Cal Baseball Faces Saint Mary's in Three-Game Series
March 4, 2004
BERKELEY, CA -
Mar. 5 vs. Saint Mary's Evans Diamond, Berkeley, CA 2:00 p.m.Mar. 6 at Saint Mary's Louis Guisto Field, Moraga, CA 1:00 p.m.Mar. 7 vs. Saint Mary's Evans Diamond, Berkeley, CA 1:00 p.m.
BEAR NOTES: The California baseball team (8-10), which snapped a six-game losing streak Wednesday with a 4-3 home victory over Sacramento State, will play Saint Mary's in a three-game series Friday in Berkeley, Saturday in Moraga and Sunday in Berkeley. It will be the first time the two teams have played a three-game series since May 3-5, 1991 when the Bears captured two of three games (lost 5-3 at Cal, won 13-4 at Saint Mary's, won 7-5 at Cal). On Friday, Cal will start sophomore right-hander Adam Gold - the Feb. 23 NCBWA National Co-Pitcher of the Week. Gold was one out away from a no-hitter at Fresno State Feb. 21 in a 2-0 Bear shutout. It was his first career complete-game performance as he struck out a career-high 10 batters. It would have been the first individual no-hitter for a Cal player since Bill Frost no-hit Pacific, 3-0, Mar. 15, 1966. Gold is now 3-1 on the season with a 1.11 ERA and has 36 strikeouts in 32.3 innings. As a result of his performance at Fresno State, Gold is on the watch list for the Roger Clemens Award as the nation's top collegiate pitcher. On Wednesday, junior reliever Jesse Ingram picked up the save in the victory over Sacramento State, pitching the final 2.0 innings with one hit, no runs, one walk and four strikeouts. It was Ingram's third save of the season and 12th of his career, placing him seventh on the Cal all-time career save list. At the plate, first baseman/designated hitter James Holder is having an impressive junior campaign, batting a team-leading .404 with a team-high five doubles and 15 RBI. Holder has gotten a hit in 13 of 16 games played this season and was the Bears' top hitter against No. 1 ranked Stanford Feb. 27-29 at Evans Diamond, going 6-for-10 with a double, home run and four RBI. He also had the game-winning RBI at UC Irvine Feb. 15.
SERIES RECORD: Cal has a 112-57 overall record against the Saint Mary's Gaels. In the last meeting, the Bears defeated the Gaels, 13-2, Apr. 15, 2003 at Louis Guisto Field. The last time Cal played Saint Mary's in a three-game series was May 3-5, 1991 (L 5-3 at Cal, W 13-4 at SMC, W 7-5 at Cal).
HEAD COACH David Esquer: The 2001 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, Esquer, 38, is in his fifth season at Cal with a career record of 124-117 (.515). On June 10, 1999, he became only the 10th coach in the history of Cal baseball, which began in 1892. Esquer replaced longtime coach Bob Milano, who retired May 17, 1999 after 22 years as the Bears' head coach and 29 years involved in the Cal baseball program. Esquer came to Berkeley after serving as the top assistant at Pepperdine from 1996-99. Prior to working at Pepperdine, he was the No. 2 assistant coach at Stanford under Mark Marquess from 1991-96. A shortstop at Stanford from 1984-87, Esquer was a starter on Stanford's 1987 College World Series championship team, earning All-Tournament honors after hitting .350 with six RBI in Omaha. He also earned All-Pac-10 Southern Division honors as a senior and went on to play professional baseball for four seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, California Angels and Milwaukee Brewers organizations.
TENTATIVE CALIFORNIA LINE-UPNo. Pos. Player 2004 stats4 1B Allen Craig, So. .309, 10 RBI, 3 HR5 2B David Nicholson, Jr. .305, 5 RBI, 0 HR15 CF David Weiner, Sr. .267, 9 RBI, 2 HR22 LF Chris Errecart, Fr. .323, 11 RBI, 2 HR44 DH James Holder, Jr. .404, 15 RBI, 2 HR6 RF Justin Nelson, Jr. .333, 11 RBI, 2 HR24 3B Brian Horwitz, Sr. .270, 4 RBI, 1 HR34 C Garrett Bussiere, Fr. .269, 5 RBI, 2 HR9 SS Jeff Dragicevich, Sr. .197, 4 RBI, 0 HR27 RHP Adam Gold, So. (Fri.) 3-1, 1.11 ERA41 RHP Mike Padgett, Jr. (Sat.) 1-1, 3.97 ERA17 RHP Kyle Crist, Jr. (Sun.) 1-3, 4.91 ERA
SAINT MARY'S: The Saint Mary's Gaels, coached by Jedd Soto (First year, 3-13, .188), are 3-13 after losing Tuesday at UC Davis (13-11) and losing three games last weekend at Pacific (3-2, 2-1, 2-0). Top hitters for the Gaels are sophomore third baseman Bryan Byrne (.350, 3 HR, 7 RBI), junior right fielder Adam Bellows (.269, 1 HR, 8 RBI) and sophomore shortstop Gilbert Gil (.246, 1 HR, 11 RBI). Saint Mary's tentative pitching rotation is freshman right-hander Bryan Oland (2-2, 3.00 ERA), junior right-hander Jordan Simo (1-3, 6.16 ERA) and freshman right-hander Allan Lobban (0-2, 4.82 ERA). In 2003, the Gaels finished 18-37-1 overall and 8-21-1 (fourth) in the West Coast Conference (Coast Division).
2004 CAL OUTLOOK: The 2004 Golden Bears will be led by seniors Matt Brown (right-handed pitcher), Brian Horwitz (right field) and Jeff Dragicevich (shortstop) - all four-year starters and members of Cal's 2001 NCAA Regional Squad. The Bears also return senior catcher Chris Grossman, a 2003 semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award as the nation's top collegiate catcher. Cal is predicted to be a NCAA Regional team by Baseball America and is selected to finish sixth in the Pac-10 Coaches Preseason Poll. Cal will be attempting to qualify for NCAA postseason for the 10th time in school history and the second time in David Esquer's five-year head coaching tenure with the Bears. Cal was ranked 26th in Baseball America's Preseason Top-50 Poll and features a freshman class that is rated the nation's fifth-best in Baseball America.
CAL PLAYERS TO WATCH: Brian Horwitz, right field, SR - 2003 Pac-10 Honorable Mention, batting .347 with team-high 47 RBI; school record holder for consecutive game hitting streak (23) and single-game RBI (eight)...Chris Grossman, catcher, SR - 2003 Pac-10 Honorable Mention, batting .341 with team-high hits (72), doubles (16) and total bases (112); 2003 semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award as the nation's top catcher...Jeff Dragicevich, shortstop, SR - 2003 Pac-10 Honorable Mention, batting .292 with a .326 Pac-10 average; three-year starter with career .300 Pac-10 batting average...Matt Brown, right-handed pitcher, SR - two-time Pac-10 Honorable Mention, leading the Bears in strikeouts (66) and innings pitched (86.7) in 2003; 2002 Cape Cod League All-Star; tied for fourth on the Cal all-time save list (14)...Jesse Ingram, right-handed pitcher, JR - in 2003 was 2-3 with eight saves, and had 49 strikeouts in 50.7 innings; was Apr. 8, 2003 Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week; eight saves in 2003 was second on Cal's single-season save list...Mike Padgett, right-handed pitcher, JR - was 5-3 with a 3.43 ERA in 2003; limited opponents to .244 batting average; picked up Pac-10 wins over USC, Washington and Arizona.
KEY NEWCOMERS: Brennan Boesch, outfield/first base, FR - Harvard-Westlake HS (Los Angeles, CA) - 2003 All-CIF Southern Section; 2003 All-Los Angeles Times; 2003 Pacific Palisades Post Athlete of the Year; batted .490 with seven home runs...Garrett Bussiere, catcher, FR - Northglenn HS (Thornton, CO) - drafted in 14th round by the Milwaukee Brewers; 2003 first team All-State; batted .471 with six home runs and 26 RBI; Junior Olympic Team member in 2001 and 2002...Chris Errecart, outfield, FR - Lincoln HS (Stockton, CA) - 2003 first team all-league, all-area MVP, all-state and Collegiate Baseball All-American; batted .531 with 12 home runs, 41 RBI and 20 stolen bases...Brandon Morrow, right-handed pitcher, FR - Rancho Cotate HS (Rohnert Park, CA) - 2003 first team all-league and first team All-North Coast Section; was 9-2 with a 0.61 ERA and had 84 strikeouts in 63.0 innings as a senior; drafted in the 40th round by the Anaheim Angles.
CAL INDIVIDUAL PLAYER NOTES
Matt Brown, SR., RHP: Is 2-1 with a 4.81 ERA...won in relief Wednesday vs. Sac. State (2.0 innings, one hit, two unearned runs, one walk)...lost start at UC Irvine Feb. 13 (3.3 innings, four hits, seven runs, five earned runs, five walks, two strikeouts)...got no decision vs. Long Beach State Feb. 6 (5.0 innings, seven hits, no runs, two walks, three strikeouts)...earned win vs. BYU Jan. 29 (6.0 innings, five hits, one run, one walk, one strikeout)...has 14 career wins, 14 career saves (fourth on the Cal all-time list) and 185 career strikeouts...
Garrett Bussiere, FR., C: Is batting .269 (7-for-26) with two doubles, a triple, two home runs and five RBI...has started the past four games at catcher and is on a four-game hitting streak...was 1-for-4 with a double Wednesday vs. Sac. State and 2-for-4 Tuesday at San Jose State...went 2-for-8 with a double, home run and three RBI vs. Stanford Feb. 27-29...was 1-for-2 with a RBI triple at UC Irvine Feb. 14...first collegiate hit was a home run vs. Long Beach State Feb. 8...
Allen Craig, SO., INF.: Is batting .309 (17-for-55) with four doubles, a triple, three home runs and 10 RBI...was 7-for-12 with a double, home run and two RBI at Fresno State Feb. 20-22 and went 2-for-4 with a home run vs. USF Feb. 24...was 3-for-9 with a triple and three RBI at UC Irvine Feb. 13-15...went 2-for-9 with two doubles and RBI vs. Long Beach State Feb. 6-8...was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer vs. BYU Jan. 31...
Kyle Crist, JR., RHP: Is 1-3 with a 4.91 ERA...lost vs. Stanford Feb. 29 (4.0 innings, nine hits, three earned runs, no walks, three strikeouts)...lost at Fresno State Feb. 22 (0.3 inning, five hits, three runs)...got no decision at UC Irvine Feb. 14 (career-high 7.3 innings, three hits, one run, two walks, five strikeouts)...lost vs. Long Beach State Feb. 7 (5.3 innings, nine hits, four runs, one walk, two strikeouts)...won vs. BYU Jan. 30 (5.0 innings, four hits, one run, two walks, six strikeouts)...is slated to start Sunday...
Chris Errecart, FR., OF: Is batting .323 (20-for-62) with two doubles, two home runs and 11 RBI...was 4-for-13 with a RBI vs. Stanford Feb. 27-29...went 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBI at Fresno State Feb. 20...was 3-for-5 with two RBI at UC Irvine Feb. 15...went 4-for-5 with a grand slam and five RBI vs. BYU Jan. 30...hit a double in his first collegiate at-bat vs. the Cougars Jan. 29...is hitting .368 (7-for-19) with runners in scoring position...
Adam Gold, SO., RHP: Is 3-1 with a 1.11 ERA...lost vs. Stanford Feb. 28 (6.0 innings, seven hits, two earned runs, one walk, four strikeouts)...was the Feb. 23 NCBWA Co-Pitcher of the Week after being one out away from a no-hitter at Fresno State Feb. 21 (career-high 9.0 innings, one hit, no runs, five walks, career-high 10 strikeouts)...got no decision at UC Irvine Feb. 15 (5.0 innings, six hits, one earned run, one walk, five strikeouts)...won vs. Long Beach State Feb. 8 (7.3 innings, five hits, one run, two walks, seven strikeouts)...earned first collegiate win vs. BYU Jan. 31 (5.0 innings, three hits, no runs, one walk, career-high 10 strikeouts)...has 36 strikeouts and only four earned runs in 32.3 innings...opponents are batting .195 against him...has a career ERA of 2.08 in 56.3 innings...is slated to start Friday...
James Holder, JR., 1B/DH: Is batting a team-leading .404 (23-for-57) with five doubles, two home runs and a team-high 15 RBI...has gotten a hit in 13 of 16 games played this season...went 6-for-10 with a double, home run and four RBI vs. Stanford Feb. 27-29...was a career-high 4-for-5 with a double, home run and four RBI vs. the Cardinal Feb. 27...was 5-for-14 with a double and three RBI at Fresno State Feb. 20-22...tied a career-high eight-game hitting streak from Jan. 29-Feb. 20 (14-for-33, .424, 3-2B, HR, 11 RBI)...went 6-for-12 with a double and two RBI at UC Irvine Feb. 13-15, including the game-winning RBI Feb. 15...was 1-for-3 with a home run vs. Long Beach State Feb. 8...was 2-for-4 with two doubles and a RBI vs. BYU Jan. 29...is hitting .526 (10-for-19) with runners in scoring position...
Jesse Ingram, JR., RHP: Is 0-1 with three saves and a 2.81 ERA... has 16 strikeouts in 16.0 innings...earned save Wednesday vs. Sac. State (2.0 innings, one hit, no runs, one walk, four strikeouts)...lost in relief at UC Irvine Feb. 14 (3.7 innings, four hits, one earned run, three walks, four strikeouts)...earned save vs. Long Beach State Feb. 8 (1.7 innings, no hits, no runs, no walks, one strikeout)...earned save vs. BYU Jan. 31 (3.7 innings, five hits, two runs, one walk, three strikeouts)...has 12 career saves, seventh on the Cal all-time career save list...
Justin Nelson, JR., OF: Is batting .333 (19-for-57) with two doubles, two triples, two home runs and 11 RBI...went 2-for-4 with an RBI triple vs. USF Feb. 24 and was 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI at Fresno State Feb. 20...was 5-for-12 with a triple, home run and six RBI at UC Irvine Feb. 13-15...went 3-for-5 with a triple and three RBI vs. the Anteaters Feb. 15...was 4-for-5 with a home run and two RBI vs. BYU Jan. 30...
David Nicholson, JR., INF: Is batting .305 (18-for-59) with four doubles, a triple and five RBI...is 4-for-6 in stolen bases...had a career-high 18-game hitting streak carrying over from May 3 of last season to Feb. 27 (32-for-78, .410, 6-2B, 2-3B, 6 RBI)...went a career-high 4-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI at Fresno State Feb. 20...was 4-for-9 with a double vs. Long Beach State Feb. 6-8...went 2-for-5 in the season-opener vs. BYU Jan. 29...
Mike Padgett, JR., RHP: Is 1-1 with a save and a 3.97 ERA...got no decision in start vs. Stanford Feb. 27 (5.0 innings, seven hits, five runs, three walks, two strikeouts)...won in a start at Fresno State Feb. 20 (6.0 innings, six hits, two runs, three walks, career-high seven strikeouts)...got no decision in relief at UC Irvine Feb. 13 (4.7 innings, four hits, one earned run, no walks, five strikeouts)...lost in relief vs. Long Beach State Feb. 6 (4.0 innings, two earned runs, one walk, four strikeouts)...earned first collegiate save vs. BYU Jan. 29 (3.0 innings, no hits, no runs, no walks, four strikeouts)...has 22 strikeouts in 22.3 innings...opponents are batting .244 against him... is slated to start Saturday...
David Weiner, SR., OF: Is batting .267 (12-for-45) with three doubles, a triple, two home runs and nine RBI...was 1-for-2 with a RBI double Wednesday vs. Sac. State...went 3-for-10 with a double, home run and two RBI vs. Stanford Feb. 27-29...was 3-for-5 vs. USF Feb. 24...went 3-for-5 with a triple and three RBI vs. BYU Jan. 30...went 2-for-4 with a double, a two-run homer and three RBI in the season-opener vs. the Cougars Jan. 29...is hitting .364 (4-for-11) with runners in scoring position...
2003 REVIEW: Cal did not qualify for a NCAA Regional in 2003 with an 28-27 overall record (10-14, seventh in the Pac-10), but had junior first baseman/third baseman Conor Jackson earn first team All-Pac-10 honors and three players - Brian Horwitz, Chris Grossman and Jeff Dragicevich - named Pac-10 Honorable Mention. Jackson was the Arizona Diamondbacks' first round draft pick and the 19th pick overall in the 2003 June Major League Amateur Draft. He concluded his Cal career last spring batting .388 with 14 doubles, one triple, 10 home runs, 44 RBI and a Pac-10-leading .538 on-base percentage. Jackson was selected a third team All-American by Baseball America and earned All-Pac-10 honors for the second year in-a-row. He was the first Cal baseball player to be drafted in the first round since right-handed pitcher Dave Masters was selected by the Chicago Cubs and was the 24th pick overall in 1985. Besides Jackson, the Bears had three other players drafted. Junior right-hander Brian Montalbo was picked in the seventh round by the Milwaukee Brewers. Horwitz was selected in the 26th round by the Oakland A's, and Brown was picked in the 29th round by the Chicago Cubs.
DID YOU KNOW?
*Cal won the inaugural College World Series title in 1947, defeating former President George Bush's Yale team, 8-7, in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
*The Golden Bears have had two players become league MVPs in professional baseball - Jackie Jensen was the American League MVP in 1958 and Jeff Kent was the National League MVP in 2001.
*Cal is one of only 20 schools that have won NCAA Baseball titles and only one of 12 schools that have won more than one national championship (1947, 1957).
*Senior outfielder David Weiner's uncle is USA Olympic swimming legend Mark Spitz. Freshman infielder/outfielder Mike Van Winden's great, great uncle is the late Cal football Hall of Famer Vic Bottari.
*The No. 5 national ranking of Cal's 2004 freshman class is the highest in school history and is the second highest ranking among Pac-10 schools, trailing only Arizona State (No. 3) and ahead of Arizona (No. 9) and Stanford (No. 11).
*Junior left-fielder Justin Nelson hit three home runs in a single game last season at Oregon State, including an inside the park home run. Nelson is now one of four players in Bear history to have hit three home runs in a game, joining Kevin Maas (versus Arizona State, Apr. 26, 1986), Matt Luke (versus George Mason, May 23, 1992 at NCAA Regional in Gainesville, Fla.) and Jon Zuber (versus George Mason, May 23, 1992 at NCAA Regional.)
*As a freshman, sophomore infielder Allen Craig hit a home run in his first collegiate at bat - Jan. 31, 2003 versus UNLV - and started the 2003 campaign with a 12-game hitting streak. A freshman on the 2004 squad - Brennan Boesch - hit a home run in his first collegiate at-bat versus BYU Jan. 29.
*Seventeen Cal baseball players and two head baseball coaches (Clint Evans, 1930-54; George Wolfman, 1955-73) have been inducted into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame.
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