Cal Baseball Travels to University of San Diego Tournament

Feb. 27, 2008


Thu., Feb. 28 vs. Fresno State Cunningham Stadium, San Diego, Calif. 1:00 p.m.Fri., Feb. 29 vs. Missouri Tony Gwynn Stadium, San Diego, Calif. 1:00 p.m.Sat., Mar. 1 at San Diego State Tony Gwynn Stadium, San Diego, Calif. 6:00 p.m.Sun., Mar. 2 at San Diego Cunningham Stadium, San Diego, Calif. 1:00 p.m.

BEAR NOTES: California, 2-0-1 with home wins over Kansas State (5-1) and Utah Valley (12-1), and an 8-8 tie with Utah Valley, will have a busy week traveling to San Diego for four games at the University of San Diego Tournament. On Thursday, the Golden Bears play No. 24 Fresno State (2-2) at 1 p.m. at the University of San Diego; on Friday, Cal plays No. 5 Missouri (3-1) at 1 p.m. at San Diego State's Tony Gwynn Stadium.; on Saturday, the Bears play at No. 22 San Diego State (4-1) at 6 p.m.; and on Sunday Cal plays at No. 17 University of San Diego (2-3) at 1 p.m. The Bears feature three preseason All-Americans; junior right-hander Tyson Ross, who was just named the Feb. 26 Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week after one-hitting Kansas State with seven strikeouts in the season-opener; junior right-hander Matt Gorgen, who is on the NCBWA Preseason Stopper of the Year Watch List; and junior first-baseman David Cooper, who batted .400 with three home runs (including a grand slam) and 11 RBI this past weekend. The Bears also showcase junior left-hander Craig Bennigson, and sophomores Jeff Kobernus and Blake Smith - all honorable mention All-Pac-10 selections in 2007. Bennigson picked up the victory over Utah Valley last Saturday, throwing 7.0 innings with four hits, one run, one walk and six strikeouts. Kobernus, who batted .331 last year, was a 2007 Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American. Additionally, Cal has senior second baseman Josh Satin, a two-time Cape Cod League all-star, who batted .385 with a pair of home runs last week, and sophomore center fielder Brett Jackson, who has hit .400 with two triples and a home run in the first three games.

SERIES RECORD: Cal has a 60-57 record against the Fresno State Bulldogs. The Bears last won two of three (W 16-4, W 2-0, L18-1) at Fresno, Feb. 20-22, 2004. Cal has a 2-0 record against the Missouri Tigers, including defeating Missouri, 7-1 in 14 innings, May 24, 1980 in the NCAA Midwest Regional in Tulsa, Okla. Cal has a 2-4 record against the San Diego State Aztecs and 1-2 record against the San Diego Toreros, last losing to Aztecs, 6-5, May 11, and to the Toreros, 7-4, May 12, 2004 in San Diego.

HEAD COACH David Esquer: Esquer, 42, is in his ninth season at Cal with a career record of 232-215-1 (.518). In 2001, he was Pac-10 Coach of the Year after leading the Bears to a 34-25 mark and a berth to the NCAA Regional in Baton Rouge, La. (1-2). Thirty nine Cal players have signed professional contracts since Esquer became coach, including first round picks Brandon Morrow (RHP, Seattle, fifth overall) in 2006 and Conor Jackson (INF., Arizona, 19th overall) in 2003. On June 10, 1999, Esquer became the 10th coach in Cal baseball history, which began in 1892. He came to Berkeley after serving as the top assistant at Pepperdine from 1996-99, and the No. 2 assistant at Stanford 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.

TENTATIVE CALIFORNIA LINE-UPNo.	Pos.	Player	2008 stats31	DH	Rich Gorman, So. .364, 1 RBI, 0 HR16	C	Charlie Cutler, Jr. .000, 0 RBI, 0 HR23	3B	Jeff Kobernus, So. .182, 1 RBI, 1 HR18	1B	David Cooper, Jr. .400, 11 RBI, 3 HR3	2B	Josh Satin, Sr. .385, 4 RBI, 2 HR4	CF	Brett Jackson, So. .400, 2 RBI, 1 HR37	RF	Blake Smith, So. .200, 0 RBI, 0 HR29	LF	Ryan Hanlon, Jr. .250, 1 RBI, 0 HR26	SS	Michael Brady, Jr. .333, 1 RBI, 0 HR36	LHP	Chris Petrini, So. (Thu.) 3-2, 4.54 ERA in `0644	RHP	Tyson Ross, Jr. (Fri.) 1-0, 1.80 ERA27	LHP	Craig Bennigson, Jr. (Sat.) 1-0, 1.29 ERA46	RHP	Alex Rollin, Sr. (Sun.) 0-0, 15.00 ERA

PAC-10 RACE (AS OF Feb. 24)	Conference	                Overall	W	L	PCT	GB	W	L 	T	.PCTASU	0	0	.000	---	3	0	0	1.000USC	0	0	.000	---	3	0	0	1.000CAL	0	0	.000	---	2	0	1	.833WSU	0	0	.000	---	2	1	0	.667Ariz	0	0	.000	---	2	1	0	.667Stan	0	0	.000	---	2	2	0	.500UCLA	0	0	.000	---	1	1	0	.500OSU	0	0	.000	---	1	1	0	.333Wash	0	0	.000	---	1	2	0	.333

NOTING FRESNO STATE, MISSOURI, SAN DIEGO STATE AND SAN DIEGO: The No. 24 Fresno State Bulldogs, coached by Mike Batesole (sixth year at FSU, 179-136, .568), are 2-2, splitting four games with UC Davis(L 4-2, L 3-1, W 7-0, W 6-3) last week in Fresno. A top hitter for the Bulldogs is senior right fielder Danny Muno (.455, 0 HR, 0 RBI). Fresno State's tentative pitcher versus Cal is junior left-hander Justin Wilson (0-1, 1.50 ERA). In 2007, the Bulldogs finished 38-29 overall, 17-7 (first) in the WAC (2-2 in San Diego NCAA Regional). No. 5 Missouri Tigers, coached by Tim Jamieson (13th year at UM, 444-309-2, .589), are 3-1, last falling, 10-9, at Central Florida on Monday. A top hitter for the Tigers is junior right fielder Ryan Lollis (.500, 0 HR, 6 RBI). Missouri's tentative pitcher versus Cal is junior right-hander Aaron Crow (1-0, 1.80 ERA). In 2007, the Tigers finished 42-18 overall, 19-8 (second) in the Big 12 (0-2 in Louisville, Ky NCAA Regional). No. 22 San Diego State Aztecs, coached by former major league hitting star Tony Gwynn (sixth year at SDSU, 146-163, .472), are 4-1, last defeating USC, 2-1, Tuesday in San Diego. A top hitter for the Aztecs is freshman right fielder Cory Vaughn (.571, 1 HR, 4 RBI). San Diego State's tentative pitcher versus Cal is senior right-hander J.R. Murphy (0-0, 1.93 ERA). In 2007, the Aztecs finished 29-30 overall, 12-12 (third tie) in the Mountain West. No. 17 San Diego Toreros, coached by Rich Hill (10th year at USD, 311-222-3, .580), are 2-3, last winning, 5-3, Tuesday at No. 11 Long Beach State. A top hitter for the Toreros is freshman third baseman Victor Sanchez (.375, 2 HR, 4 RBI). San Diego's tentative pitcher versus Cal is freshman right-hander Kyle Blair (0-1, 1.42 ERA). In 2007, the Toreros finished 43-18 overall, 18-3 (first) in the WCC (0-2 in San Diego NCAA Regional).

IMPRESSIVE ROSS: Junior team captain and 6-6 right-hander Tyson Ross - a 2008 preseason All-American by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and; and a Golden Spikes and Wallace Award candidate - started the 2008 season on a high note by one-hitting Kansas State (5.0 innings, one hit, one run, one walk, seven strikeouts) to earn this season's first Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week award. He is coming off an outstanding 2007 summer season with the USA National Team, finishing 4-1 with a 0.82 ERA, striking out 39 batters with only seven walks in 43.2 innings. Ross picked up two victories against The Netherlands, a victory over the Dominican Republic at the PanAm Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, and a victory over Japan. A first-team All-Pac-10 selection last spring, he finished 6-6 and was second in the league with a 2.49 ERA and third in the conference with 120 strikeouts in 115.2 innings. His 120 strikeouts were second on the Cal all-time single-season strikeout list and he threw at least 6.0 innings in 15 of his 17 starts, and 7.0 innings or more 11 times, including a complete game at Stanford. Ross was also named a semifinalist for the Golden Spike Award, and on Mar. 25, 2007, he was picked as the National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball after striking out 16 batters (three away from the school record of 19 set by Larry Colton in 1963) with only one walk in 7.0 innings against Oral Roberts. Ross was noted for fielding as well, winning the Rawlings Gold Glove award as the nation's best fielding pitcher. For his career, Ross now has 212 strikeouts (eighth on Cal's career list) in 205.1 innings with a 2.76 career ERA.

CLUTCH HITTING COOPER: Junior left-handed first baseman David Cooper is a Baseball America preseason All-American; and a 2008 Golden Spikes and Wallace Award candidate, as well. Cooper started the 2008 season on fire, going 4-for-10 with three home runs (including a grand slam) and 11 RBI in the first three games. Cal's top newcomer in 2007, he was a transfer from Cal State Fullerton, where he was a member of the 2006 College World Series All-Tournament team. An All-Pac-10 selection and team MVP in 2007 for the Bears, Cooper batted a team-leading .382 with a team-best 14 doubles, 12 home runs and 55 RBI. He also paced Cal with a .627 slugging percentage, 30 walks and had a .450 on-base percentage. Cooper was third in the Pac-10 in batting average, fifth in the league in slugging and on-base percentage, and seventh in the conference in home runs. In 2006, he flirted with a College World Series record with seven consecutive hits in Omaha, tying Terry Francona (1980) and one short of Dave Magadan (1983) and Barry Bonds (1984). Cooper led all players at the 2006 World Series with a .533 average (8-for-15) with five RBI.

STRIKEOUT CLOSER GORGEN: The Bears' other Louisville Slugger and preseason All-American, and third Wallace Award candidate, is hard-throwing junior closer Matt Gorgen. An honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection last season, Gorgen is one of 40 players on the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List, having struck out 75 batters in 61.0 innings with a 2.51 ERA (third in the Pac-10). He also led the Pac-10 with 31 appearances, was sixth in the league with nine saves (second on the Cal all-time single season list), and 38 of his 75 strikeouts were called looking (second in the Pac-10). In 61 career appearances, Gorgen now has 110 strikeouts in 101.1 innings, and is eighth on Cal's career save list (11 saves). His twin brother, Scott, is a starting pitcher at UC Irvine.

SATIN'S STORY: Senior second baseman Josh Satin is primed for a stellar final season after back-to-back summers as a Cape Cod League All-Star. In the opening week of 2008, Satin was 5-for-13 (.385) with two home runs and four RBI, and now owns a .292 career average with 31 doubles, two triples, 13 home runs and 105 RBI. He 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, Satin hit .348 with 15 doubles, a triple, five home runs and 40 RBI. He also had 77 hits, 26 multiple-hit games, a 15-game hitting streak and a team-best .434 average with runners in scoring position. Satin was the first Cal freshman to earn Freshman All-America and All-Pac-10 honors since Xavier Nady was National Freshman of the Year in 1998.

EMERGING BENNIGSON: Junior left-hander Craig Bennigson, a 2007 honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection, had some of his best performances of his career at the end of last season, finishing 5-3 with a 3.34 ERA. Bennigson had the best outing of his college career May 6, shutting out UCLA, 16-0, and throwing a career-high 8.0 innings with five hits, two walks and a career-high six strikeouts. Bennigson also pitched well in a win versus Pac-10 champion Arizona State Apr. 29, throwing 6.0 innings with five hits, one earned run, one walk and four strikeouts.

JACKSON'S ACTIONS: Sophomore center fielder Brett Jackson has started the 2008 campaign on a high note, going 4-for-10 with two triples, a home run and a pair of RBI in the first three games. In game one of the doubleheader versus Utah Valley last Saturday, Jackson had a career day, hitting his first collegiate home run in the second inning, and hitting triples in both the fourth and seventh innings.

YOUNG PITCHERS IMPRESSIVE: The Bears got some great first-time performances from some of the newest members of their pitching staff. Last Friday versus Kansas State, sophomore Daniel Wolford, a right-handed transfer from Long Beach State, helped Cal one-hit the Wildcats by throwing the final 4.0 innings with no hits, no runs, three walks and five strikeouts, earning his first save as a Bear. On Saturday in the first game of the doubleheader versus Utah Valley, freshman right-hander Kevin Miller (Valley Christian High School, San Jose, Calif.) pitched the final two innings with no hits, no runs, no walks and three strikeouts in Cal's 12-1 victory. In game two of Saturday's doubleheader versus Utah Valley, sophomore left-hander Todd Fitzgerald, a transfer from San Jose City College, allowed the Bears to come back from a 6-1 deficit by providing solid middle relief, throwing 4.2 innings with four hits, one run, two walks and four strikeouts. After three games, Cal's pitching staff is third in the Pac-10 with a 3.00 team ERA.

GORMAN A DOUBLES MACHINE: Even though he is only 5-10, 180 pounds, Cal's sophomore designated hitter Rich Gorman has had the propensity for hitting doubles. After redshirting in 2006 in recover from right elbow surgery, Gorman's first collegiate hit was a double against Stanford on Mar. 4, 2007. He finished his redshirt freshman year batting .302 with four doubles. This season, he is 4-for-11 (.364) and three of his four hits have been doubles.

ROLLIN RACKING UP THE WINS: For someone who entered the 2007 season without a college victory, senior right-hander Alex Rollin gathered up the wins last season, going 8-5 with a 4.91 ERA. Rollin's eight wins were the 10th-most in the Pac-10, with victories over UC Irvine, Portland, UC Santa Barbara, Indiana State, Rhode Island, Oral Roberts, Oregon State and USC. His victory against the defending national champion Beavers was his most impressive, limiting OSU to four hits and no runs in 6.0 innings. Combined with Bennigson and Gorgen, Rollin and the Bears shut out a Beaver team at home for the first time since Apr. 28, 2002.

CAL AMOUNG PAC-10 STAT LEADERS: Although it is early in the season, Cal already has some impressive numbers. The pitching staff has a 3.00 team ERA with a league-leading 31 strikeouts (13 looking) with an opponent batting average of .156. Bennigson leads the league with his 7.0 innings pitched against Utah Valley, while Ross is second in the conference with his seven strikeouts against Kansas State. Offensively, the Bears are sixth with a .276 team average, but lead the Pac-10 with three triples and are second with seven home runs. Cooper leads the conference with 11 RBI and three home runs, and is second with a 1.300 slugging percentage and fifth with 13 total bases. Gorman is first in the Pac-10 with three doubles and is second in the league with five runs scored. Finally, the Bears are third in the conference with a .966 team fielding percentage.

BEARS PICKED FIFTH IN PAC-10 PRESEASON POLL: The Bears were tabbed fifth in the 2008 Pac-10 preseason poll behind Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA and two-time defending national champion Oregon State; and ahead of Stanford, USC, Washington State and Washington. Arizona was the No. 1-ranked team in Collegiate Baseball's preseason poll, and UCLA was the No. 1-ranked team in Baseball America's preseason poll. The Bears barely missed the NCAA tournament in 2007, finishing 29-26 overall and were alone in fourth place in the Pac-10 with a 12-12 record. Cal won six of their last eight games, including sweeping USC at Evans Diamond, and earlier won series against World Series qualifiers UC Irvine and Arizona State. The Bears also shut out two-time defending national champion Oregon State, 4-0, in Corvallis. Cal was the only team in the conference to win two-of-three games over Pac-10 champion ASU when the Bears upset the then-No. 7-ranked Sun Devils at Evans Diamond. In the final league stats, Cal was third with a .974 fielding percentage, fourth with a 4.48 team ERA and fifth with a .303 team batting average.

ADDITIONAL CAL NOTES: Seven of the Bears' opponents this season were 2007 NCAA Regional participants, including Fresno State, Missouri, San Diego and two-time defending national champion Oregon State, who will visit Evans Diamond Apr. 4-6, 2008...former Bear catcher Bob Melvin (1980), manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, was named the 2007 National League Manager of the Year...former Cal standout Conor Jackson is a first baseman for the Diamondbacks...the 2008 Bears have two infielders, redshirt freshman Austin Booker and true freshman Brian Guinn, who are sons of former Cal standouts and professional ballplayers Rod Booker (1979-80) and Brian Guinn, Sr. (1981-83) of junior right-hander Tyson Ross pitching for Team USA this summer is available on the right sidebar on the baseball page of videos are available, including Cal baseball players and coaches, Dan Hubbs and Jon Zuber, featured on KQED's Out of the Park: The Physics of Baseball.


*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).

*Geoff Blum, Cal's starting shortstop as a freshman on the Bears' 1992 College World Series team, had a game-winning homer for the Chicago White Sox in the 2005 Major League World Series.

*In 2006 the Bears had a school-record five players selected in the first 10 rounds of the Major League Amateur Draft, including junior right-hander Brandon Morrow, the fifth pick overall by the Seattle Mariners.

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