Cal Baseball Visits USC for Pac-10 Tilt
April 6, 2006
BERKELEY, CALIF. -
Fri., Apr. 7 at USC Dedeaux Field, Los Angeles, 6:00 p.m.Sat., Apr. 8 at USC Dedeaux Field, Los Angeles, 1:00 p.m.Sun., Apr. 9 at USC Dedeaux Field, Los Angeles, 1:00 p.m.
RADIO: KALX Radio (90.7 FM) will broadcast the Apr. 7-9 Cal-USC games. Gametracker viewed on www.calbears.com.
BEAR NOTES: California (16-13, 4-2) travels to USC (17-14, 4-2) this weekend for a battle between the league-leaders, who are both sporting 4-2 marks. Cal has won home series over Washington and Arizona, while USC captured series versus OSU and at Stanford. The Bears feature junior preseason All-American Brandon Morrow, who is now 6-0 and second in the Pac-10 with a 1.74 ERA, and has 63 strikeouts in 57.0 innings. On Friday, Morrow will dual the Trojan's Ian Kennedy (2-4, 3.33 ERA in '06), a returning All-American and the 2005 Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year. Morrow is a candidate for the Roger Clemen's Award as the nation's top pitcher, and in Cal's Feb. 3 season-opening 6-2 win at UC Irvine, threw 6.3 no-hit innings with one walk and 12 strikeouts to earn National Pitcher of the Week honors. Another Bear among the Pac-10 leaders is senior shortstop Allen Craig. Craig, a 2005 Baseball America Summer All-American, is batting .379 and is among the Top 10 in the conference in six offensive categories (4th - 44 hits, 4th - 69 total bases, 6th - .595 slugging percentage, 7th - .379 average, 7th - 10 doubles, 8th - five home runs). Cal had an impressive 5-4 victory in the final game of the Arizona series. The Bears came back from a 4-0 deficit on Apr. 1 to win in 13 innings, via an RBI single by sophomore Josh Satin, a two-run homer by junior center fielder Brennan Boesch, and a bases-loaded walk by Boesch in the ninth inning. Then for the second time this season, freshman right fielder Charlie Cutler threw a runner out at the plate in a key situation, this time in the top of the 12th to preserve the tie. On Apr. 2, senior right fielder Rob Nesbitt finally won the game with his first collegiate home run in the 13th inning.
SERIES RECORD: Cal has a 132-218 all-time series record against the USC Trojans. Last season, the Bears won one-of-three (L 7-4, L 5-4, W 9-0) Apr. 22-24 at Evans Diamond. In 2004, Cal won two-of-three (W 4-2, L 11-4, W 12-9) Apr. 8-10 at Dedeaux Field.
HEAD COACH David Esquer: Esquer, 40, is in his seventh season at Cal with a career record of 191-174 (.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 stats42 1B Mike Van Winden, So. .276, 13 RBI, 0 HR5 2B Brett Munster, Jr. .277, 6 RBI, 2 HR4 SS Allen Craig, Sr. .379, 15 RBI, 5 HR32 CF Brennan Boesch, Jr. .265, 21 RBI, 7 HR22 LF Chris Errecart, Jr. .274, 17 RBI, 6 HR34 C Garrett Bussiere, Jr. .273, 7 RBI, 3 HR3 3B Josh Satin, So. .238, 15 RBI, 1 HR29 DH Ryan Hanlon, Fr. .293, 5 RBI, 0 HR2 RF Taylor Grigsby, So. .381, 7 RBI, 0 HR21 RHP Brandon Morrow, Jr. (Fri.) 6-0, 1.74 ERA44 RHP Tyson Ross, Fr. (Sat.) 4-3, 4.17 ERA TBA
NOTING USC: The USC Trojans, coached by Mike Gillespie (20th year at USC, 755-452-2, .625), are 17-14 and 4-2 in the Pac-10 after winning two-of-three at Stanford Apr. 1-2 (L 9-7, W 3-2, W 6-1) and losing 9-2 versus UC Santa Barbara Wednesday. Leading hitters for the Trojans are sophomore third baseman Matt Cusick (.388, 2 HR, 24 RBI), junior center fielder Daniel Perales (.362, 3 HR, 21 RBI) and junior left fielder Cyle Hankerd (.357, 5 HR, 33 RBI). USC's tentative pitching rotation is junior right-hander Ian Kennedy (2-4, 3.33 ERA), freshman left-hander Tommy Milone (5-0, 3.88 ERA) and freshman right-hander Ryan Cook (3-3, 4.86 ERA). In 2005, the Trojans finished 41-22 overall, 15-9 in the Pac-10 (third tie), 3-1 in the NCAA Long Beach, Calif. Regional and 1-2 in the NCAA Corvallis, Ore. Super Regional.
BEARS ARE HUNGRY: Cal returns seven regular position players from a squad that was 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 felt Cal was the most deserving team left off the 2005 NCAA tournament field.
CRAIG'S STANDOUT SENIOR CAMPAIGN: 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 has not missed a beat this spring as he owns a .379 average with a team-best 44 hits, 21 runs and 10 doubles. He also has had 17 multiple-hit games. 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. For his career, Craig has a .308 average with 43 doubles (10th on the Cal all-time list), a triple, 21 home runs and 87 RBI in 170 games.
MORROW CONTINUES TO SHINE: Similar to Allen Craig, junior Brandon Morrow had an outstanding summer that has carried over to the spring. Competing for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox this summer in the prestigious Cape Cod League, Morrow and junior outfielder Chris Errecart wowed the professional scouts and were named preseason All-Americans in Baseball America (Errecart second-team, Morrow third-team). Morrow struck out 24 batters in 14.7 innings with a 1.84 ERA and three saves, and was selected the fifth-best professional prospect, while Errecart hit .303 with six home runs and 22 RBI and was selected the fourth-best professional prospect by Baseball America. This spring for the Bears, Morrow was named the National Pitcher of the Week when he allowed no hits in 6.3 innings with 12 strikeouts and only one walk in the Feb. 3 season-opener at UC Irvine, and at UNLV on Mar. 10, threw his first complete-game with six hits, one run, three walks and seven strikeouts. He is on the Roger Clemens Award Watch List as a candidate for the nation's top collegiate pitcher. This spring, Errecart is batting .274, but is hitting .333 in league play, has six home runs, and hit two, two-run homers at UNLV. He also teamed-up with Brennan Boesch to hit back-to-back homers to defeat Long Beach State Feb. 11, on his 21st birthday.
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. This season, Boesch is hitting .265, but leads the team with seven home runs and 21 RBI.
SATIN'S STELLAR FRESHMAN CAMPAIGN: Sophomore Josh Satin was stellar in 2005, earning All-Pac-10 and Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-America honors. As a redshirt freshman second baseman, Satin had 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 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.
ADDITIONAL CAL NOTES: The Bears are currently third in the Pac-10 with a .973 fielding percentage and fourth with a 3.87 team ERA...Cal is also third in the Pac-10 with 26 home runs in 29 games...the Cal-USC series has some coaching connections as the Bears' pitching coach, Dan Hubbs, was a standout right-hander for the Trojans from 1990-93, while USC pitching coach, David Lawn, was the pitching coach at Cal from 1991-99, helping lead the Bears to the 1992 College World Series...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 for a 3-2 win...Boesch was involved in another dramatic finish for the Bears when he threw Washington's Bradley Boyer out at the plate in the top of the ninth to preserve Cal's 2-1 win Mar. 24... Bear freshman right-hander Matt Gorgen (1-2, one save, 0.90 ERA), whose twin brother, Scott, pitches for UC Irvine, has given up only two earned runs in 20.0 innings with 20 strikeouts, and picked up a save against UCSB and win over Stanford in relief...senior right-hander Jeremy Burchett has struck out 12 in 16.3 innings with two saves and a 1.65 ERA after being a two-way player the past three seasons.
PAC-10 RACE (AS OF Apr. 6) Conference Overall W L PCT GB W L .PCTCAL 4 2 .667 --- 16 13 .552USC 4 2 .667 --- 17 14 .548ASU 2 1 .667 --- 23 9 .719WSU 3 3 .500 --- 21 10 .677Wash 3 3 .500 --- 21 11 .656OSU 1 2 .333 --- 19 8 .704Stan 2 4 .333 --- 13 11 .542UCLA 1 2 .333 --- 16 13 .552Ariz 1 2 .333 --- 13 14 .481
CAL INDIVIDUAL PLAYER NOTES
Brennan Boesch, JR., CF: Batting .265 (30-for-113, .240 vs. Pac-10) with four doubles, seven home runs (3rd in Pac-10) and a team-leading 21 RBI...hit a three-run homer vs. UA Apr. 1 and went 1-for-4 with an RBI Wednesday at Santa Clara...was 4-for-12 with a home run and two RBI vs. UW Mar. 24-26...went 2-for-4 with a RBI double and a three-run homer vs. Sac. State (career-high four RBI) Mar. 21...was 3-for-10 with a double and four RBI vs. Stanford Mar. 3-4, and hit a two-run homer vs. Georgetown Mar. 7...went 5-for-10 with three home runs and four RBI vs. Long Beach State Feb. 10-12...hit two homers against the 49ers Feb. 11, and was 3-for-3 with a homer Feb. 12...was 3-for-4 at UC Irvine Feb. 5...2-for-9 (.222) career vs. USC...
Garrett Bussiere, JR., C: Batting .273 (21-for-77, .176 vs. Pac-10) with four doubles, three home runs and seven RBI...had a three-run homer Mar. 30 vs. UA, and was 2-for-4 with a home run Wednesday at Santa Clara...went 4-for-10 with a double and home run at UNLV Mar. 10-12, including 3-for-3 with a double Mar. 10...went 3-for-4 with a double and RBI at UC Irvine Feb. 3...2-for-7 (.286) with a home run and two RBI career vs. USC...
Allen Craig, SR., SS: Batting .379 (44-for-116, 7th in Pac-10, .385 vs. Pac-10) with 10 doubles (7th in Pac-10), five home runs (8th in Pac-10) and 15 RBI...also has 44 hits (4th in Pac-10), 21 runs, 69 total bases (4th in Pac-10), .595 slugging percentage (6th in Pac-10) and .438 on-base percentage...has 17 multiple-hit games...had a 10-game hitting streak from Mar. 3-19 (20-for-40, .500, 6-2B, 3-HR, 11 RBI), including eight-straight multiple-hit games from Mar. 3-14...went 5-for-6 vs. Arizona Apr. 1...was 4-for-12 with a home run vs. UW Mar. 24-26...went 7-for-13 (.538) with four doubles, a home run and four RBI vs. Saint Mary's and Pacific Mar. 14-19...was 7-for-12 (.583) with a double, home run and three RBI at UNLV Mar. 10-12...went 4-for-10 with a double, home run and three RBI vs. Stanford Mar. 3-4...hitting .310 (9-for-29) with runners in scoring position...12-for-22 (.545) with two doubles, a home run and five RBI career vs. USC...
Chris Errecart, JR., OF: Batting .274 (29-for-106, .333 vs. Pac-10) with three doubles, six home runs (5th in Pac-10) and 17 RBI...had a eight-game hitting streak from Feb. 25-Mar. 12 (11-for-32, .344, 2B, 2-HR, four RBI)...was 6-for-13 (.462) with a RBI double vs. UA last week...went 5-for-13 with a double and two, two-run homers at UNLV Mar. 10-12...was 4-for-10 with two home runs, including the game-winner vs. Long Beach State on 21st birthday Feb. 11...hit a two-run homer vs. San Francisco Feb. 7...5-for-13 (.385) with a home run and three RBI career vs. USC...
Brandon Morrow, JR., RHP: 6-0 (1st in Pac-10) with a 1.74 ERA (2nd in Pac-10)...has 63 strikeouts (2nd in Pac-10) in 57.0 innings (3rd in Pac-10)...opponents are batting .198 (3rd in Pac-10)...won vs. UA Mar. 30 (8.0 inn., 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 9 SO)...won vs. UW Mar. 24 (7.0 inn., 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 8 SO)...won vs. Pacific Mar. 17 (8.3 inn., 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 10 SO)...won at UNLV Mar. 10 with first complete-game (6 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO)...no decision vs. Stanford Mar. 3 (7.3 inn., 7 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 7 SO)...won vs. UCSB Feb. 24 (6.0 inn., 1 H, 0 ER, 6 BB, 9 SO)...no decision vs. Long Beach State Feb. 10 (5.0 inn., 8 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO)...was named National Pitcher of the Week after 6.3 innings, no hits, no runs, one walk and a career-high 12 strikeouts at UC Irvine Feb. 3...0-0 with 120.00 ERA (4 R in 0.3 inn.) career vs. USC...slated to start Friday at USC...
Brett Munster, JR., INF: Batting .277 (23-for-83, .250 vs. Pac-10) with three doubles, two home runs and six RBI...went 1-for-3 with a double Wednesday at Santa Clara...was 3-for-9 with an RBI vs. UW Mar. 24-26 and 2-for-2 with a home run vs. Georgetown Mar. 7...went 3-for-8 with a home run and two RBI vs. UCSB Feb. 24-26...1-for-7 (.143) career vs. USC...
Tyson Ross, FR., RHP: 4-3 with 4.17 ERA, and 38 strikeouts in 41.0 innings...lost vs. UA Apr. 1 (6.3 inn., 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO)...won vs. UW Mar. 25 (career-high 8.0 inn., 3 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 7 SO)...lost at Pacific Mar. 18 (3.0 inn., 6 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO)...no decision at UNLV Mar. 11 (4.7 inn., 5 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO)...won vs. Georgetown Mar. 7 (3.0 inn., 2 H, 0 ER, 2 SO)...won vs. UCSB Feb. 26 (5.0 inn., 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO)...won vs. Long Beach State Feb. 12 (6.0 inn., 6 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, career-high 9 SO)...lost at UC Irvine Feb. 5 (5.0 inn., 6 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO)...slated to start Saturday at USC...
Josh Satin, SO., INF: Batting .238 (24-for-101, .095 vs. Pac-10) with five doubles, a triple, a home run and 15 RBI...was 2-for-3 with an RBI Wednesday at Santa Clara...went 2-for-3 with a double and triple at UNLV Mar. 12...was 3-for-9 with a double vs. Stanford Mar. 3-4...went 3-for-5 with two doubles, a home run and a career-high seven RBI at UC Davis Feb. 14...5-for-12 (.417) with three doubles and five RBI career vs. USC...
Alex Trafton, SR., RHP: 1-2 with a 3.55 ERA and three saves (6th in Pac-10) in 14 appearances (8th in Pac-10)...has 11 strikeouts in 12.7 innings...earned save vs. Pacific Mar. 17 (0.3 inn.), and UCSB Feb. 25 (1.0 inn., 1 H)...earned win and save vs. Long Beach State Feb. 11-12 (2.0 inn., 2 H, 0 BB, 3 SO)...0-0 with 0.00 ERA (2 SO in 0.7 inn.) career vs. USC...
Mike Van Winden, SO., 1B: Batting .276 (24-for-87) with eight doubles, a triple and 13 RBI...went 3-for-10 with a double, triple and two RBI vs. UW Mar. 24-26...was 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI vs. Georgetown Mar. 7...went 5-for-11 with two doubles and an RBI vs. LBS Feb. 10-12...hitting .350 (7-for-20) with runners in scoring position...1-for-14 (.071) career vs. USC...
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.
*Cal is one of only 20 schools to win a NCAA baseball title, and one of 12 to win more then one College World Series (1947, 1957). The Bears have competed in five CWS (1947, 1957, 1980, 1988 and 1992).
*The Golden Bears have two players who became league MVPs in professional baseball - Jackie Jensen was American League MVP in 1958 and Jeff Kent was National League MVP in 2000.
*Senior shortstop Allen Craig (Jan. 31, 2003 vs. UNLV), junior outfielder Brennan Boesch (Jan. 29, 2004 vs. BYU) and junior catcher Garrett Bussiere (Feb. 8, 2004 vs. Long Beach State) hit home runs in their first collegiate at-bats.
*On Apr. 25, Cal will play USF in the inaugural Dante Benedetti Classic at 1 p.m. at SBC Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. Later that night, former Bears Xavier Nady (New York Mets) and Tyler Walker (Giants) will play each other at SBC.