Jan. 24, 2011
BERKELEY -The University of California baseball team has been ranked 21st in Yahoo! Sports College Baseball Preview 2011. The Golden Bears, who return nearly everyone from last year's NCAA regional squad, are featured by Yahoo! Sports writer Kendall Rogers Top 25 Countdown: No. 21 California.
The 2011 Cal program returns three All-Pac-10 players (junior catcher Chadd Krist, sophomore left-hander Justin Jones, sophomore second baseman Tony Renda) and has an incoming class ranked 11th nationally by Baseball America. Under the direction of head coach David Esquer, the Bears have qualified for the NCAA Tournament two of the last three years.
Last season Cal (29-25) received an at-large berth into the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament and entered the Norman, Oklahoma Regional as the No. 2-seeded team. Cal dropped a 12-3 decision to North Carolina and a 9-8 heartbreaker (on a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning) to Oral Roberts to end its 2010 campaign.
However, during the 2010 season, the Bears recorded three sweeps against Pac-10 opponents (Arizona, USC, Oregon State) and had victories over Top-25 opponents Rice, Arkansas and Stanford; reaching a top ranking of 15th in the nation by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.
Besides 2010 first-team All-Pac-10 players Krist, Jones and Renda, Cal showcases juniors Marcus Semien (shortstop), Erik Johnson (right-hander) and Danny Oh (outfielder) who were selected honorable mention all-league as sophomores in 2010. Additionally, Jones and Renda were tabbed as Freshman All-Americans, the first time in school history Cal had two players in the same season earn freshman All-America honors.
The Bears open their 2011 season Feb. 18-20 with a three-game series versus Utah at Evans Diamond. Game times are 1:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18; and 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19 and Sunday, Feb. 20.