Feature: Four Bears Get All-Star Nods in Summer Ball

July 30, 2007

By Matt Kawahara
Daily Californian

July 30, 2007

Berkeley, CA (CSTV U-WIRE) -- Four members of the Cal baseball team have been named all-stars in their wooden-bat summer leagues, and a fifth, Bears' sophomore ace Tyson Ross, has certainly pitched like one while wearing the star-studded uniform of Team U.S.A.On Saturday at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C., Ross turned in his best performance of the summer against the Netherlands, retiring the first 14 batters he faced and taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning of a 14-0 victory. The 6-foot-5 righty allowed two hits and walked none while striking out eight batters over seven innings. Ross improved to 3-0 on the summer, with 31 strikeouts in 29.2 innings and a stellar 0.91 ERA in international competition

'I'm just trying to pitch to the bats,' Ross said of his approach on the mound. 'In college it's kind of dangerous-with aluminum, anyone can hit a home run at any time. So I'm attacking the strike zone a lot more now, using the defense a lot more, throwing a lot of strikes with different pitches.'

The outing managed to top Ross's last start, when he defeated the Dominican Republic 5-1 on July 15 in the opening round of the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

'Early on I had to get a feel for (the Dominican hitters),' Ross said. 'I knew they were going to be aggressive and I got the first two batters to swing on four or five pitches. I knew from that point on that if I was going to throw strikes with the fastball I was going to have to keep it down in the zone and put movement on them. Then I found out that they struggled big time on sliders.'

Ross struck out seven in 6 2/3 innings of one-run baseball, jump-starting Team U.S.A.'s silver medal run.

While Ross was dominating the Netherlands on Saturday, Cal second baseman Josh Satin and catcher Charlie Cutler were also in action, competing against one another in Cape Cod League all-star game. Both players went hitless in the 3-2 East Division victory at Spillane Field in Wareham, Mass.

Cutler started the game in left field for the East, after posting a .292 average with one home run and 12 RBI for the Brewster Whitecaps in the first half of the summer season.

Satin, the East Division MVP of last year's All Star Game, was hitless in two at-bats for the West this year. Satin also made the team as an outfielder after posting four home runs and 21 RBI in the first half for the Bourne Braves-numbers made all the more impressive by the dominant pitching and wooden bats of the Cape Cod League.

'I'm getting myself into good counts and my swings were pretty good this summer,' Satin said. 'I'm just trying to drive the ball. I'm getting into 2-0 counts; I see fastball and just drive it. That's how you have to play out here.'

Satin is leaning toward bringing that power back to Cal for his senior season, abandoning the idea of signing with a minor league team and playing out the rest of the season.

'As of right now I'm probably going to come back to school,' Satin said. 'If something big comes up, then I'll jump at it, but I'm not trying to sign just to sign. I'd rather go back to school.'

Sophomore shortstop Michael Brady and freshman infielder Rich Gorman were also named summer league all-stars. Brady, hitting .292 with a home run and 10 RBI for the Vermont Mountaineers of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, was 0-for-2 in the all-star game on July 22.

Gorman also went hitless as a pinch hitter and second baseman in his July 23 game. The Bears infielder is currently batting .315 with two home runs, 16 RBI and 12 stolen bases for the Dubois Bombers of the Central Illinois Collegiate League.

One piece of unwelcome news for Cal comes out of the Valley Baseball League in Virginia.

Junior Jordan Karnofsky, one of the Bears' biggest power threats and their typical designated hitter, broke his hand during an at-bat for the Front Royal Cardinals, effectively sidelining him for several months.

'It was the last inning of one of the games, and my hand was kind of getting sore,' Karnofsky said. 'It wasn't a big deal or anything, and then I fouled a pitch off and I couldn't even hold the bat anymore.'

Karnofsky had an operation on his hand several days ago to remove the broken bone and, by all accounts, should be completely recovered by next spring.

(C) 2007 Daily Californian via CSTV U-WIRE

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