Tyson Ross and David Cooper Earn First-Team All-Pac-10 Accolades
May 23, 2007
WALNUT CREEK, CALIF. - The University of California baseball program had six players - sophomore right-hander Tyson Ross, sophomore first baseman David Cooper, sophomore right-hander Matt Gorgen, sophomore left-hander Craig Bennigson, freshman outfielder Jeff Kobernus and freshman outfielder Blake Smith - selected to the 2007 Pacific-10 All-Conference Team, it was announced today by Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen. Ross and Cooper were tabbed first-team All-Pac-10, while Gorgen, Bennigson, Kobernus and Smith were honorable mention All-Pac-10 selections.
The Golden Bears' No. 1 starter, Ross is 5-6 on the year, but has a 2.46 ERA and is second in the Pac-10 with 117 strikeouts in 109.2 innings. His 117 strikeouts are second on the Cal all-time single-season strikeout list and he has thrown at least 6.0 innings in 14 of his 16 starts this season, and 7.0 innings or more 11 times, including a complete game at Stanford Mar. 2. Ross was recently selected to play for the USA National Team this summer, competing at the Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and at the World Port Tournament in The Netherlands. On May 1, he was named a semifinalist for the Golden Spike Award as the nation's top collegiate baseball player, and on Mar. 25 he was picked as the National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball after striking out 16 batters (three away from the school record of 19 set by Larry Colton in 1963) with only one walk in 7.0 innings against Oral Roberts. For his career, Ross has 202 strikeouts (ninth on Cal's career list) in 194.1 innings with a 2.78 ERA.
Cal's top addition this season, Cooper is a transfer from Cal State Fullerton where he was a member of the 2006 College World Series All-Tournament team. Cooper is batting .383 with 52 RBI, and is third in the Pac-10 with 12 home runs, including two, two-run homers versus Kent State Mar. 9, and two solo home runs at UC Santa Barbara Feb. 26. He was named the Feb. 26 Pac-10 Player of the Week after going 10-for-27 (.476) with two doubles, three home runs and eight RBI at San Jose State, Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara. Last season, Cooper flirted with a College World Series record when he had seven consecutive hits in Omaha, tying Terry Francona (1980) and one short of Dave Magadan (1983) and Barry Bonds (1984). He led all players at the World Series with a .533 average (8-for-15) and five RBI. Cooper got a hit in his first at-bat as a Bear on Feb. 2 versus UC Irvine.
Gorgen (3-4) is one of 40 players on the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Midseason Watch List, having struck out 73 batters (ninth in the Pac-10) in 59.0 innings with a 2.29 ERA (third in the Pac-10). He also leads the Pac-10 with 30 appearances, is fourth with nine saves (second on the Cal all-time single season list), and 37 of his 73 strikeouts have been called looking (second in the Pac-10). In the Bears' sweep of USC last weekend, Gorgen picked up a win and a save. In 59 career appearances, he now has 107 strikeouts in 98.2 innings, and is eighth on Cal's career save list (11 saves).
Bennigson is currently 5-3 with a 3.23 ERA (seventh in the Pac-10) in 25 appearances, including starting his last three outings and picking up wins versus UCLA and USC. He had the best game of his college career May 6, shutting out UCLA, 16-0, and throwing a career-high 8.0 innings with five hits, two walks and a career-high six strikeouts. Bennigson also pitched well in a win versus Arizona State Apr. 29, throwing 6.0 innings with five hits, one earned run, one walk and four strikeouts.
Freshman Kobernus is batting .339 with five doubles, a triple, a home run and 21 RBI. He leads the Bears with 13 stolen bases, is second to Cooper with 59 hits, and has 19 multiple hit games. He was high school teammates with Tyson Ross at Bishop O'Dowd High School. Smith is hitting .317 with 11 doubles, a triple, five home runs and 28 RBI, starting 46 games in right field and throwing two runners out at the plate. He also has 18 strikeouts in 18.1 innings on the mound. Smith was outstanding Feb. 25 at UC Santa Barbara, going 3-for-5 with four RBI, including hitting a three-run homer (first of his college career) and throwing a Gaucho out at the plate.
The Bears (28-24, 11-10) next wrap-up their conference slate with a crucial three-game series at Washington (27-26, 9-12), Friday-Sunday, May 25-27 at Husky Ballpark in Seattle. Game times are 6:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.