Cal Baseball Hosts No. 12-Ranked Long Beach State
Feb. 8, 2006
BERKELEY, CALIF. -
Fri., Feb. 10 Long Beach State Evans Diamond, 1:30 p.m.Sat., Feb. 11 Long Beach State Evans Diamond, 1:00 p.m.Sun., Feb. 12 Long Beach State Evans Diamond, 1:00 p.m.
BEAR NOTES: The 2006 California baseball team (1-3) will be looking to snap a three-game losing streak this weekend when the Golden Bears host No. 12-ranked Long Beach State in a three-game series at Evans Diamond. Cal won its season-opener, 6-2, Feb. 3 at UC Irvine behind the superb pitching of junior right-hander Brandon Morrow, who was named National Pitcher of the Week (Collegiate Baseball, The Rosenblatt Report) after throwing 6.3 no-hit innings with one walk and 12 strikeouts. The Bears then suffered a 10-4 and 7-6 loss to the Anteaters, and a 4-3, 10-inning loss to San Francisco on Tuesday. The 49ers, who are fresh of a sweep of USC last weekend, will be trying to avenge last season's Cal sweep at Blair Field, when the Bears upset the then No. 20-ranked Long Beach State squad on the road. An additional highlight for Cal fans this weekend will be Jeff Kent Appreciation Day as Los Angeles Dodger Jeff Kent will be throwing out the first pitch for Saturday's contest. Kent, who played at Cal from 1987-1989 and helped the Bears to the 1988 College World Series, is an All-Star and was the 2001 National League MVP while playing for the San Francisco Giants. He has been a major contributor for both men's and women's athletics at the University of California. The 2006 Cal squad features three players - junior outfielders Brennan Boesch and Chris Errecart, and Morrow - who were selected as Baseball America preseason All-Americans. The Bears also highlight sophomore third baseman Josh Satin, a 2005 first-team All-Pac-10 selection and Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American, and senior shortstop Allen Craig, a 2005 Baseball America Summer All-American.
SERIES RECORD: Cal has a 25-23 all-time series record against the Long Beach State 49ers. In the last series, the Bears swept the 49ers at Blair Field, Feb. 18-20, 2005 (3-2, 7-4, 3-1). In the last series at Evans Diamond, Cal won one-of-three, Feb. 6-8, 2004 (L 3-2, L 5-1, W 3-1).
HEAD COACH David Esquer: Esquer, 40, is in his seventh season at Cal with a career record of 176-164 (.518). In 2001, he was the Pac-10 Coach of the Year after leading the Bears to a 34-25 mark, a third place finish in the Pac-10 (14-10) and a berth to the NCAA Regional in Baton Rouge, La. (1-2). Twenty nine Cal players have signed professional contracts since Esquer became coach, including Conor Jackson, who was a first round draft choice of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2003. On June 10, 1999, Esquer became only the 10th coach in the history of Cal baseball, which began in 1892. He came to Berkeley after serving as the top assistant at Pepperdine from 1996-99. Esquer was the No. 2 assistant coach at Stanford under Mark Marquess from 1991-96. A shortstop at Stanford from 1984-87, he was a starter on the 1987 College World Series championship team, earning All-Tournament honors. Esquer also earned All-Pac-10 Southern Division honors and went on to play professional baseball for four seasons with the Baltimore, California and Milwaukee organizations.
TENTATIVE CALIFORNIA LINE-UPNo. Pos. Player 2006 stats4 SS Allen Craig, Sr. .375, 2 RBI, 0 HR3 3B Josh Satin, So. .188, 0 RBI, 0 HR22 LF Chris Errecart, Jr. .267, 4 RBI, 1 HR32 CF Brennan Boesch, Jr. .250, 0 RBI, 0 HR34 C Garrett Bussiere, Jr. .286, 1 RBI, 0 HR42 1B Mike Van Winden, So. .200, 2 RBI, 0 HR20 DH Jordan Karnofsky, So. 1.000, 2 RBI, 0 HR11 RF Jason Corder, So. .000, 0 RBI, 0 HR5 2B Brett Munster, Jr. .455, 1 RBI, 0 HR21 RHP Brandon Morrow, Jr. (Fri.) 1-0, 0.00 ERA39 RHP Michael Cooper, Jr. (Sat.) 0-1, 10.80 ERA44 RHP Tyson Ross, Fr. (Sun.) 0-1, 9.00 ERA
NOTING LONG BEACH STATE: The No. 12-ranked (Collegiate Baseball, 17th in Baseball America) Long Beach State 49ers, coached by Mike Weathers (fifth year, 160-84, .656), are 3-0 after sweeping USC last weekend (4-2 at LBS, 9-6 at USC, 8-6 at LBS). Leading hitters for the 49ers are freshman shortstop Danny Espinosa (.462, 0 HR, 4 RBI), junior third baseman Evan Longoria (.400, 1 HR, 2 RBI) and senior outfielder Sean Boatright (.400, 1 HR, 5 RBI). Long Beach State's tentative pitching rotation is junior right-hander Jared Hughes (1-0, 3.00 ERA), junior right-hander Andrew Carpenter (0-0, 3.60 ERA) and freshman right-hander Vance Worley (0-0, 10.80 ERA). In 2005, the 49ers finished 37-22 overall, 14-7 (second) in the Big West Conference and 1-2 in the NCAA Regional in Long Beach.
BEARS ARE HUNGURY: Cal is returning seven regular position players from a squad that finished 34-23 overall and 13-11 (fifth) in the Pac-10 in 2005. Last season, the Bears notched 13 wins against teams that advanced to an NCAA Regional; captured Pac-10 series versus highly-ranked Stanford, Arizona State and Arizona; and swept Long Beach State; yet were denied an NCAA berth. Cal became the first Pac-10 team not to advance to postseason with an over .500 record in the conference play. Baseball America predicts the Bears to be one of six Pac-10 teams to make a 2006 NCAA Regional, and felt Cal was the most deserving team left off the 2005 NCAA tournament field.
ACCOLADES GALORE FOR BOESCH: Junior center fielder Brennan Boesch enters the 2006 season with the most preseason accolades since Xavier Nady was Baseball America's National Preseason Player of the Year in 2000. Boesch is a preseason All-American with the Collegiate Baseball Writers (first-team), Baseball America (second-team) and Collegiate Baseball (third-team). He is also predicted to be the 2006 Pac-10 Player of the Year by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball, and is on the Brooks Wallace List as a candidate for national player of the year honors. Last season, Boesch batted .355 (fifth in the Pac-10) with 21 doubles (fifth in the Pac-10), two triples, seven home runs and 33 RBI. His 21 doubles were third on the Cal all-time single-season doubles list, and he hit .367 (22-for-60) with runners in scoring position, earning first-team All-Pac-10 honors.
SATIN'S STELLAR FRESHMAN CAMPAIGN: Sophomore third baseman Josh Satin had one of the finest freshman seasons in school history in 2005, earning All-Pac-10 and Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-America honors. As a redshirt freshman second baseman, Satin was second on the team with a .348 average and 40 RBI. He also had 77 hits, 15 doubles, a triple, five home runs, a team-leading 26 multiple-hit games, a team-high 15-game hitting streak and a team-best .434 average with runners in scoring position. Satin was the first Cal freshman to earn both Freshman All-America and All-Pac-10 honors since Xavier Nady was the National Freshman of the Year in 1998.
CRAIG PRIMED FOR SENIOR SEASON: Senior Allen Craig is coming off a phenomenal summer playing shortstop for Alexandria (Minn.) of the Northwoods League, batting .362 with 12 home runs and 40 RBI, earning first-team Summer All-America accolades in Baseball America. Craig was an honorable mention All-Pac-10 pick in 2005, batting.358 against conference foes, including leading off a game with a home run three times. He has started off the 2006 season well, going 6-for-16 (.375) with a double and two RBI. For his career, Craig now has a .294 average with 34 doubles, a triple, 16 home runs and 74 RBI in 145 games.
ERRECART AND MORROW SHINE IN THE CAPE: Competing for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox this summer in the prestigious Cape Cod League, juniors Chris Errecart and Brandon Morrow wooed the professional scouts. Errecart hit .303 with six home runs and 22 RBI and was selected the fifth-best professional prospect by Baseball America. Last spring, he hit .298 with 15 doubles, eight home runs (ninth in the Pac-10) and 35 RBI for the Bears. After striking out 24 batters in 14.7 innings with a 1.84 ERA and three saves over the summer, Morrow was selected the fifth-best professional prospect out of the Cape Cod League by Baseball America. He is also on the Roger Clemens Award Watch List as a candidate for the nation's top collegiate pitcher.
ADDITIONAL CAL NOTES: So far in 2006, the Cal bench has performed well, with seven different players pinch hitting to produce a .600 average (6-for-10) with a double and four RBI, highlighted by junior Stephan Carlson (2-for-2), sophomore Taylor Grigsby (1-for-1), senior Rob Nesbitt (1-for-1, 2B, RBI), sophomore Jordan Karnofsky (1-for-1, two RBI) and freshman Charlie Cutler (1-for-2, RBI)...freshman Ryan Hanlon was 1-for-1 off the bench Feb. 4, and then was 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI in a Feb. 5 start at UC Irvine...last season as a freshman, Mike Van Winden batted .296 with three game-winning RBI and is projected to be an All-Pac-10 first baseman by Baseball America. Freshman Tyson Ross, a 6-5 right-hander, was a member of the USA Junior National Team this fall and only yielded two hits in 5.0 innings against Cuba. Senior right-hander Alex Trafton was an Alaska League All-Star this past summer, leading the league with a 5-1 record and a 1.72 ERA for the Matsu Miners. Sophomore catcher Travis Howell was the recipient of the Rawlings Silver Glove Award for his defensive prowess for the Mankato (Minn.) Moondogs of the Northwoods League. Fans will notice changes at Evans Diamond in 2006, as construction has been completed on the Carl J. Van Heuit Training Facility (which includes the Jeff Kent Batting Cages and the Stuart Gordon Bullpens) down the right field line, plus a new picnic and patio area graces the left field line. The Carl Van Heuit Training Facility, named after the former Cal football Hall of Famer who was a staunch supporter of the Bears' baseball program, provides the team with indoor batting cages, indoor and outdoor bullpens, as well as weight training equipment.
PAC-10 RACE (AS OF FEB. 4) Conference Overall W L PCT GB W L .PCTStan 0 0 .000 --- 3 0 1.000ASU 0 0 .000 --- 5 1 .833Ariz 0 0 .000 --- 2 1 .667UCLA 0 0 .000 --- 1 2 .333CAL 0 0 .000 --- 1 3 .250USC 0 0 .000 --- 1 3 .250OSU 0 0 .000 --- 0 0 .000Wash 0 0 .000 --- 0 0 .000WSU 0 0 .000 --- 0 0 .000
CAL INDIVIDUAL PLAYER NOTES
Brennan Boesch, JR., CF: Is batting .250 (4-for-16)...was 3-for-4 with two runs at UC Irvine Feb. 5...last season at Long Beach State went 4-for-10 with a double and an RBI...was selected a first-team preseason All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association of America (NCBWA), is a second-team preseason All-American in Baseball America and a third-team preseason All-American in Collegiate Baseball...was first-team All-Pac-10 in 2005 and is on the watch list for the 2006 Brooks Wallace Award as the nation's top collegiate player...
Garrett Bussiere, JR., C: Is batting .286 (4-for-14) with a double and RBI...was 3-for-4 with a double and RBI in the season-opener at UC Irvine Feb. 3...went 2-for-6 with a RBI last season at Long Beach State...in 2005 batted .262 with four doubles, five home runs and 21 RBI...
Michael Cooper, JR., RHP: Is 0-1 with a 10.80 ERA...has five strikeouts in 3.3 innings...lost at UC Irvine Feb. 4 (3.3 innings, eight hits, five runs, four earned runs, one walk, five strikeouts)...did not pitch at Long Beach State last season...in 2005, was 3-2 with a 3.47 ERA...is slated to start Saturday versus Long Beach State...
Allen Craig, SR., SS: Is batting .375 (6-for-16) with a double and two RBI...has started the season on a four-game hitting streak...was 2-for-3 with an RBI Tuesday versus San Francisco...went 4-for-13 with a double and RBI at UC Irvine Feb. 3-5...was 4-for-11 (.364) with three doubles and an RBI last season at Long Beach State...is hitting .400 (2-for-5) with runners in scoring position...was honorable mention All-Pac-10 last season, and a 2005 Baseball America first-team Summer All-American...
Chris Errecart, JR., OF: Is batting .267 (4-for-15) with a home run and four RBI...is on a three-game hitting streak...was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer Tuesday versus San Francisco...went 3-for-12 at UC Irvine Feb. 3-5...is hitting .333 (2-for-6) with runners in scoring position...was 1-for-12 with a double and RBI last season at Long Beach State...is a second-team preseason All-American in Baseball America...was a Cape Cod League All-Star this past summer, batting .303 with five doubles, a triple, six home runs and 22 RBI for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox...
Brandon Morrow, JR., RHP: Is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA...was named National Pitcher of the Week by Collegiate Baseball and The Rosenblatt Report after pitching 6.3 innings with no hits, no runs, one walk and a career-high 12 strikeouts at UC Irvine Feb. 3...started the first game of a doubleheader at Long Beach State last year, throwing 4.0 innings with three hits, one run, three walks and three strikeouts Feb. 20...was named a third-team preseason All-American by Baseball America, and was a Cape Cod League All-Star this summer for Yarmouth-Dennis, striking out 24 batters in 14.7 innings with a 1.84 ERA and three saves...is slated to start Friday versus Long Beach State...
Brett Munster, JR., INF: Is batting .455 (5-for-11) with a double and RBI...was 2-for-3 Tuesday versus San Francisco...went 3-for-8 with a double at UC Irvine Feb. 3-5, including going 2-for-4 with a double and RBI in the season-opener...
Tyson Ross, FR., RHP: Is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA...has four strikeouts in 5.0 innings...lost at UC Irvine Feb. 5 (5.0 innings, six hits, five runs, two walks, four strikeouts)...pitched for the USA Junior National Team this past fall versus Cuba, yielding only two hits in 5.0 innings...is slated to start Sunday versus Long Beach State...
Josh Satin, SO., INF: Is batting .188 (3-for-16)...was 2-for-3 at UC Irvine Feb. 5...went 0-for-9 last season at Long Beach State...was first-team All-Pac-10 and a Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American last season, batting .348 with 15 doubles, a triple, five home runs and 40 RBI....also had 77 hits, a team-leading 26 multiple-hit games, a team-high 15-game hitting streak and a team-best .434 average with runners in scoring position...
Alex Trafton, SR., RHP: Is 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA in three appearances...suffered loss Tuesday versus San Francisco (2.0 innings, two hits, one run, one walk)...in 2005, won game two at Long Beach State Feb. 20 (2.0 innings, two hits, one strikeout), forcing a double play with the bases loaded...was a Alaska League All-Star this past summer...
Mike Van Winden, SO., 1B: Is batting .200 (3-for-15) with two RBI...has gotten a hit in three of four games and is batting .333 (1-for-3) with runners in scoring position...last season, was 4-for-7 at Long Beach State, including 3-for-5 with game-winning double in game two Feb. 20...
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). The Bears have competed in five College World Series (1947, 1957, 1980, 1988, 1992).
*Three Cal players, senior shortstop Allen Craig, junior outfielder Brennan Boesch and junior catcher Garrett Bussiere hit home runs in their first collegiate at-bats - Jan. 31, 2003 versus UNLV for Craig, Jan. 29, 2004 versus BYU for Boesch and Feb. 8, 2004 versus Long Beach State for Bussiere.
*Last season, third baseman Matt Einspahr led the nation in sacrifice bunts (20, 0.36 per game), while also leading the Bears in RBI (41).
*This season Cal plays two games in professional ballparks. On Saturday, March 18, the Bears will face Pacific at 1 p.m. at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton (home of the Oakland A's Single A affiliate). Cal will then play the University of San Francisco in the inaugural Dante Benedetti Classic, Tuesday, April 25 at 1 p.m. at SBC Park, home of the San Francisco Giants.
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