Cal Baseball Hosts No. 10 Stanford in Non-Conference Series at Evans Diamond
Feb. 28, 2006
BERKELEY, CALIF. -
Fri.,Mar. 3 Stanford Evans Diamond, Berkeley, Calif. 2:00 p.m.Sat.,Mar. 4 Stanford Evans Diamond, Berkeley, Calif. 1:00 p.m.Sun.,Mar. 5 Stanford Evans Diamond, Berkeley, Calif. 1:00 p.m.
BEAR NOTES: Cal (6-5) will get an early taste of Pac-10 competition when it hosts Bay Area rival Stanford (9-4) this weekend in a non-conference series at Evans Diamond. The Golden Bears were 3-3 last season against the Cardinal, including winning two-of-three in last May's league series at Evans Diamond. Cal has played well in its last two home stands, winning two-of-three (lost 7-6, won 3-2, 4-1) over No. 16-ranked Long Beach State, Feb, 10-12, and sweeping UC Santa Barbara last weekend; 3-0, 4-2 and 2-0. The Bears' pitching staff was stellar against the Gauchos, recording two shutouts and combining for 26 strikeouts in 23.0 innings with a 0.78 ERA. On Friday, junior preseason All-American Brandon Morrow threw 6.0 innings of one-hit ball with no runs, six walks and nine strikeouts, followed by freshman Matt Gorgen picking up his first collegiate save, throwing 3.0 innings with two hits, no walks and five strikeouts. 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 in the Feb. 3 season-opener at UC Irvine, is now 2-0 with 22 strikeouts in 17.3 innings and a 1.04 ERA. On Sunday, freshman right-hander Tyson Ross had his second consecutive impressive outing, throwing all 5.0 innings of a rain-shortened game with three hits, one walk and eight strikeouts. Combined with his 6.0 innings and nine strikeouts versus Long Beach State Feb. 12, Ross is now 2-1 with 21 strikeouts in 16.0 innings and a 3.38 ERA. Offensively, Cal features two preseason All-Americans - junior outfielders Brennan Boesch and Chris Errecart, who have combined for seven of the Bears' 11 home runs this season.
SERIES RECORD: Cal has a 210-232 all-time series record against the Stanford Cardinal. In the last series, the Bears won two of three games (L 7-5, W 2-1 in 11 inn., W 9-5) May 6-9, 2005 at Evans Diamond. Also last season, Cal went 1-2 (L 10-3, L 3-2, W 10-4) Mar. 5-6 in the non-conference series at Sunken Diamond.
HEAD COACH David Esquer: Esquer, 40, is in his seventh season at Cal with a career record of 181-166 (.522). 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. .333, 3 RBI, 1 HR5 2B Brett Munster, Jr. .333, 4 RBI, 1 HR3 3B Josh Satin, So. .244, 9 RBI, 1 HR32 CF Brennan Boesch, Jr. .275, 4 RBI, 3 HR22 LF Chris Errecart, Jr. .297, 9 RBI, 4 HR42 1B Mike Van Winden, So. .278, 4 RBI, 0 HR16 RF Charlie Cutler, Fr. .318, 4 RBI, 0 HR34 C Garrett Bussiere, Jr. .267, 1 RBI, 0 HR20 DH Jordan Karnofsky, So. .222, 3 RBI, 1 HR21 RHP Brandon Morrow, Jr. (Fri.) 2-0, 1.04 ERA39 RHP Michael Cooper, Jr. (Sat.) 1-1, 4.15 ERA44 RHP Tyson Ross, Fr. (Sun.) 2-1, 3.38 ERA
NOTING STANFORD: The No. 10 (Collegiate Baseball, No. 19 Baseball America) Stanford Cardinal, coached by Mark Marquess (30th year, 1,233-594-5, .674), are 9-4 after winning two-of-three last weekend at Fresno State (W 3-2, L 7-5, W 6-3). Leading hitters for the Cardinal are sophomore right fielder Michael Taylor (.340, 1 HR, 13 RBI), senior shortstop Chris Minaker (.321, 3 HR, 13 RBI) and junior center fielder Jim Rapoport (.292, 1 HR, 6 RBI). Stanford's tentative pitching rotation is junior right-hander Greg Reynolds (1-1, 2.39 ERA), senior right-hander Matt Manship (0-1, 5.40 ERA) and TBA. In 2005, the Cardinal finished 34-25 overall, 12-12 in the Pac-10 (tied for sixth) and 2-2 in the NCAA Regional in Waco, Texas.
BEARS ARE HUNGRY: 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 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 infielder 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 honorable mention All-Pac-10 in 2005, batting.358 against conference foes and leading off a game with a home run three times during the year. In 2006, he is 14-for-42 (.333) with three doubles, a home run and three RBI. For his career, Craig has a .295 average with 36 doubles, a triple, 17 home runs and 75 RBI in 152 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 wowed the professional scouts and were named preseason All-Americans in Baseball America (Errecart second-team, Morrow third-team). 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: The Bears are currently first in the Pac-10 with a .985 fielding percentage...on Feb. 11, Cal defeated Long Beach State in dramatic fashion, trailing 2-1 going into the bottom of the ninth, only to have Boesch and Errecart lead off the inning with back-to-back homers to win the game...Errecart hit the game-winning homer on his 21st birthday...along with Ross, two other true freshmen performing well are right-hander Gorgen and right fielder/catcher Charlie Cutler...Gorgen has not given up a run and has seven strikeouts in 8.7 innings...Cutler has started the last six games in right field, is batting .318 (7-for-22) with a double and four RBI, and threw a runner out at the plate against Long Beach State Feb. 11...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...Ross 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 in the 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.
PAC-10 RACE (AS OF FEB. 27) Conference Overall W L PCT GB W L .PCTWSU 0 0 .000 --- 10 2 .833Wash 0 0 .000 --- 8 2 .800Stan 0 0 .000 --- 9 4 .692Ariz 0 0 .000 --- 8 4 .667ASU 0 0 .000 --- 10 5 .667OSU 0 0 .000 --- 6 4 .600CAL 0 0 .000 --- 6 5 .545USC 0 0 .000 --- 8 7 .533UCLA 0 0 .000 --- 5 9 .357
CAL INDIVIDUAL PLAYER NOTES
Brennan Boesch, JR., CF: Is batting .275 (11-for-40) with three home runs (4th in Pac-10) and four RBI...was 2-for-9 last week vs. UCSB...went 5-for-10 with three home runs and four RBI vs. Long Beach State Feb. 10-12...hit two homers, including the game-tying homer against the 49ers Feb. 11, and was 3-for-3 with a homer Feb. 12...was 3-for-4 with two runs at UC Irvine Feb. 5...was selected a first-team preseason All-American by the NCBWA, a second-team All-American by Baseball America and a third-team All-American by 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...
Michael Cooper, JR., RHP: Is 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA...has 11 strikeouts in 17.3 innings...won vs. UCSB Feb. 25 (career high 7.0 innings, eight hits, two runs, no walks, three strikeouts)...got no decision vs. Long Beach State Feb. 11 (career-high 7.0 innings, four hits, two runs, three walks, three strikeouts)...lost at UC Irvine Feb. 4 (3.3 innings, eight hits, five runs, four earned runs, one walk, five strikeouts)...in 2005, was 3-2 with a 3.47 ERA...is slated to start Saturday vs. Stanford...
Allen Craig, SR., SS: Is batting .333 (14-for-42) with three doubles, a home run, three RBI and a team-leading 14 hits...has hit safely in nine of 11 games...was 3-for-10 with a home run last week vs. UCSB...went 2-for-4 at UC Davis Feb. 14...was 2-for-3 with an RBI vs. San Francisco Feb. 7...went 4-for-13 with a double and RBI at UC Irvine Feb. 3-5...is hitting .333 (2-for-6) with runners in scoring position...was honorable mention All-Pac-10 last season and a 2005 Summer All-American in Baseball America...
Chris Errecart, JR., OF: Is batting .297 (11-for-37) with four home runs (2nd in Pac-10) and nine RBI...went 2-for-8 last week vs. UCSB...was 1-for-4 with a home run at UC Davis Feb. 14...went 4-for-10 with two home runs, including the game-winner vs. Long Beach State on his 21st birthday Feb. 11...was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer vs. San Francisco Feb. 7...is hitting .333 (4-for-12) with runners in scoring position...is a second-team preseason All-American in Baseball America...
Brandon Morrow, JR., RHP: Is 2-0 with a 1.04 ERA (3rd in Pac-10)...has 22 strikeouts (8th in Pac-10) in 17.3 innings...opponents are batting .158 (4th in Pac-10)...won vs. UCSB Feb. 24 (6.0 innings, one hit, no runs, six walks, nine strikeouts)...got no decision vs. Long Beach State Feb. 10 (5.0 innings, eight hits, two earned runs, two walks, one strikeout)...was named National Pitcher of the Week by Collegiate Baseball and The Rosenblatt Report after throwing a career-high 6.3 innings with no hits, no runs, one walk and a career-high 12 strikeouts at UC Irvine Feb. 3...was named a third-team preseason All-American by Baseball America...is slated to start Friday vs. Stanford...
Brett Munster, JR., INF: Is batting .333 (10-for-30) with a double, a home run and four RBI...went 3-for-8 with a home run (first collegiate HF) and two RBI last week vs. UCSB...was 2-for-3 vs. San Francisco Feb. 7...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...is hitting .500 (2-for-4) with runners in scoring position...
Tyson Ross, FR., RHP: Is 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA...has 21 strikeouts in 16.0 innings...won vs. UCSB Feb. 26 (5.0 innings, three hits, no runs, one walk, eight strikeouts)...won vs. Long Beach State Feb. 12 (career-high 6.0 innings, six hits, one run, four walks, career-high nine strikeouts)...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, allowing two hits in 5.0 innings...is slated to start Sunday vs. Stanford...
Josh Satin, SO., INF: Is batting .244 (10-for-41) with two doubles, a home run and nine RBI...was 1-for-7 with two RBI last week vs. UCSB...went 3-for-5 with two doubles, a home run and a career-high seven RBI at UC Davis Feb. 14...was 2-for-3 at UC Irvine Feb. 5...was first-team All-Pac-10 and a Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American last season...
Alex Trafton, SR., RHP: Is 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA and two saves (4th in Pac-10) in six appearances (9th in Pac-10)...has five strikeouts in 7.0 innings...earned save vs. UCSB Feb. 25 (1.0 inning, one hit)...earned win and save vs. Long Beach State Feb. 11-12 (2.0 innings, two hits, no walks, three strikeouts)...was a Alaska League All-Star this past summer...
Mike Van Winden, SO., 1B: Is batting .278 (10-for-36) with three doubles and four RBI...was 1-for-6 last week vs. UCSB...had a six-game hitting streak from Feb. 5-14 (8-for-24, .333) and has gotten a hit in eight of 11 games this season...was 5-for-11 with two doubles and an RBI vs. Long Beach State Feb. 10-12, and had a RBI double at UC Davis Feb. 14...is batting .429 (3-for-7) with runners in scoring position...
DID YOU KNOW?
*Cal won the first College World Series title in 1947, defeating George Bush senior'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 2000.
*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.
*In 2005, 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 San Francisco in the inaugural Dante Benedetti Classic, Tuesday, April 25 at 1 p.m. at SBC Park, home of the San Francisco Giants.