Cal Baseball Visits No. 25 North Carolina for a Three-Game Series
March 11, 2004
BERKELEY, CA -
Mar.12 at North Carolina Boshamer Stadium, Chapel Hill 2 p.m.Mar.13 at North Carolina Boshamer Stadium, Chapel Hill 1 p.m.Mar.14 at North Carolina Boshamer Stadium, Chapel Hill 1 p.m.
BEAR NOTES: The California baseball team (10-12), which won two-of-three games versus Saint Mary's last weekend before dropping a 7-5 decision to Nevada Tuesday, will travel to Chapel Hill for a three-game series versus No. 25 (Collegiate Baseball) North Carolina. It will be a repeat of a road trip the Golden Bears took in 2002 when Cal won two-of-three over the Tar Heels Mar. 1 and Mar. 3 (won 4-2, lost 7-5 Mar. 1, won 7-4 Mar. 3). Seven members of the current Cal squad played key roles in the 2002 series - senior right-hander Matt Brown (started Mar. 3, no decision, 4.7 innings, six hits, four runs, three walks, three strikeouts), senior shortstop Jeff Dragicevich (3-for-11, double, three RBI), senior right fielder Brian Horwitz (4-for-13, three RBI), junior right-hander Jesse Ingram (won in relief Mar. 3, 4.3 innings, two hits, no runs, two walks, five strikeouts), junior left fielder Justin Nelson (2-for-2, home run Mar. 1), junior third baseman David Nicholson (5-for-14) and senior center fielder David Weiner (1-for-5, double, RBI Mar. 3). 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. 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. He is currently 4-1 (only loss is to No. 1 ranked Stanford) with a 1.41 ERA and has 44 strikeouts in 38.3 innings. All three of the Bears' starters threw well versus Saint Mary's. Gold went 6.0 innings with eight hits, two runs, one walk and eight strikeouts Mar. 5. Junior right-hander Mike Padgett, despite a 2-1 loss, pitched 7.0 innings with seven hits, one earned run, two walks and a career-high nine strikeouts Mar. 6. Junior right-hander Kyle Crist was solid Mar. 7, throwing 6.0 innings with four hits, three earned runs, two walks and seven strikeouts.
SERIES RECORD: Cal has a 2-1 overall record against the North Carolina Tar Heels. In the last meeting, the Bears won two-of-three over the Tar Heels, Mar. 1-3, 2002 at Boshamer Stadium (W 4-2, L 7-5 on Mar. 1, W 7-4 on Mar. 3).
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 126-119 (.514). 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 2B Allen Craig, So. .333, 11 RBI, 4 HR5 3B David Nicholson, Jr. .400, 8 RBI, 0 HR15 CF David Weiner, Sr. .323, 14 RBI, 3 HR22 DH Chris Errecart, Fr. .299, 14 RBI, 3 HR6 LF Justin Nelson, Jr. .333, 14 RBI, 2 HR24 RF Brian Horwitz, Sr. .244, 7 RBI, 1 HR44 1B James Holder, Jr. .333, 15 RBI, 2 HR34 C Garrett Bussiere, Fr. .282, 8 RBI, 3 HR9 SS Jeff Dragicevich, Sr. .233, 5 RBI, 0 HR27 RHP Adam Gold, So. (Fri.) 4-1, 1.41 ERA41 RHP Mike Padgett, Jr. (Sat.) 1-2, 3.34 ERA17 RHP Kyle Crist, Jr. (Sun.) 2-3, 4.82 ERA
NORTH CAROLINA: The North Carolina Tar Heels, coached by Mike Fox (Sixth year at UNC, 213-108, .664), are 10-3 after winning Mar. 9 versus UNC Asheville (6-0), Mar. 10 versus High Point (9-7, 10 inn.) and sweeping St. Francis last weekend (15-3, 22-5, 5-0). Top hitters for the Tar Heels are freshman infielder Jay Cox (.400, 1 HR, 6 RBI), junior catcher Chris Iannetta (.362, 2 HR, 14 RBI) and junior outfielder Marshall Hubbard (.314, 6 HR, 19 RBI). North Carolina's tentative pitching rotation is freshman right-hander Daniel Bard (2-0, 1.33 ERA), junior right-hander Garry Bakker (1-1, 4.11 ERA) and TBA. In 2003, the Tar Heels were 42-23 overall, 13-11 (fifth) in the ACC, 3-0 in the NCAA Regional in Starkville, MS and 0-2 in the Super Regional in Columbia, SC.
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 4.61 ERA...won in relief vs. Sac. State Mar. 3 (2.0 innings, one hit, two unearned runs, one walk)...lost start at UC Irvine Feb. 13 (3.3 innings, four hits, 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 Cal all-time list) and 195 career strikeouts...
Garrett Bussiere, FR., C: Is batting .282 (11-for-39) with two doubles, a triple, three home runs and eight RBI...has started the past eight games at catcher...six of his 11 hits have been for extra bases...was 3-for-11 with a home run and three RBI vs. Saint Mary's Mar. 5-7...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 .333 (24-for-72) with six doubles, a triple, a team-high four home runs and 11 RBI...was 3-for-6 with a home run Tuesday vs. Nevada...went 4-for-11 with two doubles vs. Saint Mary's Mar. 5-7...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...was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer vs. BYU Jan. 31...
Kyle Crist, JR., RHP: Is 2-3 with a 4.82 ERA...won vs. Saint Mary's Mar. 7 (6.0 innings, four hits, three earned runs, two walks, seven strikeouts)...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 .299 (23-for-77) with two doubles, three home runs and 14 RBI...went 3-for-13 with a home run and three RBI vs. Saint Mary's Mar. 5-7...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...is hitting .320 (8-for-25) with runners in scoring position...
Adam Gold, SO., RHP: Is 4-1 with a 1.41 ERA...won vs. Saint Mary's Mar. 5 (6.0 innings, eight hits, two runs, one walk, eight strikeouts)...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 44 strikeouts with only six earned runs in 38.3 innings and opponents are batting .219 against him...has a career ERA of 2.17 in 62.3 innings...is slated to start Friday...
James Holder, JR., 1B/DH: Is batting .333 (23-for-69) with five doubles, two home runs and a team-high 15 RBI...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 .455 (10-for-22) with runners in scoring position...
Jesse Ingram, JR., RHP: Is 0-2 with three saves and a 2.75 ERA... has 18 strikeouts in 19.7 innings...lost in relief Tuesday vs. Nevada (2.7 innings, five hits, one earned run, one strikeout)...earned save vs. Sac. State Mar. 3 (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 (23-for-69) with four doubles, two triples, two home runs and 14 RBI...was 3-for-9 with two doubles and three RBI vs. Saint Mary's Mar. 5-7...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 a team-leading .400 (30-for-75) with six doubles, a triple and eight RBI...is 5-for-7 in stolen bases...went 3-for-4 with a RBI Tuesday vs. Nevada...was 9-for-12 with two doubles and two RBI vs. Saint Mary's Mar. 5-7, including going a career-high 4-for-4 with two RBI Mar. 7...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...is hitting .389 (7-for-18) with runners in scoring position...
Mike Padgett, JR., RHP: Is 1-2 with a save and a 3.34 ERA...lost at Saint Mary's Mar. 6 (7.0 innings, one earned run, two walks, career-high nine strikeouts)...got no decision in start vs. Stanford Feb. 27 (5.0 innings, seven hits, five runs, three walks, two strikeouts)...won in start at Fresno State Feb. 20 (6.0 innings, six hits, two runs, three walks, 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 31 strikeouts in 29.7 innings...is slated to start Saturday...
David Weiner, SR., OF: Is batting .323 (20-for-62) with four doubles, a triple, three home runs and 14 RBI...was 7-for-13 with a double, home run and five RBI vs. Saint Mary's Mar. 5-7, including going 2-for-4 with a home run and a career-high four RBI Mar. 5...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 .368 (7-for-19) 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 second 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 Cal players to have hit three home runs in a game (Kevin Maas versus Arizona State, Apr. 26, 1986; Matt Luke and Jon Zuber versus George Mason, May 23, 1992 at NCAA East 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.
RELATED NEWS & VIDEOS
TOMORROW | 11:00am PTLive
TOMORROW | 5:00pm PTLive
TOMORROW | 7:00pm PTLive