FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
BERKELEY – The California baseball program, a 2011 College World Series participant, will be televised five times during the 2013 regular season with four games scheduled to be shown on the Pac-12 Networks and a game slated for ESPNU, head coach David Esquer and the Pac-12 Conference announced Wednesday (Dec. 12).
The Golden Bears’ schedule features 25 home games at Evans Diamond, including hosting a three-game series against Michigan, Feb. 15-17 in Berkeley to open the 2013 campaign. Cal’s non-conference schedule also includes a four-game series at UC Irvine, three games at the Houston College Classic (versus Baylor, North Carolina and Houston at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros) and a four-game home series versus Fresno State. Cal will also be hosting Pac-12 series versus USC, Oregon, Washington State, Arizona State and Stanford this spring at Evans Diamond.
The games earmarked for television include a March 16 contest at Utah (3 p.m. Mountain Time, Pac-12 Networks), an April 1 game at Bay Area rival Stanford (TBA Pac-12 Networks), April 7 at defending national champion Arizona (12 p.m. ESPNU), April 21 versus Washington State (TBA Pac-12 Networks) and May 12 versus Arizona State (TBA Pac-12 Networks).
“This is a very strong schedule for us,” said Cal coach David Esquer, the 2011 national coach of the year who will be entering his 14th season guiding the Bears in 2013. “Our schedule features a lot of regional diversity, including Fresno State and UC Irvine who are formable opponents from the West Coast. Michigan will also be a challenge coming from the Big 10 with new coach Erik Bakich. The Michigan series will be as tough of a season-opening weekend as there is. And, of course, the Pac-12 schedule will be extremely tough.”
Cal Baseball fans should also make plans to attend the second annual Fan Fest, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013 at 11 a.m. at Evans Diamond. Following the Fan Fest festivities, there will be a Blue-Gold intrasquad scrimmage beginning at 1 p.m. 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 that include outfielder/first baseman Nick Halamandaris, an eighth round draft pick of the Seattle Mariners.