Cal Baseball Signs 11 Athletes to Letters of Intent

Nov. 21, 2008

BERKELEY -

The University of California baseball program has signed 11 high school athletes to national letters of intent - featuring five pitchers (two of which are also position players), a catcher, two infielders, two outfielders and a first baseman/outfielder - it was announced by Cal head coach David Esquer.

Among the incoming class are Brett Bishop, a 5-11, 175-pound infielder from Clovis, Calif. (Buchanan High School) and Jimmy Bosco, 5-10, 180-pound left-handed hitting outfielder from Granite Bay, Calif. (Jesuit High School). Bishop is a three-year varsity player for Buchanan HS and last spring batted .375, earning first-team all-conference honors. Bosco set a Jesuit HS batting record as a junior when he hit .505 with three home runs and 24 RBI in 2008, earning Delta River League MVP and first-team All-Sac-Metro honors. He was also Cal Hi Sports first-team All-State Underclassman, helping his team to the 2008 San Joaquin Section Division I championship.

Also signing national letters of intent were Justin Byrd, a 6-0, 190-pound catcher from Highlands Ranch, Colo. (Arapahoe High School); Matt Evanoff, a 6-2, 175-pound left-handed pitcher/first baseman from Rescue, Calif. (Ponderosa High School); Trevor Hildenberger, a 6-2, 175-pound right-hander from San Jose, Calif. (Archbishop Mitty High School) and Justin Jones, a 6-3, 175-pound left-handed pitcher from Oakdale High School.

Byrd was a 2008 first-team All-Continental League catcher and honorable mention all-state selection, batting .408 with 11 doubles, six home runs and 36 RBI. Left-hander Evanoff was first-team All-Sierra Valley Conference and an all-state nominee in 2008, going 8-4 on the mound with 92 strikeouts and a 2.11 ERA. He throws in the high 80s with a curveball, slider and change-up.

Right-hander Hildenberger, a member of the Milwaukee Brewers 2008 Area Code Team, was 9-2 with a save in high school and owned 52 strikeouts with a 2.21 ERA. He throws in the low 90s with a curveball and change-up. Left-hander Jones was teammates with Hildenberger on the Brewers Area Code Team. In high school, he was 12-0 with 124 strikeouts and a 0.40 ERA, earning 2008 Cal Hi Sports All-State honors. Jones throws in the high 80s with a curveball and change-up, helping Oakdale HS to the 2007 and 2008 San Joaquin Division IV titles

Other top Cal signees include Joe Kurrasch, a 6-2, 215-pound left-hander from San Juan Capistrano, Calif. (Serra High School); Darrel Matthews, a 5-10, 165-pound outfielder from Concord, Calif. (Clayton Valley High School); Tony Renda, a 5-9, 160-pound infielder from Hillsborough, Calif. (Juniperro Serra High School); Devin Rodriguez, a 6-2, 180-pound first baseman/outfielder from Newhall, Calif. (William S. Hart High School) and Seth Spivack, a 6-0, 175-pound right-handed pitcher/catcher from Calabasas High School.

Left-hander Kurrasch, a 2007 USA National Team invitee, throws in the low 90s with a curveball and change-up. He was 3-3 with a 1.67 ERA and 74 strikeouts last spring at Serra High School. Left-handed hitting outfielder Matthews, coached by former Arizona standout and Cal assistant Bob Ralston, was first-team All-Bay Valley Athletic League in 2008, batting .402 with 11 doubles, two triples and seven stolen bases. Infielder Renda is a two-time first-team All-County and All-West Catholic Athletic League selection, batting .486 with 12 doubles, a triple, seven home runs, 46 RBI and 19 stolen bases for Juniperro Serra HS. Both Matthews and Renda joined pitchers Trevor Hildenberger Justin Jones as members of the Brewers Area Code Team last summer.

Left-handed hitting first baseman/outfielder Rodriguez batted .384 with 13 doubles and 24 RBI last year for William Hart HS, setting a school record with a 21-game hitting streak. He earned first-team All-Foothill League honors. Spivack, a switch hitter who both pitches and catches, throws in the low 90s with a curveball and change-up.

'This is as complete of a class as we have ever recruited at Cal,' said Esquer. 'This group has a lot of talented players and we expect them to come in and make an immediate impact as freshmen. We look forward to seeing what they can contribute to the program.'

CALIFORNIA'S 2008 BASEBALL RECRUITING CLASS

Name Pos B/T High School Ht/WtBrett Bishop INF R/R Buchanan HS 5-11/175Jimmy Bosco OF L/R Jesuit HS 5-10/180Justin Byrd C R/R Arapahoe HS 6-0/190Matt Evanoff LHP/1B L/L Ponderosa HS 6-2/175Trevor Hildenberger RHP R/R Archbishop Mitty HS 6-2/175Justin Jones LHP L/L Oakdale HS 6-3/175Joe Kurrasch LHP L/L Serra HS 6-2/215Darrel Matthews OF L/R Clayton Valley HS 5-10/165Tony Renda INF R/R Juniperro Serra HS 5-9/160Devin Rodriguez 1B/OF L/R William S. Hart HS 6-2/180Seth Spivack RHP/C S/R Calabasas HS 6-0/175

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