 5 .737OSU 0 0 .000 --- 10 4 .714Wash 0 0 .000 --- 12 5 .706Ariz 0 0 .000 --- 10 5 .667Stan 0 0 .000 --- 10 5 .667CAL 0 0 .000 --- 8 6 .571USC 0 0 .000 --- 10 9 .526UCLA 0 0 .000 --- 9 10 .474
CAL INDIVIDUAL PLAYER NOTES
Brennan Boesch, JR., CF: Is batting .278 (15-for-54) with four home runs (2nd in Pac-10) and a team-high 10 RBI...is currently on a four-game hitting streak from Feb. 26 (5-for-16, .313, 2B, HR, six RBI)...was 3-for-10 with a double and four RBI last week vs. Stanford, and 1-for-4 with a two-run homer Tuesday vs. Georgetown...went 5-for-10 with three home runs and four RBI vs. Long Beach State Feb. 10-12...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...
Garrett Bussiere, JR., C: Is batting .262 (11-for-42) with three doubles and two RBI...has started 12 of 14 games behind the plate...was 3-for-4 with a double and RBI in season-opener at UC Irvine Feb. 3...went 2-for-6 with a double vs. Stanford Mar. 4...
Michael Cooper, JR., RHP: Is 1-1 with a 5.66 ERA...has 13 strikeouts in 20.7 innings...threw 2.0 innings with two strikeouts Tuesday vs. Georgetown...got no decision vs. Stanford Mar. 4 (1.3 innings, seven hits, five runs, one walk)...won vs. UCSB Feb. 25 (career high 7.0 innings, eight hits, two runs, no walks, three strikeouts)...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)...is slated to start Sunday at UNLV...
Allen Craig, SR., SS: Is batting .351 (20-for-57) with four doubles, two home runs, seven RBI and a team-leading 20 hits...has hit safely in 12 of 14 games this season and has a team-high eight multiple-hit games...went 4-for-10 with a double, home run and three RBI vs. Stanford Mar. 3-4, and 2-for-5 with a RBI Tuesday vs. Georgetown...was 3-for-10 with a home run vs. UCSB Feb. 24-26...went 4-for-13 with a double and RBI at UC Irvine Feb. 3-5...is hitting .364 (4-for-11) with runners in scoring position...
Chris Errecart, JR., OF: Is batting .288 (15-for-52) with four home runs (2nd in Pac-10) and nine RBI...is currently on a five-game hitting streak from Feb. 25 (6-for-20, .300)...went 2-for-10 last week vs. Stanford and was 2-for-5 Tuesday vs. Georgetown...was 1-for-4 with a home run at UC Davis Feb. 14...went 4-for-10 with two home runs, including the game-winner vs. Long Beach State on his 21st birthday Feb. 11...was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer vs. San Francisco Feb. 7...
Brandon Morrow, JR., RHP: Is 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA (2nd in Pac-10)...has 29 strikeouts (8th in Pac-10) in 24.7 innings...opponents are batting .193 (7th in Pac-10)...got no decision vs. Stanford Mar. 3 (career-high 7.3 innings, seven hits, two earned runs, five walks, seven strikeouts)...won vs. UCSB Feb. 24 (6.0 innings, one hit, no runs, six walks, nine strikeouts)...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...is slated to start Friday at UNLV...
Brett Munster, JR., INF: Is batting a team-leading .375 (15-for-40) with a double, two home runs and five RBI...was 3-for-8 last week vs. Stanford and 2-for-2 with a home run Tuesday vs. Georgetown...went 3-for-8 with a home run and two RBI vs. UCSB Feb. 24-26...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 .400 (2-for-5) with runners in scoring position...
Tyson Ross, FR., RHP: Is 3-1 with a 2.84 ERA...has 23 strikeouts in 19.0 innings...won Tuesday vs. Georgetown (3.0 innings, two hits, no runs, two strikeouts)...won vs. UCSB Feb. 26 (5.0 innings, three hits, no runs, one walk, eight strikeouts)...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)...is slated to start Saturday at UNLV...
Josh Satin, SO., INF: Is batting .259 (14-for-54) with three doubles, a home run and a team-high 10 RBI...was 3-for-9 with a double last week vs. Stanford and 1-for-4 with an RBI Tuesday vs. Georgetown...went 3-for-5 with two doubles, a home run and a career-high seven RBI at UC Davis Feb. 14...was 2-for-3 at UC Irvine Feb. 5...
Alex Trafton, SR., RHP: Is 1-1 with a 3.24 ERA and two saves (4th in Pac-10) in eight appearances (7th in Pac-10)...has five strikeouts in 8.3 innings...earned save vs. UCSB Feb. 25 (1.0 inning, one hit)...earned win and save vs. Long Beach State Feb. 11-12 (2.0 innings, two hits, no walks, three strikeouts)...
Mike Van Winden, SO., 1B: Is batting .283 (13-for-46) with a team-high five doubles with seven RBI...was 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI Tuesday vs. Georgetown...had a team-high six-game hitting streak from Feb. 5-14 (8-for-24, .333)...was 5-for-11 with two doubles and an RBI vs. Long Beach State Feb. 10-12...is batting .444 (4-for-9) with runners in scoring position...
DID YOU KNOW?
*Cal won the first College World Series title in 1947, defeating George Bush senior'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.
*In 2005, 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 San Francisco in the inaugural Dante Benedetti Classic, Tuesday, April 25 at 1 p.m. at SBC Park, home of the San Francisco Giants.
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