Cal Baseball Faces Texas A&M in CWS
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  06/20/2011

June 20, 2011

OMAHA, NEB. - Tue., June 21 vs. Texas A&M Ameritrade Park Omaha, Omaha, Neb. 1 p.m. CT

The Cal-Texas A&M game will be televised on ESPNHD and ESPN3 (Nomar Garciaparra, analyst; Jon Sciambi, play-by-play; Jenn Brown, reporter), Radio broadcasts include GREEN 960 AM and KALX 90.7 FM

Working on continuing one of college baseball's most compelling stories this season, California (37-22, No. 8 Collegiate Baseball) plays Texas A&M (47-21, No. 6 in Collegiate Baseball) Tuesday, June 21 at 1 p.m. CT (11 a.m. PT) for the right to remain in the 2011 College World Series. Both teams dropped their CWS openers at the brand new TD Ameritrade Park with Cal falling, 4-1, to No. 1-seed Virginia, while the Aggies lost, 5-4, to defending NCAA champs South Carolina. The Golden Bear baseball program, under the direction of head coach David Esquer, was slated to be discontinued after this season due to budget cuts, but was saved through fundraising efforts and has qualified for the College World Series for the first time since 1992 after sweeping Dallas Baptist (7-0, 6-2) in the Santa Clara Super Regional. Cal, featuring 2011 Pac-10 Player of the Year Tony Renda and the Most Outstanding Player of the Houston Regional Devon Rodriguez, had to go through the losers' bracket and win four straight games the week before at the Houston Regional to advance. Besides first baseman Rodriguez, whose two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the ninth led Cal's dramatic come-from-behind 9-8 victory over Baylor, five other Bears were named to the Houston Regional All-Tournament Team - sophomore second baseman Renda, junior catcher Chadd Krist, junior shortstop Marcus Semien, junior right-fielder Chad Bunting and freshman left-hander Kyle Porter. Rodriguez went 8-18 during the Houston Regional, including 3-for-4 with a two-run homer in the eighth inning in the final win over Baylor, and now has seven RBI in the postseason. Renda (12-for-37, .324, 2B, 4 RBI), Krist (11-for-33, .333, 4-2B, 3B, HR, 8 RBI), Semien (12-for-31, .387, 2-2B, 2-3B, HR, 6 RBI) and Bunting (9-for-20, .308, 2-2B, 3-HR, 11 RBI) have all been outstanding in postseason play as well. Porter, who was named a Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American, threw 6.2 innings with three hits, no runs, two walks and a career-high nine strikeouts in the 8-0 shutout of Baylor June 5. He will take the mound for the Bears' contest against Texas A&M in only his fourth career start.

Cal has a 2-2 all-time record versus Texas A&M, last defeating the Aggies, 11-4, in the 1992 NCAA Gainesville (Fla.) Regional final.

HEAD COACH David Esquer:
Esquer, 46, is in his 12th season with a career record of 353-312-2 (.531). 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, and last year the Bears were 29-25 and played in the Norman, Okla. Regional (0-2). Fifty seven Bears have signed pro contracts under Esquer, including first round picks Brett Jackson (CF, Chicago Cubs, 31st overall) in 2009, 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.

No.	Pos.	Player	2011 stats
1	LF	Austin Booker, Sr. .316, 24 RBI, 1 HR
14	DH	Tony Renda, So. .329, 42 RBI, 3 HR
27	C	Chadd Krist, Jr. .303, 43 RBI, 2 HR
15	SS	Marcus Semien, Jr. .278, 35 RBI, 5 HR
33	1B	Devon Rodriguez, So. .283, 34 RBI, 5 HR
44	3B	Mitch Delfino, So. .265, 20 RBI, 4 HR
45	RF	Chad Bunting, Jr. .275, 24 RBI, 7 HR
2	CF	Darrel Matthews, So. .275, 18 RBI, 0 HR
5	2B	Derek Campbell, Fr. .255, 5 RBI, 0 HR
16	LHP	Kyle Porter, Fr. 5-0, 1.59 ERA


Conference Overall W L PCT W L T .PCT UCLA* 18 9 .667 35 24 0 .593 ASU** 17 10 .630 43 18 0 .705 OSU** 17 10 .630 41 19 0 .683 Ariz* 15 12 .556 39 21 0 .650 Stan** 14 12 .538 35 22 0 .614 CAL*** 13 13 .500 37 22 0 .627 USC 13 14 .481 25 31 0 .446 Ore 11 16 .407 33 26 1 .558 WSU 10 17 .370 26 28 0 .481 Wash 6 21 .222 17 37 0 .315 ***2011 College World Series participant ** 2011 NCAA Super Regional participants *2011 NCAA Tournament participants

The Texas A&M Aggies (No. 6 Collegiate Baseball), coached by Rob Childress (sixth year at Texas A&M, 246-134-2, .647), are 47-21 overall and went 3-1 in the NCAA College Station (Texas) Regional and 2-1 in the NCAA Tallahassee (Fla.) Super Regional versus Florida State (W 6-2, L 23-9, W 11-2). Top hitters for the Aggies are sophomore right fielder Tyler Naquin (.384, 2 HR, 44 RBI), freshman center fielder Krey Bratsen (.331, 0 HR, 36 RBI) and junior designated hitter Matt Juengel (.308, 7 HR, 50 RBI). Texas A&M's tentative starter versus Cal is sophomore right-hander Michael Wacha (9-3, 2.12 ERA). In 2010, the Aggies finished 43-21-1 overall, 14-12-1 in the Big 12 (4th) and 3-2 in the NCAA Coral Gables (Fla.) Regional. The other half of the Cal and Texas A&M bracket includes defending 2010 national champion South Carolina (51-14) and 2011 NCAA Tournament top seed Virginia (55-10). If the Bears win their contest against the Aggies, they would play on Thursday, June 23 at 6 p.m. CT (4 p.m. PT) versus the loser of the South Carolina-Virginia game.

The last time Cal made it to the College World Series, it had to go through Texas A&M. At the 1992 NCAA Gainesville, Fla. Regional, the Bears fell to the Aggies, 15-6, in their opening game. However, Cal came back through the loser's bracket by defeating host Florida, 4-3 in 10 innings and George Mason, 15-5 (Bears had seven home runs in the game, including twice having back-to-back-to-back HRs). Finally, in the last day of the Gainesville Regional, Cal defeated Georgia Tech (which featured ESPN analyst and former Major League star Nomar Garciaparra at shortstop), 3-2 in the morning before upending Texas A&M, 11-4, later in the day to advance to Omaha.

Cal won the inaugural College World Series title in 1947 under head coach Clint Evans, defeating former President George Bush's Yale team, 8-7, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The Bears won the national title again in 1957 under head coach George Wolfman with a 1-0 victory over Penn State. Cal also placed third in the 1980 World Series under head coach Bob Milano, and was seventh in the CWS in 1988 and 1992 under Milano. Senior left fielder Austin Booker's father, Rod, was the starting shortstop on the Bears' 1980 squad, while Major League star Jeff Kent was a member of Cal's 1988 College World Series team. Similar to this season in which they will face the tournament's No. 1 seed (Virginia), the Bears faced the top seed in 1992, Miami, losing to the Hurricanes, 4-3, in 13 innings.

Cal is now 42-24 (.636) in NCAA postseason games all-time, including 6-2 in 2011 (2-0 in first-ever NCAA Super Regional and 4-1 in the NCAA Houston Regional). Head coach David Esquer has seven postseason wins, tying him with George Wolfman, for second on the school's all-time list behind Bob Milano's 20 postseason wins. The last time the Bears won six postseason games in a row was 1957, and the six postseason wins is the most for a Cal squad since 1980. Junior right fielder Chad Bunting has had five extra-base hits in the postseason (two doubles and three home runs) for a .667 slugging percentage. Besides Bunting's three home runs, three other players have hit roundtrippers in the postseason - junior shortstop Marcus Semien, junior catcher Chadd Krist and sophomore first baseman Devon Rodriguez. The Bears have amassed double-digit hits in six of their eight postseason games and senior left fielder Austin Booker has had four multi-hit games in NCAA tournament action, while sophomore second baseman Tony Renda has gotten at least one hit in 12 of his last 14 games. Freshman left-hander Kyle Porter has not allowed a run in two postseason outings (7.2 innings). Cal's 37 wins this season is the most victories since the 1991 squad went 37-27 and advanced to the final of the 1991 NCAA Wichita State Regional.

While preparing to play in its first-ever NCAA Super Regional against Dallas Baptist at Santa Clara's Stephen Schott Stadium, the 2011 Cal program had seven players drafted in the June 6-7 Major League Amateur Draft. Junior right-hander Erik Johnson (Los Altos) was selected in the second round and was the 80th pick overall by the Chicago White Sox. Johnson was recently selected first-team All-Pac-10, as well as Pac-10 All-Academic. Marcus Semien (El Cerrito), Cal's starting shortstop the past two seasons, was drafted in the sixth round by the Chicago White Sox. Semien, whose father, Damien, was a wide receiver for the Bears in the early 90s, was a member of the NCAA Houston Regional All-Tournament team. Junior Dixon Anderson (Piedmont), a 6-6 right-hander, was a ninth round pick of the Washington Nationals. Anderson is 4-3 on the year with a 3.90 ERA and has 41 strikeouts in 67.0 innings. He is also outstanding academically, earning CoSIDA District 8 All-Academic honors, as well as Pac-10 All-Academic honors, for the second year in a row. Junior catcher Chadd Krist (Petaluma) was selected in the 13th round by the Chicago White Sox. Krist was a member of the Houston Regional All-Tournament team - where he had three doubles, a triple and five RBI - as well as a first-team All-Pac-10 selection. Senior right-hander Kevin Miller (San Jose) was an 18th round pick of the Houston Astros. Miller is 6-4 with a 2.78 ERA and a save, and is second in the Pac-10 with 44 batters struck out looking. He has picked up 17 wins and four saves in his Cal career, and his 232 career strikeouts ranks sixth on the school's all-time career strikeout list. Junior right-hander Matt Flemer (El Cerrito), the Bears' closer, was selected in the 19th round by the Kansas City Royals. Flemer, a 2011 Pac-10 honorable mention selection, is 4-2 with a 2.02 ERA and is eighth in the Pac-10 with five saves. He has recorded 36 strikeouts with only eight walks in 35.2 innings this year, and won two games in relief at the Houston Regional. Outfielder Austin Booker (Fairfax, Va.) was the 33rd pick of the Oakland A's after a fine senior season in which he is batting .316 with nine doubles, two triples, a home run and 24 RBI. Booker, the son of former Cal All-American and Philadelphia Phillies Rod Booker, is 10-for-33 (.303) with two doubles and two RBI in the postseason.

In a vote by the conference coaches, Cal sophomore second baseman/designated hitter Tony Renda was selected as the 2011 Pac-10 Player of the Year. Renda, who has helped the Bears to a regional berth in each of his first two years with the program, is currently hitting .335 and is in the Top 10 in the Pac-10 in three different offensive categories. He became only the fourth Bear in school history to garner Pac-10 Player of the Year honors, joining Jon Zuber and Troy Penix, who were the Co-Pac-10 Southern Division Players of the Year in 1992, and Rod Booker, who was Co-Pac-10 Southern Division Player of the Year in 1980. Besides hitting .335, which is ninth in the league, Renda is second in the conference with 85 hits and fourth with 112 total bases. He was also named first-team All-Pac-10 for the second year in a row. After earning all-conference honors last season as a freshman, Renda went on to bat .373 and was named to the NCAA Norman (Okla.) Regional All-Tournament team and was a Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American. Besides Renda's Player of the Year honor, the Bears had five other players honored by the Pac-10. Junior right-hander Erik Johnson and junior catcher Chadd Krist were selected first-team All-Pac-10, while junior right-hander Matt Flemer, sophomore outfielder Vince Bruno and sophomore left-hander Justin Jones were tabbed Pac-10 honorable mention. Jones was a freshman All-American with Renda last season. Bruno, a transfer from Los Medanos College, is batting .301 for the Bears.

Besides winning the Santa Clara Super Regional and the come-from-behind victory over Baylor in the title game of the Houston Regional (Cal had trailed 7-1 at one point and scored six runs in the last two innings), highlights for Cal in 2011 include a ninth inning comeback to sweep Utah in a season-opening doubleheader Feb. 20, a dominating performance at the Caravelle Tournament in South Carolina Feb. 25-27, an undefeated (3-0) record at the Cal Baseball Classic at AT&T Park March 11-13, Pac-10 sweeps over Washington State and Washington, a 6-2 victory at then No. 3-ranked Oregon State May 7 and a 4-0 shutout at Pac-10 champion UCLA May 20. Cal has had six walk-off wins this season (Feb. 20 vs. Utah, March 20 vs. Rice, March 27 vs. WSU, April 29 and May 1 vs. Oregon, June 6 vs. Baylor).

The Bears finished sixth in the Pac-10 standings (13-13), but are second in the conference with a 2.86 team ERA, second with a .975 team fielding percentage and fourth with a .286 team batting average. Cal's pitchers have given up just 173 walks this season and have recorded 457 strikeouts, including 172 strikeouts looking (tied for first in the Pac-10). The Bears are averaging just 3.22 walks per nine innings. Kevin Miller leads the starters with 1.60 walks per nine innings, followed by Justin Jones (2.60), Dixon Anderson (3.28) and Erik Johnson (5.62). Freshman left-hander Kyle Porter, who has three starts this season (prior to Tuesday's start versus Texas A&M), including his big win over Baylor June 5, has 2.74 walks per nine innings. Junior closer Matt Flemer has 2.27 walks per nine innings with only eight walks in 35.2 innings. Flemer also has strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4.50. Cal's pitchers have gotten 172 punch outs this season on a called third strike, tied with UCLA (who had two pitchers drafted in the first round) for first in the Pac-10. Senior right hander Miller has struck out 44 batters this season on a called third strike, second-best in the conference. The Bears committed only 13 errors in their 26 Pac-10 games, giving them a .987 fielding percentage in conference-play, best in the league. Overall this season, the Bears have committed 58 errors for a .975 fielding percentage, which is second in the Pac-10 lead.

Cal batters are hitting .313 with runners in scoring position (201-for-643) this season and .300 (18-for-60) with the bases loaded. Junior shortstop Marcus Semien and Austin Booker each have three hits with the bases loaded this season. Booker is batting .400 (20-for-50) with runners in scoring position, Chadd Krist has driven in 18 runs this season when batting with two outs and is hitting .403 (31-for-77) with runners in scoring position.

The Bears have been ranked in either Baseball America or Collegiate Baseball every week of the 2011 season. Currently, Cal is ranked No. 8 in this week's Collegiate Baseball Top-30 poll. The Bears spent two weeks ranked at a season-high No. 13 (March March 28 and March 4) in Baseball America's Top-25.

The longest hitting streak for the Bears belongs to sophomore outfielder Vince Bruno, a transfer from Los Medanos College, who started his Cal career with a 14-game hitting streak from Feb. 25-March 26 (21-for-50, .420, 7-2B, five RBI). Senior outfielder Austin Booker had a12-game hitting streak (18-for-47, .383, 3-2B, 10 RBI) from March 27-April 17.

From March 19-March 27, the Bears went 47 innings without allowing an earned run, a streak that was snapped in the third inning of the third game of the Washington State series. In a seven game span that began with the two games against Ohio State, a single game against Nevada, and the WSU Pac-10 opening series, and a non-conference game at San Francisco. During that span, Cal only allowed four runs (three of them earned). The Bears' pitching staff has 10 shutouts this season, with the latest coming June 5 in an 8-0 win over Baylor. Last season, Cal opened the season with four consecutive shutouts, including not allowing a run in the three-game opening series against Southern Utah. The Bears ended the 2010 campaign with eight total shutouts.

On March 11-13, the Bears won all three of their games at the Cal Baseball Class - defeating Louisiana-Lafayette (7-6), Rice (7-6 in 15 innings) and Long Beach State (6-1) - to be the only undefeated team at the inaugural college baseball tournament at AT&T Park, home of the World Series champion San Francisco Giants. The Bears' highlights during the tournament included junior shortstop Marcus Semien (3-for-4, two RBI) leading a 12-hit attack March 11, helping junior right-hander Erik Johnson (6.0 innings, three hits, two runs, five walks, five strikeouts) pick up the win against Louisiana-Lafayette. On Saturday, sophomore first baseman Devon Rodriguez (5-for-5, three doubles) and sophomore third baseman Mitch Delfino (4-for-5, double, four RBI) led Cal's 21-hit attack against Rice, as Cal overcame a five-run deficit to force extra innings, then won the game on freshman third baseman Derek Campbell's squeeze bunt in the 15th inning. Senior right-hander Kevin Miller (7.0 innings, one hit, no runs, two walks, five strikeouts) and freshman left-hander Kyle Porter (4.0 innings, one hit, no runs, one walk, five strikeouts) kept the Owls off the scoreboard for the final 10 innings. In the final tournament game March 13 against Long Beach State, junior right-hander Dixon Anderson went 5.2 innings with six hits, no runs, no walks and four strikeouts. Against the 49ers, the Bears got big offensive production from sophomore second baseman Tony Renda (3-for-4, double, two RBI), sophomore left fielder Vince Bruno (2-for-3, RBI double) and junior catcher Chadd Krist (2-for-4, two RBI).

Junior right fielder Chad Bunting was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for Feb. 21-27 after an outstanding performance at the Caravelle Resorts Tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C.. Bunting had a huge day at the plate Feb. 25 versus Coastal Carolina, at team that was 55-10 in 2010, by going 3-for-5 with two, three-run homers and a career-high seven RBI in a 17-0 Cal win. The Ukiah, Calif., native who began his Cal career as a bullpen catcher, finished the tournament 7-for-12 (.583) with four runs and a double to go along with his two-homer day on Friday. Bunting helped the Bears finish with a .355 team batting average and 0.33 ERA in the tournament.

The 2011 Cal baseball pitching staff earned's National Pitching Staff of the Week Award after three impressive performances at the Caravalle Resorts Tournament. The award is given to the pitching staff that shows the most dominance over the course of each week during the college baseball season. The Bears went 3-1 that week against four opponents who competed in NCAA regionals last season, losing 3-2 at then-No. 8 Stanford Feb. 22, but rebounding to defeat Coastal Carolina (17-0), North Carolina State (4-0) and Kansas State 8-1) Feb. 25-27 in Myrtle Beach, S.C. For the week, Cal pitchers threw 35.0 innings, allowed four earned runs on 17 hits, while walking just 10 and striking out 34. also noted Cal pitching coach Dan Hubbs, whose pitching staff is off to a impressive start with a 1.88 earned run average with an opponent batting average of .211, allowing just 25 walks and striking out 87. Against Coastal Carolina, senior right-hander Kevin Miller threw 7.1 innings of no-hit ball before yielding a hit in the eighth inning. Miller finished the day throwing 7.1 shutout innings with one hit, no walks and 10 strikeouts. Versus North Carolina State, Feb. 26, junior right-hander Erik Johnson went 6.0 innings with three hits, no runs, three walks and six strikeouts. On Feb. 27 against Kansas State, sophomore left-hander Justin Jones picked up his first victory of the year, throwing 7.0 innings with three hits, one runs, three walks and three strikeouts.

Senior right-hander Kevin Miller is sporting a 6-4 record with a 2.78 ERA and has 86 strikeouts (only 13 walks) in 81.0 innings. Miller had a streak of 24.1 innings without allowing a run (March 12- April 5). He last picked up a win May 24 at Pacific, throwing 7.0 innings with six hits, two runs, no walks and seven strikeouts. Miller had a phenomenal game Feb. 25 against Coastal Carolina at the Caravelle Resorts Tournament, throwing 7.1 innings of no-hit ball before yielding a double in the eighth inning. Miller finished the day throwing 7.1 shutout innings with one hit, no walks and 10 strikeouts. He had another outstanding game in a 2-0 shutout of Nevada, throwing 7.0 innings with six hits, no walks and nine strikeouts. He followed that up with a 4-0 shutout of San Francisco, throwing his second one-hitter of the year (a single in the first inning) with a career-high 15 strikeouts (seven looking, eight swinging). Miller was a Freshman All-American in 2008 when he was 6-1 with a 2.90 ERA, and started his college career not giving up an earned run in his first 44.0 innings pitched. He currently has 232 career strikeouts, sixth on the Cal career strikeout list.

One of the keys to the Bears' success the last two seasons has been the play of junior catcher Chadd Krist. This year, Krist is hitting .303 with a Pac-10 leading 26 doubles, a triple, two home runs and a team-leading 40 RBI. His 26 doubles (No. 26 was hit Sunday versus Virginia in the CWS) passed Cal's former Major League star Jeff Kent for second on the Bears' single-season list. Krist also leads Cal with 23 multiple hit games and 12 multiple RBI games, and is batting .403 with runners in scoring position. After seeing action in 27 games in 2009, he started off the 2010 campaign going 12-for-19 (.632) in his first five games with three doubles, a triple, three home runs (including a grand slam) and nine RBI. Krist did not slow down, producing 22 multiple hit games and hitting .344 with 15 doubles, three triples, 10 home runs and 43 RBI). He was ranked in the Top-10 in the Pac-10 in 2010 in three offensive categories - fifth in home runs (10), fifth in slugging percentage (.609) and 10th in triples (3) in 2010.

Cal features senior Austin Booker, junior Marcus Semien and freshman catcher Andrew Knapp whose fathers were Golden Bears. Booker's dad is Rod Booker, a former Major Leaguer who was Cal's starting shortstop on the Bears' 1980 College World Series team that finished third in the nation. Rod and Austin Booker are the 10th father-son combination to both play in the College World Series and the fifth to compete for the same school at the CWS. Semien, Cal's starting shortstop, father is former Cal wide receiver Damian Semien (1990-93). Knapp's father is former catcher Mike Knapp (1985-86), who helped the Bears to an NCAA regional in Fresno, Calif. in 1985.

Cal featured 10 former players on Major League rosters entering Spring Training, more than any other school in the nation - catcher John Baker (Florida Marlins), utility Geoff Blum (Arizona Diamondbacks), outfielder Brennan Boesch (Detroit Tigers), outfielder Allen Craig (St. Louis Cardinals), right-hander Ryan Drese (Baltimore Orioles), first baseman Conor Jackson (Oakland A's), right-hander Brandon Morrow (Toronto Blue Jays), first baseman/outfielder Xavier Nady (Arizona Diamondbacks), right-hander Tyson Ross (Oakland A's) and right-hander Tyler Walker (Washington Nationals).


*Cal won the inaugural College World Series title in 1947, defeating former President George Bush's Yale team, 8-7, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The Bears' program began in 1892 and is now in its 119th season.

*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.