Cal Baseball Travels to The Farm for Pac-12 Series
Sat., April 26 at Stanford, Sunken Diamond, Stanford, Calif. 2 p.m.
Sun., April 27 at Stanford, Sunken Diamond, Stanford, Calif. 2 p.m.
Mon., April 28 at Stanford, Sunken Diamond, Stanford, Calif. 6 p.m.
KALX, 90.7 FM will be broadcasting the April 26-28 Cal-Stanford games. Live stats available at Cal Baseball Live Stats. Cal Baseball Facebook, Cal BaseballTwitter @Cal_Baseball
Cal (16-20, 5-10) at Stanford (17-17, 6-9) For Pac-12 Series
BEAR NOTES: The Cal baseball team (16-20, 5-10) ventures to the Farm for The Big Series versus Stanford (17-17, 6-9), April 26-28, at Sunken Diamond. The Sunday, April 27 (2 p.m.), and Monday, April 28 (6 p.m.), games will be shown on the Pac-12 Networks with Brian Weber/Ted Robinson (play-by-play) and former San Francisco Giant standout J.T. Snow (analyst) announcing.. Cal – which last Sunday topped No. 6-ranked Washington, 7-1, at Evans Diamond – fell 7-4 Tuesday night at Fresno State. The Bears, however, have eight victories over ranked teams this season and went undefeated in earlier tournaments at Auburn, Ala. and in San Diego. In playing the Cardinal this week, Cal will be looking to avenge an 11-1 loss to Stanford back on March 4 at Evans Diamond. Offensively, the Bears are led by senior designated hitter Devon Rodriguez, junior shortstop Derek Campbell and sophomore first baseman Nick Halamandaris. Rodriguez has three home runs and paces Cal with 18 RBI, Campbell is second in the Pac-12 with five home runs and has 15 RBI, while Halamandaris has a team-best nine doubles with 12 RBI. Both Rodriguez and Campbell were key players for the Bears in their 2011 College World Series run. Three more Cal hitters who performed well last weekend versus Washington were sophomore catcher Mitchell Kranson, who was 4-for-8 with an RBI; and freshman outfielder Aaron Knapp, who finished 6-for-13 with a double; and freshman third baseman Lucas Erceg, who was 4-for-12 with a double and his first collegiate home run. On Tuesday night at Fresno State, Knapp had an RBI triple and Erceg hit his second career homer. On the mound, freshman right-hander Daulton Jefferies, senior left-hander Kyle Porter and sophomore right-hander Ryan Mason are the slated rotation for the Bears, while senior reliever Trevor Hildenberger has been the workhorse out of the bullpen with a team-high 20 appearances (sixth in Pac-12) and is fifth in the conference with seven saves (2-2, 3.00 ERA, 28 strikeouts in 30.0 innings). Jefferies (2-4, 3.00 ERA) started his college career throwing consecutive shutouts versus Texas (6.0 innings, six hits, one walk, four strikeouts Feb. 14) and East Tennessee State (7.0 innings, two hits, three walks, four strikeouts Feb. 21). Porter (4-4 with a 2.97 ERA) had a solid outing March 22 at No. 3 Cal Poly (5.1 innings, five hits, three runs, no walks, four strikeouts) giving the Mustangs (35-5) one of their five losses this year. Mason (3-0, 2.32 ERA) had his best outing of the year in the April 19 win over Washington (7.0 innings, five hits, one run, one walk, two strikeouts).
Cal Tentative Line-Up
No. Pos. Player 2014 Stats
23 LF Aaron Knapp, Fr. .261, 6 RBI, 1 HR
2 SS Derek Campbell, Jr. .265, 15 RBI, 5 HR
33 DH Devon Rodriguez, Sr. .262, 18 RBI, 3 HR
19 1B Nick Halamandaris, So. .262, 12 RBI, 1 HR
17 3B Lucas Erceg, Fr. .188, 3 RBI, 2 HR
25 RF Brian Celsi, So. .274, 10 RBI, 0 HR
20 2B Robbie Tenerowicz, Fr. .103, 1 RBI, 1 HR
30 C Mitchell Kranson, So. .235, 10 RBI, 0 HR
27 CF Devin Pearson, So. .170, 9 RBI, 0 HR
24 RHP Daulton Jefferies, Fr. (Sat.) 2-4, 3.00 ERA
16 LHP Kyle Porter, Sr. (Sun.) 4-4, 2.97 ERA
42 RHP Ryan Mason, So. (Mon.) 3-0, 2.32 ERA
HEAD COACH DAVID ESQUER: Esquer, 48, is in his 15th season with a career record of 422-389-2 (.520). 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 STANFORD: Stanford, coached by Mark Marquess (38th year, 1512-798-1, .654), is 17-17 (6-9 Pac-12), defeating Santa Clara (10-9) and Saint Mary’s (6-2) mid-week after winning two-of-three over Arizona State (W 4-3, L 3-2, W 1-0) April 17-19 at Stanford. Top hitters for the Cardinal are junior third baseman Alex Blandino (.310, 6 HR, 21 RBI), junior center fielder Austin Slater (.308, 1 HR, 21 RBI) and senior first baseman Danny Diekroeger (.285, 1 HR, 13 RBI). Stanford’s tentative rotation is freshman right-hander Cal Quantrill (3-4, 3.02 ERA), junior left-hander John Hochstatter (5-1, 2.18 ERA) and TBA.
SERIES RECORD: Cal has a 223-258-1 all-time record versus Stanford. Last season, the Bears were swept (9-8, 9-4, 7-3) May 17-19, 2013 at Evans Diamond. The last time the Bears played at Stanford in a conference series, they won two-of-three (W 5-4 in 18 innings, W 15-5, L 5-3) May 25-27, 2012 at Sunken Diamond.
2014 PAC-12 STANDINGS (4-23-14)
W L PCT W L T .PCT
Washington 14 4 .778 27 9 1 .743
Oregon State* 11 4 .733 28 8 0 .778
Oregon* 10 5 .667 31 10 0 .756
UCLA** 9 6 .600 22 16 0 .579
Arizona State* 10 8 .556 21 16 0 .568
USC 9 9 .500 21 17 0 .553
Washington State 7 8 .467 17 20 0 .459
Stanford 6 9 .400 17 17 0 .500
Arizona 6 12 .333 17 23 0 .425
CALIFORNIA 5 10 .333 16 20 0 .444
Utah 3 15 .167 12 24 0 .333
**2013 National Champions
*2013 NCAA Tournament participant
CAL BASEBALL AMONG PAC-12 STAT LEADERS: The Bears are currently second the Pac-12 with 16 home runs and are sixth with nine saves and a .255 opponent batting average. Junior shortstop/outfielder Derek Campbell is second in the conference with five home runs, senior right-hander Trevor Hildenberger is fifth in the Pac-12 with seven saves and sixth with 20 appearances and sophomore center fielder Devin Pearson is 10th with six stolen bases.
CAL’S 2014 HIGHLIGHTS: Cal’s highlights so far in 2014 have been winning two games over No. 8 Texas to start the season, including a season-opening 7-0 shutout…going undefeated at both the Auburn Tiger Classic (with a 3-0 shutout of East Tennessee State and 5-0 shutout of host Auburn) and the University of San Diego Tournament (two wins over Baylor and a win over host San Diego)…producing two wins over Arkansas during the Cal Baseball Classic…an 8-3 win at No. 5 Cal Poly…a Pac-12 sweep of Utah with a game-winning double by sophomore catcher Mitchell Kranson and a game-winning home run versus junior shortstop Derek Campbell…with the Bears’ tough schedule, including 14 games against ranked teams, they have an RPI of 34 nationally.
RODRIGUEZ’S FAMOUS HIT: Senior Devon Rodriguez will forever be known in Cal baseball lore for his clutch game-winning hit versus Baylor as he helped bring back the Bears from a 7-1 deficit by going 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBI, including the game-winning RBI single with two outs and two strikes in Cal’s 9-8 victory to clinch the 2011 Houston Regional. Rodriguez was named the Houston Regional Most Outstanding Player after going 8-18 (.444) with a six RBI during the Bears’ five regional contests. His fame also coincides with former KALX announcer Danny Friesinger’s enthusiastic call of the winning hit that sent Cal to the Santa Clara Super Regional Rodriguez's Famous Hit. Rodriguez is back to full health after playing the entire 2013 season with a torn labrum (batting .277 with seven doubles, seven home runs and 40 RBI) and redshirting in 2012 after suffering injuries to both his shoulder and knee. He has played in 151 games in his Cal career with a .278 average (156-for-561), 25 doubles, one triple, 15 home runs and 96 RBI. Rodriguez, tabbed 2014 second-team preseason all-conference by College Sports Madness, has also hit two grand slams, including March 16, 2013 at Utah.
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.
BEARS IN THE BIG LEAGUES: Cal features eight former players on Major League 2014 opening day rosters, among the most of any school in the nation – catcher John Baker (Chicago Cubs), first baseman/outfielder Allen Craig (St. Louis Cardinals), right-hander Erik Johnson (Chicago White Sox), right-hander Brandon Morrow (Toronto Blue Jays), first baseman/outfielder Xavier Nady (San Diego Padres), right-hander Tyson Ross (San Diego Padres), first baseman/second baseman Josh Satin (New York Mets) and third baseman Marcus Semien (Chicago White Sox). All eight of Cal’s pro players competed for David Esquer, from Xavier Nady in 2000 to Erik Johnson and Marcus Semien in 2009-11. April 13, 2014 was quite a day for Golden Bears in MLB. Ross had seven strikeouts in seven innings and Nady hit a 422 foot home run as San Diego defeated Detroit, 5-1. Dating back to 2012, Nady’s last three big league hits have all been home runs. Semien also hit a home run on the same day for the Chicago White Sox and managers Bryan Price (Reds) and Bob Melvin (A’s) led their teams to victories.
BEAR POSTSEASON NOTES: Cal is now 43-25 (.632) in NCAA postseason games all-time, including 7-3 in 2011 (1-2 in the CWS, 2-0 in first-ever NCAA Super Regional and 4-1 in the NCAA Houston Regional). Head coach David Esquer has eight postseason wins, passing 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 seven postseason wins is the most for a Cal squad since the 1980 team had eight. Cal’s 38 victories in 2011 were the most wins since the Bears’ 1988 CWS squad won 40 games.
CAL IN THE WORLD SERIES: With the 7-3 victory over Texas A&M on June 21, 2011, the Bears won their first College World Series game since defeating Miami, 4-3, on June 12, 1980. When Cal played Virginia in front of a crowd of 25,833 on June 23 at TD Ameritrade Park, it was the largest crowd to ever watch the Golden Bears play baseball. 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. Evans was instrumental in establishing the CWS. 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. 2011 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 the 2011 season in which they faced the tournament’s No. 1 seed (Virginia), the Bears played the top seed in 1992, Miami, losing to the Hurricanes, 4-3, in 13 innings.
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 .263 (24-for-95, .220 vs. Pac-12) with 2-2B, two HR and 8 RBI
* Was 3-for-3 with a HR April 5 at WSU
* Went 2-for-3 with a HR and career-high 4 RBI Feb. 28 vs. Arkansas Pine Bluff
* Was 5-for-9 with an RBI Feb. 14-16 vs. Texas
2 Derek Campbell, Jr., SS/OF
* Batting .265 (35-for-132) with 7-2B, 5 HR (2nd in Pac-12) and 15 RBI
* Was 3-for-4 with game-winning HR March 20 vs. Utah
* Had two-run homer March 23 at Cal Poly
* Was 2-for-5 with two-run double, three-run homer for career-high 5 RBI March 1 vs. Baylor
* Hit lead-off double and scored winning run in 2-1 win over Texas Feb. 15
* Was 3-for-4 with two doubles in season-opener vs. Texas Feb. 14
25 Brian Celsi, So., OF
* Batting .274 (17-for-62, .353 vs. Pac-12) with 2-2B, 3B and 10 RBI
* Was 7-for-12 (.583) with 5 RBI vs. Utah March 28-30
* Is 7-for-18 (.389) with runners in scoring position
17 Lucas Erceg, Fr., 3B/RHP
* Batting .188 (6-for-32, .222 vs. Pac-12) with 2B, 2-HR, 3 RBI
* Hit home run Tuesday at Fresno State
* Went 2-for-4 with home run April 17 vs. Washington
21 Brenden Farney, Jr., INF
* Batting .329 (24-for-73, .290 vs. Pac-12) with 4-2B, 15 RBI
* Went 2-for-4 with a 2B and 4 RBI March 24 at Cal Poly
* Was 3-for-3 with a 2B March 9 vs. Arkansas
* Is 10-for-23 (.435) with runners in scoring position
19 Nick Halamandaris, So., 1B
* Batting .262 (33-for-126, .214 vs. Pac-12) with 9-2B and 12 RBI
* Went 5-for-11 with 2-2B April 11-13 at ASU
* Was 7-for-10 with 3-2B and HR March 22-24 at Cal Poly
26 Trevor Hildenberger, Sr. RHP
* 2-2 with a 3.00 ERA and 7 saves (5th in Pac-12) with 28 k’s in 30.0 innings
* Earned a win and two saves March 28-30 vs. Utah
* Earned save with one hit and 4 k’s in 3.2 innings March 22 at Cal Poly
* Earned save March 9 vs. Arkansas (3.0 innings, 2 k’s)
* Earned saves vs. Baylor March 1 and March 3 with one hit and 2 k’s in 2.1 innings
* Earned save Feb. 21 vs. E. Tennessee State with 4 k’s in 2.0 innings
24 Daulton Jefferies, Fr., RHP
* 2-4 with a 3.00 ERA and 38 k’s in 60.0 innings
* Shut out E. Tennessee State Feb. 21 with 7.0 innings, 2 hits, 3 walks and 8 k’s
* Was the Feb. 18 Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week after shutting out No. 18 Texas Feb. 14 in college debut (6.0 innings, 6 hits, 1 BB, 4 k’s
6 Chris Paul, Jr., 3B
23 Aaron Knapp, Fr., OF
* Batting .261 (12-for-46, .346 vs. Pac-12) with 2B, 3B, HR and 6 RBI
* Had an RBI triple Tuesday at Fresno State
* Was 6-for-13 in UW series, including 3-5 April 19
* Had inside the park HR March 22 at Cal Poly with 3 RBI
* Is 6-for-16 (.375) with runners in scoring position
42 Ryan Mason, So., RHP
* 3-0 with a 2.32 ERA and 16 k’s in 31.0 innings
* Won April 19 vs. UW (7.0 innings, 5 hits, 1 run, 1 BB, 2 k’s)
* Won in relief March 1 vs. Baylor (one k in 2.0 innings)
* Won in relief Feb. 12 vs. Texas (3 k’s in 3.0 innings)
* Batting .247 (20-for-81, .162 vs. Pac-12) with 4-2B and a triple
* Had an eight-game hitting streak and went 3-for-5 with an RBI triple March 24 at Cal Poly
* Went 2-for-3 with two doubles March 3 vs. Baylor
27 Devin Pearson, So., CF
* Batting .170 (18-for-106, .083 vs. Pac-12) with a 2B, 2-3B and nine RBI
* Went 3-for-3 with 2 RBI March 7 vs. Tulane
* Had the game-winning RBI Feb. 15 vs. Texas
* Is 9-for-27 (.333) with runners in scoring position
16 Kyle Porter, Sr., LHP
* 4-4 with 2.97 ERA and had a career-high 11 k’s in career-high 8.2 innings March 29 vs. Utah
* Won March 22 at Cal Poly (5.1 innings, 4 k’s)
* Won March 9 vs. Arkansas (5.2 innings, 4 hits, one unearned run, 3 k’s)
* Won March 3 at San Diego (5.1 innings, 6 hits, one run, one walk, 3 k’s)
33 Devon Rodriguez, Sr., DH
* Batting .262 (33-for-126, .268 vs. Pac-12) with 5-2B, 3-HR, team-high 18 RBI
* Hit a HR and had a key two-run single April 11-13 at ASU
* Had a 2B, 3 RBI March 9 vs. Arkansas
* Was 2-for-3 with HR, 2 RBI Feb. 23 vs. Arkansas Pine Bluff