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Cal Baseball Travels to No. 9-ranked Rice For Four-Game Series
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  03/10/2010

March 10, 2010

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BERKELEY, CALIF. -

Thu., March 11	at Rice	Reckling Park, Houston, Texas 6:30  p.m. CT
Fri., March 12	at Rice	Reckling Park, Houston, Texas 6:30 p.m. CT
Sat., March 13	at Rice	Reckling Park, Houston, Texas 2 p.m. CT
Sun., March 14    at Rice	Reckling Park, Houston, Texas 1 p.m. CT

BEAR NOTES:
California (7-3) continues competing against the top teams in the nation as the Golden Bears travel to No. 9-ranked (Baseball America) Rice this week for a four-game non-conference series at Reckling Park in Houston. Cal will be taking on a Rice program, coached by the legendary Wayne Graham (30th year coaching college baseball, 19th season at Rice) that has enjoyed seven College World Series since 1997, including winning the CWS title in 2003. Coming into the week's series, the young Cal squad has been led by a pitching staff that has already recorded five shutouts this season, including a 6-0 shutout of No. 17-ranked Arkansas last Sunday. The Bears starting pitching rotation - sophomore right-hander Erik Johnson (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 14 Ks in 13.0 inn.), freshman left-hander Justin Jones (2-1, 3.43 ERA, 22s in 21.0 inn.), sophomore right-hander Dixon Anderson (2-1, 4.26 ERA, 17 Ks in 19.0 inn.) and junior right-hander Kevin Miller (1-1, 3.72 ERA) - have all been involved in at least one shutout this year, most recently Miller's gem (6.0 innings, four hits) versus Arkansas that earned him Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors. Offensively, the Bears have been led by sophomore catcher Chadd Krist, who is second in the Pac-10 with a .474 average (18-for-38) with four doubles, a triple, four home runs and 11 RBI. Cal also features sophomore left fielder Danny Oh, batting .432 with three doubles, a home run and a team-high 12 RBI; returning junior All-Pac-10 first baseman/outfielder Mark Canha and junior second baseman Brian Guinn. Last season, Canha led the team with a .366 average, 12 home runs and 43 RBI, while Guinn, hitting .372 this year, is a .324 career hitter. Also bolstering the Bears is the play is sophomore shortstop Marcus Semien (.400) and freshmen starters Tony Renda (3B .368), Devin Rodriguez (DH .333), Jimmy Bosco (RF .364) and Darrel Matthews (CF .242). Overall, Cal is third in the Pac-10 with a .355 team batting average and fifth in the league with a 2.73 team ERA.

SERIES RECORD:
Cal will be playing Rice for the first time in school history.

HEAD COACH David Esquer:
Esquer, 44, is in his 11th season at Cal with a career record of 294-268-2 (.523). He was the 2001 Pac-10 Coach of the Year after the Bears went 34-25 and played in the Baton Rouge Regional (1-2). In 2008, Cal was 33-21-2 and competed in the Long Beach Regional (0-2). Fifty two Bears have signed pro contracts under Esquer, including first round picks Brett Jackson (CF, Chicago Cubs, 31st overall), David Cooper (1B, Toronto, 17th overall) in 2008, Brandon Morrow (RHP, Seattle, fifth overall) in 2006 and Conor Jackson (INF., Arizona, 19th overall) in 2003. Esquer came to Cal after serving as top assistant at Pepperdine (1996-99), and No. 2 assistant at Stanford (1991-96). A shortstop at Stanford (1984-87), he started on the 1987 College World Series championship team, earning All-Tournament honors. Esquer played professionally for four seasons with Baltimore, California and Milwaukee.

TENTATIVE CALIFORNIA LINE-UP
No.	Pos.	Player	2010 stats
6	2B	Brian Guinn, Jr. .372, 5 RBI, 0 HR
19	LF	Danny Oh, So. .432, 12 RBI, 1 HR
5	1B	Mark Canha, Jr. .286, 12 RBI, 1 HR
27	C	Chadd Krist, So. .474, 11 RBI, 4 HR
14	3B	Tony Renda, Fr. .368, 2 RBI, 0 HR
33	DH	Devin Rodriguez, Fr. .333, 7 RBI, 1 HR
25	RF	Jimmy Bosco, Fr. .364, 4 RBI, 1 HR
15	SS	Marcus Semien, So. .400, 6 RBI, 1 HR
2	CF	Darrel Matthews, Fr. .242, 6 RBI, 0 HR
35	RHP	Erik Johnson, So. (Thu.) 2-0, 0.00 ERA
23	LHP	Justin Jones, Fr. (Fri.) 2-1, 3.43 ERA
48	RHP	Dixon Anderson, So. (Sat.) 2-1, 4.26 ERA
41	RHP	Kevin Miller, Jr. (Sun.) 1-1, 3.72 ERA

PAC-10 RACE (AS OF MARCH 9)
	Conference	                Overall
	W	L	PCT	GB	W	L 	T	.PCT
ASU	0	0	.000	---	12	0	0	1.000
UCLA	0	0	.000	---	10	0	0	1.000
WSU	0	0	.000	---	9	1	0	.900
CAL	0	0	.000	---	7	3	0	.700
OSU	0	0	.000	---	7	3	0	.700
Ore	0	0	.000	---	9	5	0	.643
Stan	0	0	.000	---	7	4	0	.636
Ariz	0	0	.000	---	6	4	0	.600
Wash	0	0	.000	---	6	5	0	.545
USC	0	0	.000	---	6	6	0	.500

NOTING RICE:
The No. 9 (Baseball America) Rice Owls, coached by Wayne Graham (19th year at Rice, 838-322, .722), are 8-5 after topping Sam Houston State, 8-1, Tuesday (March 9) in Houston. Top hitters for the Owls are sophomore left fielder Michael Fuda (.340, 2 HR, 8 RBI), senior center fielder Steven Sultzbaugh (.303, 0 HR, 4 RBI) and freshman second baseman Michael Ratterree (.265, 3 HR, 9 RBI). Rice's tentative rotation is sophomore left-hander Taylor Wall (0-2, 4.15 ERA), senior right-hander Jared Rogers (1-0, 3.14 ERA), junior left-hander Tony Cingrani (1-0, 4.70 ERA) and junior right-hander Boogie Anagnostou (1-1, 3.93 ERA). In 2009, the Owls were 43-18, 16-8 in the C-USA (2nd), 4-0 in the C-USA Tourney, 4-1 in the NCAA Houston Regional and 0-2 in the NCAA Baton Rouge Super Regional (LSU won the 2009 CWS). Rice captured the 2003 College World Series.

CAL AMONG THE TOP OF PAC IN STATS:
As a result of the Bears' impressive performance against Southern Utah, at the Cal State Bakersfield Tournament and a game three shutout (6-0) versus then-No. 17-ranked Arkansas (now 14th), Cal is now third the Pac-with a .355 team batting average and fifth with a 2.73 team ERA. The Bears are also second in the conference in hits (131), doubles (28) and runs allowed (32). Individually, sophomore catcher Chadd Krist is second in batting average (.474) and home runs (4); third in total bases (36), slugging percentage (.947) and on-base percentage (.524); and sixth in hits (18). Sophomore left fielder Danny Oh is fifth in hits (19), RBI (12) and batting average (.432); while junior first baseman/right fielder Mark Canha is also fifth in RBI (12). On the mound, sophomore right-hander Erik Johnson is first in the Pac-10 with a 0.00 ERA (minimum 1.0 IP/Game). Freshman left-hander Justin Jones is second in innings pitched (21.0), fifth in strikeouts looking (7), and sixth in strikeouts (22). Sophomore right-hander Dixon Anderson is fifth in innings pitched (19.0).

PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE YEAR CANDIDATE CANHA:
Junior Mark Canha had a breakout season last year, leading the Bears with a .366 average (fifth in the Pac-10) and finishing with 17 doubles, 75 hits, 130 total bases and a .634 slugging percentage. He also hit 12 home runs with 43 RBI and a .444 on-base percentage. Canha was the March 3 Pac-10 Player of the Week after going 9-for-20 (.450) with seven runs, two doubles, two home runs and five RBI in Cal's wins over Vanderbilt (4-3), at Santa Clara (12-2) and three-game sweep at Long Beach State (11-8, 9-6, 6-3). He added a team-best 24 multiple hit and 11 multiple RBI games during the 2009 campaign. In Baseball America's 2010 College Preview, Canha is predicted to be the Pac-10 Player of the Year and first-team All-Pac-10. He is also considered the Pac-10's best pure hitter and the top defensive first baseman.

CAL POWER PITCHING DUO ANDERSON AND JOHNSON:
Sophomore right-handers Dixon Anderson and Erik Johnson both had successful summers pitching in the Northwoods League and were named the league's second and sixth top prospects, respectively, by Baseball America. Anderson played for Green Bay (Wisc.) and was 3-2 with a 1.61 ERA and seven saves, recording 56 strikeouts in 56.0 innings over 23 appearances (five starts). He was selected to the South All-Star Team that competed in the Northwoods All-Star Game at Port Arthur Stadium in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. Last spring as a redshirt freshman, Anderson was 1-0 with a 3.98 ERA and three saves in 20 appearances (one start), recording 37 strikeouts in 43.0 innings. He was the May 11 Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week after notching a win and two saves (8.2 innings, eight hits, one run, eight strikeouts, 1.04 ERA) in a week. Anderson earned saves versus UC Davis May 5 and at UCLA May 8, forcing the Bruins into a game-ending double play with runners on first and third in the bottom of the ninth. He then picked up the win in relief May 10 at UCLA, throwing 6.2 innings with seven hits, one run, two walks and seven strikeouts. Anderson was a 2009 first-team Pac-10 All-Academic selection as well. Johnson, the sixth-top prospect in the Northwoods League, was 4-2 with a 2.61 ERA, and 49 strikeouts in 59.0 innings as a starter for Alexandria (Minn.). Last season he was 3-6 with a 4.41 ERA and four saves (ninth in the Pac-10) in 19 appearances and nine starts as a true freshman. Johnson had 55 strikeouts in 67.1 innings and threw a complete game in his final outing May 22 versus USC. Other top appearances included a career-high seven strikeouts versus College World Series participant Arizona State, a April 17 win over Oregon (8.0 innings, six hits, one run, one walk, six strikeouts) and a March 29 victory over Washington State (6.0 innings, six hits, one earned run, no walks, four strikeouts). Starting the 2009 campaign as Cal's closer, he earned two saves at Long Beach State and a save in the season-opener versus UC Riverside.

BEARS' YOUTH PARADE:
Cal's baseball program's 2009 recruiting class has been selected the 24th best in the nation, and third-best in the Pac-10, by Collegiate Baseball newspaper. Besides left-hander Justin Jones, slated as the Bears' Friday starter as a true freshman, four other Cal newcomers - third baseman Tony Renda, designated hitter Devin Rodriguez, right fielder Jimmy Bosco and center fielder Darrel Matthews - are likely starters. Jones, a seventh round draft pick of the Chicago White Sox, was 10-1 with 118 strikeouts and a 0.42 ERA as a senior at Oakdale (Calif.) High School, after going 12-0 with 124 strikeouts and a 0.40 ERA as a junior. He was a two-time Cal Hi Sports All-State honoree and the 2009 Modesto Bee Player of the Year. Renda was a 2009 High School All-American and both San Mateo County and West Catholic Athletic Player of the Year. He ended his high school career as the Serra High School record-holder for career hits (152). Left-handed hitting Rodriguez batted .402 with 14 doubles, eight homer runs and 34 RBI last spring for William Hart High School. He set a school record with a 21-game hitting streak as a junior when he hit .384 with 13 doubles and 24 RBI. Bosco set a Jesuit High School batting record as a junior when he hit .505, earning Delta River League MVP and first-team All-Sac-Metro honors. Left-handed hitting center fielder Matthews, coached by former Arizona standout and Cal assistant Bob Ralston, was two-time first-team All-Bay Valley Athletic League and a 2009 MaxPreps second-team all-state selection, batting .440 with 10 doubles, eight triples and nine stolen bases as a senior.

ADDITIONAL BEAR NOTES:
Former head coach Bob Milano, who guided Cal from 1978-1999 and led the Bears to three College World Series (third place finish in 1980), was inducted into the ABCA Hall of Fame Jan. 8, 2010...he joins Clint Evans and George Wolfman as Cal coaches in the ABCA Hall of Fame...Evans led the Bears to the first-ever CWS title in 1947 and Wolfman guided Cal to the 1957 NCAA championship...the Bears have two junior infielders, Austin Booker and Brian Guinn, who are sons of former Cal standouts and pro players Rod Booker (1979-80) and Brian Guinn, Sr. (1981-83), while sophomore infielder Marcus Semien is the son of former Cal wide receiver Damian Semien (1990-93)...Guinn, drafted in the 10th round by the Chicago White Sox out of high school, is a .324 career hitter and is listed as the fastest runner in the Pac-10 by Baseball America...sophomore left fielder Danny Oh is another top returner for Cal...as a freshman Oh hit a home run in his first collegiate at-bat and went on to bat .303 with seven home runs and 35 RBI...he is the Pac-10's seventh top prospect for the 2011 draft by Baseball America...

CAL TRIVIA

*Cal won the inaugural College World Series title in 1947, defeating former President George Bush's Yale team, 8-7, in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

*In 2009 the Bears had three players - CF Brett Jackson (first round Chicago Cubs), 2B Jeff Kobernus (first pick of the second round Washington Nationals), OF Blake Smith (second round Los Angeles Dodgers) - selected in the first two rounds of the Major League Amateur Draft.

*Five former Cal players who competed under head coach David Esquer have been invited to Major League Spring Training Camp this spring - 1B Allen Craig (2003-06) and C Charlie Cutler (2007-08) with the St. Louis Cardinals, OF Brennan Boesch (2005-06) with the Detroit Tigers, RHP Tyson Ross (2006-08) with the Oakland A's and OF Brett Jackson (2007-09) with the Chicago Cubs.

*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.

CAL INDIVIDUAL PLAYER NOTES

Dixon Anderson, SO., RHP: 2-1 with a 4.26 ERA in three starts...has 17 strikeouts in 19.0 innings (5th in Pac-10)...opponents are batting .233...lost March 6 vs. Arkansas (5.0 innings, eight hits, nine runs, three walks, two strikeouts)...won Feb. 28 at Cal State Bakersfield (career-high 7.0 innings, five hits, no runs, three walks, seven strikeouts)...won Feb. 20 vs. Southern Utah (career-high 7.0 innings, four hits, no runs, no walks, career-high eight strikeouts)...is slated to start Saturday at Rice...

Jimmy Bosco, FR., OF: Batting .364 (8-for-22) with two doubles, a home run and four RBI...hit first collegiate home run March 5 vs. Arkansas...went 2-for-3 with an RBI Feb. 27 vs. Saint Mary's...was 2-for-4 with a double Feb. 20 vs. Southern Utah ...has started seven of 10 games in right field as a true freshman...

Chad Bunting, SO., OF/C: Batting .400 (2-for-5) with a double, home run and five RBI...went 2-for-3 with a two-run double and a three-run homer for a career-high five RBI Feb. 20 vs. Southern Utah...is 2-5 (.400) with runners in scoring position...

Mark Canha, SO., 1B/OF: Batting .286 (10-for-35) with a double, home run and a team-high 12 RBI (5th in Pac-10)...has a team-high seven walks...hit a three-run homer vs. Arkansas March 7, and was 2-for-4 with an RBI March 5 vs. the Razorbacks...went 2-for-3 with three RBI Feb. 28 at Cal State Bakersfield...was 2-for-4 Feb. 20 vs. Southern Utah...was 2009 first-team All-Pac-10...

Mitch Delfino, FR., 3B: Batting .500 (3-for-6) with two doubles and two RBI in eight games...went 1-for-2 with a double Feb. 20 vs. Southern Utah...got a two-run double in his first collegiate at-bat Feb. 19 vs. Southern Utah...

Brian Diemer, JR., RHP: 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a save in three relief appearances...has six strikeouts in 5.0 innings...earned first save of the season and second of his career March 7 vs. Arkansas (3.0 innings, two hits, no runs, two walks, two strikeouts)...struck out the side in the ninth inning Feb. 20 vs. Southern Utah...

Matt Evanoff, FR., LHP: 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA...has four strikeouts in 5.0 innings...threw 3.0 innings with two hits, no runs and a strikeouts March 6 vs. Arkansas...had three strikeouts in 2.0 innings Feb. 26 vs. Central Michigan...

Brian Guinn, JR., 2B: Batting .372 (16-for-43) with four doubles, a triple and five RBI...is tied for ninth in the Pac-10 with 11 runs...went 2-for-4 with an RBI March 7 and 2-for-3 March 6 vs. Arkansas...was 2-for-4 with a double Feb. 27 vs. Saint Mary's...went 7-for-15 in the Southern Utah series, including going 3-for-4 with a double, triple and three RBI Feb. 20 (game two)...batting .538 (7-for-13) with runners in scoring position...

Erik Johnson, SO., RHP: 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA (1st in Pac-10) in two starts...has 14 strikeouts in 13.0 innings...opponents are batting .213...won Feb. 26 vs. Central Michigan (6.0 innings, four hits, no runs, two walks, career-high 10 strikeouts)...won Feb. 19 season-opener vs. Southern Utah (7.0 innings, six hits, no runs, one walk, four strikeouts)...is slated to start Thursday at Rice...

Justin Jones, FR., LHP: 2-1 with a 3.43 ERA in three starts...has 22 strikeouts (6th in Pac-10, seven looking 5th in Pac-10) in 21.0 innings (2nd in Pac-10)...opponents are batting .221...lost March 5 vs. Arkansas (7.0 innings, eight hits, six runs, three walks, three strikeouts)...won Feb. 27 vs. Saint Mary's (7.0 innings, two hits, two earned runs, three walks, career-high 10 strikeouts)...won Feb. 20 vs. Southern Utah (7.0 innings, seven hits, no runs, one walk, nine strikeouts)...is slated to start Friday at Rice...

Chadd Krist, SO., C: Batting a team-leading .474 (18-for-38, 2nd in Pac-10) with four doubles, a triple, four home runs (2nd in Pac-10) and 11 RBI (9th in Pac-10) ...is third in the Pac-10 with 36 total bases, a .947 slugging percentage and .524 on-base percentage...was 2-for-4 with a home run March 6 vs. Arkansas...went 3-for-4 with a double and RBI Feb. 28 at Cal State Bakersfield...was 4-for-4 with two home runs and three RBI Feb. 26 vs. Central Michigan...had a huge doubleheader vs. Southern Utah Feb. 20, hitting a grand slam in game one and going 3-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI in game two...went 2-for-4 with a triple Feb. 19 vs. Southern Utah...batting .333 (5-for-15) with runners in scoring position...

Darrel Matthews, FR., CF: Batting .242 (8-for-33) with six RBI...went 2-for-3 Feb. 27 vs. Saint Mary's...was 2-for-3 with two RBI in the Feb. 19 season-opener vs. Southern Utah and had an RBI in each of the three games versus the Thunderbirds...has started in center field in all 10 games as a true freshman...

Kevin Miller, JR., RHP: 1-1 with a 3.72 ERA in two starts...was named the March 8 Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week after throwing 6.0 innings with four hits, no runs, two walks and three strikeouts March 7 vs. Arkansas...lost Feb. 24 vs. UC Davis (3.2 innings, nine hits, four runs, two walks, three strikeouts)...was a 2008 Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American after going 6-1 and not giving up an earned run in his first 44.0 innings...is slated to start Sunday at Rice...

Danny Oh, SO., OF: Batting .432 (19-for-44, 6th in Pac-10) with three doubles, a home run and a team-high 12 RBI (5th in Pac-10)...is fifth in the Pac-10 with 19 hits...was 3-for-4 with a home run March 7 vs. Arkansas...went 3-for-5 with a double and RBI Feb. 28 at Cal State Bakersfield...was 2-for-5 with two RBI vs. Saint Mary's Feb. 27 and 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI vs. Central Michigan Feb. 26...went 2-for-5 with a career-high four RBI Feb. 20 vs. Southern Utah...was 3-for-4 with a double and RBI vs. Southern Utah in the season-opener Feb. 19...is batting .450 (9-for-20) with runners in scoring position...

Tony Renda, FR., 3B: Batting .368 (14-for-38) with four doubles and two RBI...was 2-for-5 with a double March 6 vs. Arkansas...went 3-for-5 with a double and RBI Feb. 28 at Cal State Bakersfield...was 3-for-5 with a double and RBI Feb. 20 vs. Southern Utah...went 2-for-3 with a double in the season-opener Feb. 19 vs. Southern Utah...has started all 10 games at third base as a true freshman...

Devin Rodriguez, FR., DH/1B: Batting .333 (8-for-24) with a double, a grand slam and seven RBI...went 3-for-4 with an RBI Feb. 20 vs. Southern Utah...had a phenomenal college debut Feb. 19 vs. Southern Utah, going 3-for-4 with a double, grand slam and five RBI...is batting a team-best .625 (5-for-8) with runners in scoring position...

Marcus Semien, SO., SS: Batting .400 (14-for-35, 10th in Pac-10) with three doubles, a home run and six RBI...hit a three-run homer March 6 vs. Arkansas...went 3-for-4 with a double and RBI Feb. 28 at Cal State Bakersfield...was 6-for-14 with six runs in the season-opening series vs. Southern Utah, including going 2-for-4 with two RBI in game two Feb. 20...

Daniel Wolford, SR., RHP: 0-0 with a 2.25 ERA in a team-high four relief appearances...has five strikeouts and one walk in 4.0 innings...picked up save Feb. 27 vs. Saint Mary's (1.0 inning, one hit, no runs, one strikeout)...struck out the side in the eighth inning Feb. 20 vs. Southern Utah...

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY:
Fans can purchase Cal baseball photos at GoldenBearSports.com, the official photographer of Cal Athletics.


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