Sept. 23, 2009
BERKELEY, CALIF. -The University of California baseball program's 2009 recruiting class has been selected the 24th best in the nation, and third-best in the Pac-10, by Collegiate Baseball newspaper. The national publication selected the Golden Bears' 15 newcomers among the conference's top three, behind only 2008 College World Series participant Arizona State (2nd) and Bay Area rival Stanford (10th), and ahead of Oregon State (25th), Oregon (26th) and UCLA (33rd).
Cal's 2009 recruiting class features seven pitchers (two of which are also position players), three infielders, two outfielders, a first baseman/outfielder, a first baseman and a catcher.
Among the 2009 class is Brett Bishop, a 5-11, 175-pound infielder from Clovis, Calif. (Buchanan High School) and Jimmy Bosco, 5-10, 180-pound left-handed hitting outfielder from Granite Bay, Calif. (Jesuit High School). Bishop was a four-year varsity player for Buchanan HS and last spring batted .369 with eight doubles, a triple, 11 home runs and 32 RBI, earning first-team all-conference and second-team all-state honors. Bosco set a Jesuit HS batting record as a junior when he hit .505 with three home runs and 24 RBI in 2008, earning Delta River League MVP and first-team All-Sac-Metro honors. He was also Cal Hi Sports first-team All-State Underclassman in 2008, helping his team to the 2008 San Joaquin Section Division I championship, and was Cal Hi Sports second-team all-state in 2009.
David Buscovich, a 5-11, 195-pound first baseman, is a junior college transfer from Diablo Valley College where he was a 2009 first-team All-Big 8 Conference selection, batting .308 with seven doubles, four triples, seven home runs and 50 RBI. Buscovich played high school baseball at San Leandro HS, batting .478 with six home runs and 26 RBI as a senior, earning All-East Bay honors.
Also among the Bears' '09 recruiting class is Justin Byrd, a 6-0, 190-pound catcher from Highlands Ranch, Colo. (Arapahoe High School); Mitch Delfino, a 6-3, 185-pound infielder from Cloverdale, Calif. (Cloverdale High School); Matt Evanoff, a 6-2, 175-pound left-handed pitcher/first baseman from Rescue, Calif. (Ponderosa High School); Trevor Hildenberger, a 6-2, 175-pound right-hander from San Jose, Calif. (Archbishop Mitty High School) and Justin Jones, a 6-3, 175-pound left-handed pitcher from Oakdale High School.
Byrd was a two-time first-team All-Continental League and a 2009 5A All-State catcher, batting .534 with 12 doubles, seven home runs and 31 RBI as a senior. Delfino was a 2009 MaxPreps Small Schools first-team All-American and Cal Hi Sports Division V Male Athlete of the Year, batting .591 with 10 doubles, five triples, five home runs and 35 RBI. Left-hander Evanoff was the 2009 Sierra Valley Conference MVP and a Cal Hi Sports second-team all-state selection, going 6-2 on the mound with 65 strikeouts and a 1.00 ERA. He throws in the high 80s with a curveball, slider and change-up.
Right-hander Hildenberger, a member of the Milwaukee Brewers 2008 Area Code Team, was 8-6 as a senior with 60 strikeouts and a 3.79 ERA. He throws in the low 90s with a curveball and change-up.
Left-hander Jones was teammates with Hildenberger on the Brewers Area Code Team and this past June was the seventh round draft pick of the Chicago White Sox. In high school, he was 10-1 with 118 strikeouts and a 0.42 ERA as a senior after going 12-0 with 124 strikeouts and a 0.40 ERA as a junior. Jones was a two-time Cal Hi Sports All-State honoree and the 2009 Modesto Bee Player of the Year. He throws in the high 80s with a curveball and change-up, helping Oakdale HS to the 2007 and 2008 San Joaquin Division IV titles
Other top Cal recruits include Joe Kurrasch, a 6-2, 215-pound left-hander from San Juan Capistrano, Calif. (Serra High School); Michael Lowden, a 6-2, 175-pound right-handed pitcher from Yuba City, Calif. (Yuba City High School); Darrel Matthews, a 5-10, 165-pound outfielder from Concord, Calif. (Clayton Valley High School); Tony Renda, a 5-9, 160-pound infielder from Hillsborough, Calif. (Serra High School); Devin Rodriguez, a 6-2, 180-pound first baseman/outfielder from Newhall, Calif. (William S. Hart High School); Ryan Sandler, a 6-2, 205-pound right-handed pitcher from Solana Beach, Calif. (Canyon Crest Academy) and Seth Spivack, a 6-0, 175-pound right-handed pitcher/catcher from Calabasas, Calif. (Taft High School).
Left-hander Kurrasch, a 2007 USA National Team invitee, throws in the low 90s with a curveball and change-up. He was 7-1 with a 0.67 ERA and 58 strikeouts last spring at Serra HS, earning first-team all-league and second-team All-CIF Southern Section honors. Right-hander Lowden was spectacular last spring at Yuba City HS, going 11-0 with a 1.17 ERA, and recording 102 strikeouts with only 14 walks in 72.0 innings. He was two-time Tri-County Conference Pitcher of the Year and a 2009 MaxPreps second-team all-state selection, going 20-0 in his high school varsity career.
Left-handed hitting outfielder Matthews, coached by former Arizona standout and Cal assistant Bob Ralston, was two-time first-team All-Bay Valley Athletic League and a 2009 MaxPreps second-team all-state selection, batting .440 with 10 doubles, eight triples and nine stolen bases as a senior.
Infielder Renda was a 2009 High School All-American, as well as both the San Mateo County and West Catholic Athletic Player of the Year, leading his team to the Central Coast Section title. He was also selected first-team all-state by Cal Hi Sports and MaxPreps, ending his high school career as the Serra HS record-holder for career hits (152). In June, Renda was drafted in the 42nd round by the Los Angeles Dodgers, and this past summer competed in the Northwoods League where he batted .283.
Left-handed hitting first baseman/outfielder Rodriguez batted .402 with 14 doubles, eight homer runs and 34 RBI last spring for William Hart HS. He is a two-time first-team All-Foothill League selection, setting a school record with a 21-game hitting streak as a junior when he hit .384 with 13 doubles and 24 RBI. Right-hander Sandler was 3-4 with 49 strikeouts and a 2.72 ERA last year at Canyon Crest Academy, while Spivack, a switch hitter who both pitches and catches, throws in the low 90s with a curveball and change-up.
The Bears will be hosting the annual Alumni Game on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009 at 1 p.m. at Evans Diamond. Cal's 2010 campaign begins Friday, Feb. 19 at 1:30 p.m. with the first game of a three-game series versus Southern Utah at Evans Diamond.
"This is as complete of a class as we have ever recruited at Cal," said Esquer. "This group has a lot of talented players and we expect them to come in and make an immediate impact as freshmen. We look forward to seeing what they can contribute to the program this spring."
CALIFORNIA'S 2009 BASEBALL RECRUITING CLASS