Oct. 18, 2012
BERKELEY -Cal baseball fans will have an opportunity for a sneak preview of the 2012-13 Golden Bears as coach David Esquer's squad will be competing against an Alumni team during the annual Alumni Baseball Game, Sunday, Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. at Evans Diamond. Admission is free for the event and is part of the 2012 Cal Baseball Alumni Weekend.
Cal began fall practice on Sept. 7 and will be wrapping up its preparation for the 2013 campaign with Sunday's Alumni Game. Esquer is his 14th season and this year's team features 11 players who were members of the 2011 College World Series squad. There will also be several former players from the 2011 squad now on the Alumni team - including Tony Renda, Matt Flemer, Marcus Semien, Danny Oh, Stephen Pistoresi, Joey Donofrio, Erik Johnson, Dwight Tanaka, Austin Booker and Chadd Krist.
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, 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 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.
The Bears showcase 13 newcomers, with eight earlier letters of intent signees ( Cal Baseball Signs Eight) that include outfielder/first baseman Nick Halamandaris, an eighth round draft pick of the Seattle Mariners. Cal's group of newcomers also includes freshman outfielder Devin Pearson from Carmel, Calif. (Pearson Video Feature).
The schedule for the 2013 Cal baseball team is still being finalized, with potential games being televised on the Pac-12 Networks, but the Bears will be hosting a three-game series against Michigan, Feb. 15-17 at Evans Diamond to open the 2013 campaign. Cal will also be hosting Pac-12 series versus USC, Oregon, Washington State, Arizona State and Stanford this spring at Evans Diamond. Cal Baseball fans should make plans to attend the second annual Fan Fest, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013 at 11 a.m. at Evans Diamond as well. Following the Fan Fest festivities, there will be a Blue-Gold intrasquad scrimmage beginning at 1 p.m.