May 31, 2011
WALNUT CREEK, CALIF. -In a vote by the conference coaches, California sophomore second baseman Tony Renda has been selected as the 2011 Pac-10 Player of the Year, it was announced Tuesday (May 31) by Commissioner Larry Scott. Renda, who has helped the Golden Bears to a 31-20 record this season and a berth into the NCAA Houston Regional, is currently hitting .330 and is in the Top 10 in the Pac-10 in five different offensive categories.
Renda becomes only the third Bear in school history to garner Pac-10 Player of the Year honors, joining Jon Zuber and Troy Penix, who were the Co-Southern Division Players of the Year in 1992. Besides hitting .330, which is seventh in the league, Renda is third in the conference with 73 hits, seventh with 99 total bases and ninth with 38 RBI and nine stolen 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. He will now lead David Esquer's squad as they advance to an NCAA regional for the third time in the last four years and will play Baylor on Friday, June 3 at 2 p.m. (12 p.m. PT) at Rice University's Reckling Park in Houston.
The Bears had five other players honored by the Pac-10 as well. Junior right-hander Erik Johnson and junior catcher Chadd Krist were selected first-team All-Pac-10 along with Renda, while junior right-hander Matt Flemer, sophomore outfielder Vince Bruno and sophomore left-hander Justin Jones were tabbed Pac-10 honorable mention.
Johnson, who is slated to start on the mound Friday versus Baylor, is 6-3 with a 2.08 ERA and has 91 strikeouts in 90.2 innings. His ERA and strikeouts are fourth and sixth in the conference, respectively, and opponents are batting .184 against him - second-best in the Pac-10. Krist is hitting .297 with 35 RBI and leads the conference with 22 doubles.
Flemer (2-2, 2.40 ERA) is eighth in the league with five saves and has 33 strikeouts and only six walks in 30.0 innings this year. Jones, a freshman All-American with Renda last season, is 7-6 with a 3.33 ERA and is eighth in the Pac-10 with 105.1 innings pitched. Bruno, a transfer from Los Medanos College, is batting .313 for the Bears and has one of the league's best on-base percentages at .408.