Cooper, Gorgen and Ross Named to the 2008 Wallace Award Watch List
Dec. 11, 2007
LUBBOCK, TEXAS -
For the first time in school history, three University of California baseball players have been selected to the preseason watch list for the Wallace Award, which will honor the nation's top collegiate baseball player for the 2008 season. Junior first baseman David Cooper, junior right-hander Matt Gorgen and junior right-hander Tyson Ross have all been selected as candidates for this prestigious award.
The Wallace Award is presented to the nations top collegiate baseball player in conjunction with the College Baseball Hall of Fame's annual induction festivities. The 2008 award banquet will be held Thursday, July 3, in the United Spirit Arena on the campus of Texas Tech University. The Wallace Award is a dedication to the memory of the former Texas Tech player and assistant coach Brooks Wallace. In the summer of 1984, Wallace was diagnosed with cancer and fought the disease courageously until his death on March 24, 1985, at age 27.
Cal's top newcomer in 2007, Cooper was a transfer from Cal State Fullerton where he was a member of the 2006 College World Series All-Tournament team. An All-Pac-10 selection in 2007 for the Bears, Cooper batted a team-leading .382 with a team-best 14 doubles, 12 home runs and 55 RBI. He also paced Cal with a .627 slugging percentage, 30 walks and had a .450 on-base percentage. Cooper's highlights included 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.
In 2006, Cooper had 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.Last season, Gorgen was one of 40 players on the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Midseason Watch List, having struck out 75 batters in 61.0 innings with a 2.51 ERA (third in the Pac-10). He also led the Pac-10 with 31 appearances, was sixth with nine saves (second on the Cal all-time single season list), and 38 of his 75 strikeouts were called looking (second in the Pac-10). In the Bears' sweep of USC, Gorgen picked up a win and a save. In 60 career appearances, he now has 109 strikeouts in 100.2 innings, and is eighth on Cal's career save list (11 saves).
Ross is coming off an outstanding 2007 summer with the USA National Team. In eight appearances for Team USA, the 6-5, 215-pounder finished 4-1 and had a 0.82 ERA, striking out 39 batters with only seven walks in 43.2 innings. Opponents batted only .194 against him. Ross picked up two victories against The Netherlands, a 5-1 victory over the Dominican Republic July 15 at the PanAm Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, and a 7-2 victory over Japan July 4 in Durham, N.C. Ross' pitching efforts against Japan and his first game against The Netherlands can be viewed on CalBears.com.
A first-team All-Pac-10 selection last spring for the Bears, Ross finished with a 6-6 mark and was second in the league with a 2.49 ERA and third in the conference with 120 strikeouts in 115.2 innings. His 120 strikeouts were second on the Cal all-time single-season strikeout list and he threw at least 6.0 innings in 15 of his 17 starts, and 7.0 innings or more 11 times, including a complete game at Stanford. Ross was on the 2007 Wallace Award watch list as well.
The Bears open their 2008 season with three home games at Evans Diamond during the Feb. 22-24 weekend. On Feb. 22, Cal plays Kansas State at 1:30 p.m.; on Saturday, Feb. 23 the Bears will play a doubleheader against Utah Valley State beginning at 11 a.m.; and on Sunday, Feb. 24, Cal will play Kansas State at 1 p.m. in a single game.
Seven of the Bears' opponents this upcoming 2008 season were 2007 NCAA Regional participants, including two-time defending national champion Oregon State, who will visit Evans Diamond Apr. 4-6, 2008. Cal also travels to San Diego, Feb. 28-Mar. 2 to compete at the University of San Diego Tournament, and to Minneapolis, Minn. Mar. 7-9 to compete in the University of Minnesota Tournament.