Fri., March 14 UCLA, Evans Diamond, Berkeley, Calif. 7 p.m.
Sat., March 15 UCLA, Evans Diamond, Berkeley, Calif. 6 p.m.
Sun., March 16 UCLA, Evans Diamond, Berkeley, Calif. 2 p.m.
KALX, 90.7 FM will be broadcasting the March 14-16 UCLA-Cal games. Live stats available at Cal Baseball Live Stats. Cal Baseball Facebook, Cal BaseballTwitter @Cal_Baseball
Cal (10-5) Entertains Defending NCAA Champs UCLA
BEAR NOTES: The Golden Bears (10-5) open up their 2014 Pac-12 slate in the most difficult way possible by hosting defending national champion UCLA (9-7, No. 25 Baseball America) in a three-game series March 14-16 at Evans Diamond. Sunday’s contest will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks with J.B. Long (play-by-play) and former San Francisco Giant standout J.T. Snow (analyst) announcing. David Esquer’s squad has had some impressive wins so far this season, defeating No. 10 Texas twice at home, going undefeated at both the Auburn Tiger Classic in Auburn, Ala. with victories over East Tennessee State (3-0), Auburn (5-0) and Arkansas Pine Bluff (8-3); and the University of San Diego Tournament with wins over Baylor twice (8-5, 5-3) and host San Diego (5-2). Last weekend, Cal went 2-2 during the Cal Baseball Classic, defeating No. 24 Arkansas (4-3, 2-1) in a doubleheader March 9. A top pitcher for Cal has been freshman right-hander Daulton Jefferies, who started his collegiate career with two straight shutouts (7-0 over Texas Feb. 14, 3-0 over East Tennessee State Feb. 21) and is 2-1 with a 3.80 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 21.1 innings. The Bears have had three shutouts this season and are currently third in the Pac-12 with a 2.73 team ERA and five saves. Individually, junior outfielder Derek Campbell is tied for third in the Pac-12 with two home runs and leads Cal with four doubles and 24 total bases. On the mound, senior right-hander Trevor Hildenberger (0-0, 2.63 ERA, 13 strikeouts in 13.2 innings) is tied for second in the conference with four saves and is fifth with eighth appearances. Senior left-hander Kyle Porter is fifth in the league with a 0.95 ERA (2-0, 12 strikeouts in 19.0 innings). Some other notable performers are sophomore right-hander Ryan Mason, who is 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA in five relief appearances with six strikeouts in 8.1 innings. Junior infielder Brenden Farney (.370, 10-for-27, two doubles, four RBI in 2014) is currently on a seven-game hitting streak and was 4-for-6 in the two games versus Arkansas, including going 3-for-3 against the Razorbacks in Game Two. The Bears feature five veteran members from its 2011 College World Series team – Porter, senior outfielder Vince Bruno, senior designated hitter Devon Rodriguez, Campbell and junior left-hander Michael Theofanopoulos (career-high nine strikeouts Feb. 23 vs. Arkansas Pine Bluff). Rodriguez (.269, HR, team-high 10 RBI in 2014) was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2011 Houston Regional after knocking in the game-winning hit in the Bears’ dramatic come-from-behind victory over Baylor to advance Cal to the 2011 Super Regionals in Santa Clara.
CAL TENTATIVE LINE-UP
No. Pos. Player 2014 Stats
27 CF Devin Pearson, So. .269, 7 RBI, 0 HR
22 LF Vince Bruno, Sr. .298, 5 RBI, 1 HR
33 DH Devon Rodriguez, Sr. .269, 10 RBI, 1 HR
2 RF Derek Campbell, Jr. .246, 8 RBI, 2 HR
19 1B Nick Halamandaris, So. .241, 6 RBI, 0 HR
6 3B Chris Paul, Jr. .250, 0 RBI, 0 HR
21 2B Brenden Farney, Jr. .370, 4 RBI, 0 HR
30 C Mitchell Kranson, So. .143, 3 RBI, 0 HR
37 SS Mike Reuvekamp, Sr. .167, 1 RBI, 0 HR
24 RHP Daulton Jefferies, Fri. (Fri.) 2-1, 3.80 ERA
16 LHP Kyle Porter, Sr. (Sat.) 2-0, 0.95 ERA
HEAD COACH DAVID ESQUER: Esquer, 48, is in his 15th season with a career record of 416-374-2 (.526). After his team was scheduled to be discontinued following the 2011 season, Esquer led the Bears to the program’s first appearance at the College World Series since 1992, and on the eve of Cal’s 7-3 CWS victory over Texas A&M June 21, 2011, was named the National Coach of the Year by the National College Baseball Writers Association. Esquer’s award, which was voted on by the NCBWA Board of Directors, was selected from a list that included all Division I Conference Coaches of the Year and the coaches of the 16 NCAA Super Regional teams. The Bears’ program was reinstated through fund-raising efforts and made its sixth all-time appearance in the CWS. Esquer led Cal out of the loser’s bracket in the Houston Regional and defeated Dallas Baptist in the Super Regional to advance to Omaha. Cal entered the 2011 NCAA Tournament with an at-large bid out of the Pac-10. After a 6-4 loss to Baylor in the opening game, Esquer’s team got past Alcorn State, 10-6, and No. 13 Rice, 6-3, to face Baylor for the regional championship. Cal forced the if-necessary game with an 8-0 shutout behind the strong pitching performance of freshman left-hander Kyle Porter (three hits, no runs, no walks and a career-high nine strikeouts). First baseman Devon Rodriguez earned Most Outstanding Player of the Houston Regional honors with a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the ninth to lead Cal’s dramatic come-from-behind 9-8 victory over Baylor to advance to the Super Regional against Dallas Baptist. The Bears, led by 2011 Pac-10 Player of the Year Tony Renda, swept Dallas Baptist, 7-0 and 6-2, in Santa Clara to advance to the CWS. It was the fourth appearance by Cal in the NCAA Tournament in Esquer’s tenure, including three NCAA regionals in the last four years (the first time in school history). 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 in 2010 the Bears were 29-25 and played in the Norman, Okla. Regional (0-2). Sixty 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.
NOTING UCLA: UCLA, coached by Jon Savage (10th year at UCLA, 333-231, .590), is 9-7, last shutting out Cal State Fullerton, 5-0, Tuesday. Top hitters for the Bruins are junior catcher Shane Zeile (.400, 1 HR, 11 RBI), senior center fielder Brian Carroll (.333, 0 HR, 2 RBI) and sophomore right fielder Christopher Bono (.309, 0 HR, 10 RBI). UCLA’s tentative starters versus Cal are sophomore right-hander James Kaprielian (2-2, 3.20 ERA), junior left-hander Grant Watson (2-1, 2.16 ERA) and sophomore right-hander Cody Poteet (1-1, 2.42).
SERIES RECORD: Cal has a 173-171 all-time record versus UCLA. Last season, the Bears won one-of-three (W 5-1, L 8-3, L 10-2) March 22-24, 2013 at Jackie Robinson Stadium. In the last series at Evans Diamond, Cal won one-of-three (L 7-2, L 8-5, W 6-5) May 18-20 in Berkeley.
2014 PAC-12 STANDINGS (3-12-14)
W L PCT W L T .PCT
Oregon State* 0 0 .000 15 3 0 .833
Oregon* 0 0 .000 12 4 0 .750
Washington 0 0 .000 10 4 1 .700
CALIFORNIA 0 0 .000 10 5 0 .667
USC 0 0 .000 9 6 0 .600
UCLA** 0 0 .000 9 7 0 .562
Arizona State* 0 0 .000 7 6 0 .538
Utah 0 0 .000 8 7 0 .533
Arizona 0 0 .000 9 9 0 .500
Stanford 0 0 .000 7 8 0 .467
Washington State 0 0 .000 4 8 0 .333
**2013 National Champions
*2013 NCAA Tournament participant
CAL’S WALK-OFF SUCCESS IN 2013: Cal had six walk-off wins last season, including the final game with Mitchell Kranson’s game-winner May 20 versus Gonzaga. Shortstop Mike Reuvekamp notched three game-winning RBI, with a game-winning hit April 21 versus Washington State, a game-winning RBI in the 10th inning Feb. 16 versus Michigan and a game-winning sacrifice fly in the seventh inning March 9 versus Fresno State. Other walk-off heroics for the Bears include catcher Andrew Knapp’s (2013 All-American, Phillies second round draft pick) game-winning RBI in the 11th inning in the season-opener Feb. 15 versus Michigan, and outfielder Brian Celsi getting the game-winning RBI in the ninth inning Feb. 17 versus Michigan. Cal’s other walk-off win was March 7 versus Fresno State when second baseman Brenden Farney had the game-winning sacrifice fly in the 10th inning.
CAL BASEBALL ON FACEBOOK: Cal baseball fans can enjoy videos, photos and other Golden Bear highlights on the official Cal Baseball Facebook page Cal Baseball Facebook page.
BETTER THAN EVER EVANS DIAMOND: Evans Diamond, which has served as the home of Cal baseball since 1933, received a major upgrade with the installation of a new lighting system and scoreboard last spring. Eight 90-foot light poles were erected around the field that now support nighttime television broadcasts, team practice and training. A modern electronic scoreboard, measuring 38 feet wide by 31 feet high, was also installed in left-center field. The new scoreboard offers scoring, game information, as well as fixed advertising and a full color video board measuring 24 feet wide by 14 feet high. Entering the 2013 season, Cal was the only Pac-12 school without permanent lighting at its baseball facility. With the Pac-12 Networks showing eight Cal home games this season, the ability to play night games gives Cal maximum opportunity to be televised by the Networks. In addition, the upgrades will allow the Bears to be eligible to host NCAA Regional contests at Evans. The project was funded by a combination of donations and increased ticket and sponsorship revenue as a result of the upgrade. The first-ever night-time competition at Evans Diamond was March 28 for the Bears’ 2013 Pac-12 opener against USC in front of a record crowd of 2,133 fans. The new scoreboard was first unveiled May 10, 2013 versus Arizona State. The project was designed by Brereton Architects of San Francisco and constructed under the direction of Overaa Construction of Richmond.
PORTER’S FRESHMAN PERFORMANCES: In what would have to be considered one of the best freshman pitching performances in Cal baseball history, senior left-hander Kyle Porter was 6-0 with a 1.89 ERA and two saves (four starts and 25 appearances) in 2011. Porter also had 57 strikeouts and only 15 walks in 57.0 innings and was named a Freshman All-American by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, Perfect Game and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers. He had one of the biggest wins in school history when on June 21, 2011 he pitched 6.0 innings (seven hits, three runs, one walk, four strikeouts) versus Texas A&M to help give the Bears their first victory (7-3) in the College World Series since 1980. Porter was a member of the 2011 Houston Regional All-Tournament Team as well after throwing a career-high 6.2 innings with three hits, no runs, two walks and a career-high nine strikeouts June 5 versus Baylor in the Houston Regional.
QUICK BEAR HITS: As a freshman, Derek Campbell filled in for an injured Tony Renda (pulled right quad) at second base for the 2011 Super Regional and CWS, hitting .389 (7-for-18, 2B, three RBI) and playing solid defensively...Campbell, drafted in the 36th round by the Chicago Cubs last June, is back after suffering a broken leg March 3, 2013 at Houston...senior outfielder Vince Bruno returns after redshirting last season after hip surgery. Bruno batted .323 overall and .321 versus the Pac-12 in 2012 and was honorable mention all-conference in 2011...senior right-hander Trevor Hildenberger had only 11 appearances prior to last season, but developed a sidearm delivery and won five games with a save in 2013, including a career-high 7.0 innings with five strikeouts versus Washington April 27.
Cal won the inaugural College World Series title in 1947, defeating former President George H.W. Bush’s Yale team, 8-7, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The Bears’ program began in 1892 and is now in its 122nd season. George Bush, Sr., sent a letter of congratulations to David Esquer following Cal’s 2011 College World Series appearance.
The Golden Bears have had two players go on to 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 to win NCAA Baseball titles and one of 14 schools with more than one national title (1947, 1957). The Bears have competed in six CWS (1947, 1957, 1980, 1988, 1992, 2011).
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 has three coaches in the ABCA Hall of Fame – Clint Evans (1930-54, led the Bears to the first CWS title in 1947); George Wolfman (1955-73, led Cal to the 1957 CWS title); and Bob Milano (1978-99, led the Bears to three CWS appearances (1980, 1988, 1992), including a third-place finish in 1980.
CAL INDIVIDUAL PLAYER NOTES:
22 Vince Bruno, Sr., OF
* Batting .298 (14-for-47) with two doubles, a home run and five RBI
* Went 2-for-3 with a home run and a career-high four RBI Feb. 28 vs. Arkansas Pine Bluff
* Was 5-for-9 with an RBI Feb. 14-16 vs. Texas
2 Derek Campbell, Jr., OF/2B
* Batting .246 (14-for-57) with a team-high four doubles and two home runs (third in Pac-12)
* Went 2-for-5 with a home run March 7 vs. Tulane
* Was 2-for-5 with a two-run double and three-run homer for career-high five RBI March 1 vs. Baylor
* Hit a double to lead-off eighth inning and scored winning run in a 2-1 win over Texas Feb. 15
* Was 3-for-4 with two double in season-opener vs. Texas Feb. 14
21 Brenden Farney, Jr., INF
* Batting .370 (10-for-27) with two doubles and four RBI and is on a seven-game hitting streak from Feb. 16
* Was 3-for-3 with a double March 9 vs. Arkansas
* Had a two-run double March 3 vs. Baylor
* Had a two-run single Feb. 22 at Auburn
19 Nick Halamandaris, So., 1B
* Batting .241 (14-for-58) with three doubles and six RBI, and had a career-high seven-game hitting streak from Feb. 21 (9-for-28, .321) to March 4
* Had a two-run single Feb. 22 at Auburn and a two-run double Feb. 21 vs. E. Tennessee State
* Was 2-for-4 with a double and RBI Feb. 15 vs. Texas
* Is 4-for-12 (.333) with runners in scoring position
26 Trevor Hildenberger, Sr. RHP
* 0-0 with a 2.63 ERA and four saves in eight appearances (13 strikeouts in 13.2 innings)
* Earned save March 9 vs. Arkansas (3.0 innings, two strikeouts)
* Earned saves vs. Baylor March 1 and March 3 with one hit and two strikeouts in 2.1 innings
* Earned save Feb. 21 vs. E. Tennessee State with no hits and four strikeouts in 2.0 innings
24 Daulton Jefferies, Fr., RHP
* 2-1 with a 3.80 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 21.1 innings
* Shut out E. Tennessee State Feb. 21 with 7.0 innings, two hits, three walks and eight strikeouts
* Was the Feb. 18 Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week after shutting out No. 18 Texas Feb. 14 in college debut (6.0 innings, six hits, one walk, four strikeouts
38 Alex Martinez, Fr., RHP
* 0-1 with 1.50 ERA and seven strikeouts in 12.0 innings
* Threw 5.1 innings in start vs. USF March 8 (three strikeouts)
* Had three strikeouts in 3.1 innings March 3 vs. Baylor
42 Ryan Mason, So., RHP
* 2-0 with 1.08 ERA and six strikeouts in 8.1 innings of relief
* Earned win in relief March 1 vs. Baylor (two hits, one strikeout in 2.0 innings)
* Picked up win in relief Feb. 12 vs. Texas with three strikeouts in 3.0 innings
27 Devin Pearson, So., CF
* Batting .269 (14-for-52) with a double, a triple and seven RBI
* Went 3-for-3 with two RBI March 7 vs. Tulane
* Was 2-for-4 and had the game-winning RBI Feb. 15 vs. Texas
* Is 8-for-18 (.444) with runners in scoring position
16 Kyle Porter, Sr., LHP
* 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA (fifth in the Pac-12) and has 12 strikeouts in 19.0 innings
* Won March 9 vs. Arkansas, throwing 5.2 innings with four hits, one unearned run and three strikeouts
* Won March 3 at San Diego, throwing 5.1 innings with six hits, one run, one walk, three strikeouts
* Started Feb. 15 vs. Texas, striking out four batters in 5.0 innings
33 Devon Rodriguez, Sr., DH
* Batting .269 (14-for-52) with a home run and 10 RBI
* Was 1-for-3 with a double and three RBI March 9 vs. Arkansas
* Had three straight two-hit games Feb. 22-March 1
* Went 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI Feb. 23 vs. Arkansas Pine Bluff
10 Michael Theofanopoulos, Jr., LHP
* 1-2 with 3.26 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 19.1 innings
* Won Feb. 23 vs. Arkansas Pine Bluff with a career-high nine strikeouts in 6.0 innings