Feb. 10, 2013
BERKELEY -On a beautiful Sunday (Feb. 10) afternoon, the California baseball team celebrated its second annual Fan Fest with festivities beginning at 11 a.m. and the 2013 Golden Bears scrimmaging at 1 p.m. at Evans Diamond.
About 300 Cal baseball fans got a chance to meet the 2013 team, get autographs, run the bases, and test their pitching, fielding and batting skills. Hosted by Cal Athletics and the Cal Baseball Foundation, Fan Fest also provided an opportunity for fans to get a preview of David Esquer's squad prior to the season-opening series versus Michigan, Feb. 15-17, at Evans Diamond.
A highlight of Sunday's scrimmage was junior outfielder/first baseman Jacob Wark hitting a two-run homer to right-center field in the third inning. The scrimmage was unconventional with three alternating offensive squads.
This year's Cal squad returns two All-American left-handers - Justin Jones, who was a freshman All-American in 2010, and Kyle Porter, a freshman All-American in 2011. The Bears also feature junior catcher Andrew Knapp, a 2013 first-team Preseason All-American who was outstanding this summer in the prestigious Cape Cod League for the Chatham Anglers, batting .293 with 13 doubles, eight home runs and 29 RBI in 40 games.
Two other members of the 2013 Bears played well this summer - sophomore infielder/outfielder Chris Paul for St. Cloud (Minn.) and sophomore right-handed junior college transfer Dylan Nelson for Rochester of the Northwoods League. Paul batted .271 in 42 games and led the Northwoods League with 20 doubles, along with six triples, a home run and 26 RBI. Nelson, who will be a sophomore in the spring after transferring from College of San Mateo, had 39 strikeouts in 32.0 innings for the Honkers.
Standout junior first baseman Devon Rodriguez returns after sitting out the majoring of the 2012 season with a knee injury. Rodriguez earned Most Outstanding Player of the 2011 Houston Regional after knocking in the game-winning hit in Cal's dramatic come-from-behind victory over Baylor to advance the Bears to the 2011 Super Regionals, hosted by Cal at Santa Clara's Schott Stadium.
Cal's schedule features 26 home games at Evans Diamond this spring, including the three-game series against Michigan in Berkeley to open the 2013 campaign. Cal's non-conference schedule also includes a four-game home series versus Fresno State, March 7-10. The Bears will be hosting Pac-12 series versus USC, Oregon, Washington State, Arizona State and Stanford this spring at Evans Diamond.