California Blog - College

  • The Cal baseball program has released its roster for fall ball, located HERE.

    A few notes based on the roster: Senior outfielder Darrell Matthews, who hit .266 in 47 games last season starting in center field and left, is not on the fall roster, and is taking the semester off. He will likely be back by the time spring practice begins.

    Senior outfielder Vince Bruno is still on the roster, but is not practicing after undergoing hip surgery during the offseason. He is expected to take a redshirt this season.

    PREMIUM VIDEO: Campbell, Reuvekamp, Egber Take BP

    The absence of the two veteran outfielders opens up some room for the youngsters, including redshirt freshman Brian Celsi, true freshman Grant Diede and true freshman Sean Peters, who have been taking first reps during the fall. Peters is a bit light in the hitting department, but has a very strong arm and can cover quite a bit of ground in right.

    Another name to watch in the outfield is sweet-swinging right Devin Pearson. The 5-foot-11, 192-pounder is a pure athlete with very good speed and fantastic bat control. Every bunt he lays down is just about picture-perfect. He will definitely push for playing time.

    PREMIUM VIDEO: Freshmen Take Their Cuts

    Another youngster to watch is walk-on John Soteropulos. Before all is said and done, it will be difficult to keep his glove off the field. He has tremendous range at second base, good instincts and has very good footwork. He'll rush the play sometimes, but the fundamentals are there for a very solid middle infielder. He'll be competing primarily with redshirt freshman Brenden Farney, who was drafted in the 36th round by the Oakland A's coming out of Vacaville High in 2011. Farney's bat is a bit further along than Soteropulos's at the moment, and it looks like the 5-foot-9, 201-pounder has been focusing on keeping the ball low and driving it, instead of trying to hit it out of the park.

    It is still a strong possibility that Cal fans may see eighth-round MLB draft pick Nick Halamandaris at one of the corner spots if he's not DH'ing. Every ball he's hit this fall has been on the screws, and he rarely gets fooled. Of course, it's very unlikely he'll see time at his natural position -- first base -- because of incumbent Devon Rodriguez, who has looked phenomenal in the fall after missing the majority of the 2012 season with a knee injury. Rodriguez has really learned how to work within the constraints of Evans Diamond, which is notoriously difficult on left-handed power hitters. During the last scrimmage, Rodriguez socked a low liner off the wall in right-center field for a stand-up double, with the ball never getting higher than about 30 feet in the air.

    PREMIUM VIDEO: Vets Back to Work in BP

    True freshman Mitchell Kranson has been playing a lot of third base. He is still refining his game at the hot corner, and, as the staff says, his bat plays. Though brought in initially as a catcher, he doesn't have a true position, and with stud 2013 backstop John Riley coming in next fall and Brett Cumberland the year after, it looks like Kranson could turn into this class's Allen Craig, who played all over the diamond in his career at Cal before making the Major Leagues as an outfielder/first baseman. The same thing -- that his bat plays -- was said of Craig throughout his career in Berkeley.

    PREMIUM RECRUITING: In-Depth With Riley | Bears Add Cumberland to 2014 Class

    Andrew Knapp will start at catcher this season, and has looked phenomenal in fall games. Every ball he's put in play has been well-struck, and in the last scrimmage, he went 4-for-5. Knapp wore No. 6 his freshman season, and 15 last season. This year, he will wear No. 5, while the former owner of that numeral -- shortstop Derek Campbell -- will switch to No. 2.

    Behind Knapp this year, Cal will have two primary back-up catchers in Alex Egber and Jesse Kay, a true freshman out of San Diego (Calif.) Cathedral Catholic. Kay is a very strong defensive catcher who missed most of his senior year with the same hip surgery as Bruno underwent.


    BERKELEY — Brendan Bigelow was named the All-Purpose Performer of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards and was also an honorable mention CFPA Running Back Performer of the Week for his performance Saturday in Cal's 35-28 loss at No. 12 Ohio State. Bigelow rushed four times for 160 yards, including two long touchdown runs of 81 and 59 yards. Bigelow added three kick returns for 74 yards and totaled a career-high 234 all-purpose yards on seven touches.

    Bigelow's 81-yard touchdown run was the longest of his career, the longest by any opposing player at Ohio Stadium ever, the longest in the Pac-12 this season, and the longest by a Cal player since Best had a 93-yard TD run at UCLA in 2009. His 234 all-purpose yards were the most by a Cal player since Jahvid Best had 311 all-purpose yards (all rushing) against Washington in 2009.

    Bigelow leads the Pac-12 in 2012 for both the most rushing and total offense yards per play in a single game with his average of 40.0 in both categories against Ohio State. He also ranks second in the conference overall in kick returns, averaging 26.7 yards per return on six tries for a total of 160 yards. He is also eighth in the conference with an average of 111.7 all-purpose yards per contest.

    Bigelow is second on the Cal team in rushing with 175 yards on six carries for an average of 29.2 yards per rush as well as all-purpose yards with 335 total (175 rush, 160 kick return).

  • September 14, 2012

    Two Bears Join Team Israel

    On Friday, a glut of young Jewish American minor league baseball players converged on Jupiter, Fla., to put on a jersey most never thought they'd ever wear -- one with 'ISRAEL' scrawled across the front.

    Among them are two names which should be familiar to fans of the California baseball program.

    Former Bears catcher Charlie Cutler -- a San Francisco native and former 14th-round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals -- will play alongside former college teammate Josh Satin -- who hit .286 this season at New York Mets Triple-A affiliate Buffalo, slugging 14 home runs, driving in 60 RBI and tallying 25 doubles. Satin was drafted by the Mets in the sixth round of the same 2008 draft where Cutler was taken by St. Louis.

    Israel -- consisting mainly of American Jewish minor leaguers, due to the Right of Return under Israeli law, which states that anyone with at least one Jewish grandparent is eligible for citizenship, and therefore, to play for the Israeli team -- will start play next week in the qualifying round of the World Baseball Classic in Jupiter, Fla., and all the games for the team from the Promised Land in that round are sold out. If Team Israel wins -- which is a distinct possibility -- it advances to the full World Baseball Classic in March.

    "It's going to be epic," Cutler said via text. "First time ever. It's like a Jewish All-Star team."

    Cutler was particularly taken by all of the Team Israel swag, including the official cap -- which features a silver, script capital 'I' inscribed in a stylized white Star of David on royal blue fabric.

    The two former Bears last played together in 2008, when Satin was named a first-team All-American by Baseball America, first-team All-Pac-10 and a second-team All-American by, thanks to a .379/.500/.723 season at the plate with 18 home runs -- including one hit in his last at-bat at Evans Diamond to provide the winning margin in the 10th inning against UCLA on May 25, 2008.

    Cutler hit .321 that season, with 52 hits, 38 runs, six doubles, two homers and 17 RBI.

    This past season with the Altoona Curve -- the Double-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates -- Cutler hit .296 in 55 games, scoring 25 runs, clocking seven doubles and three triples, slugging two home runs. Cutler drove in 19 runs, posted an on-base percentage of .407 and a slugging percentage of .421.

    Serving as player-coaches for the Chosen Team will be former Big League all-stars Shawn Green and Gabe Kapler, who will be a part of a staff headed by manager Brad Ausmus.

  • September 10, 2012

    Ohio State Depth Chart

    Cal has officially released the two-deep for the Ohio State game, and Matt Summers-Gavin is not on it.

    The veteran right tackle went down in Week One against Nevada, and has not played since due to a right knee injury. An MRI revealed an unspecified MCL issue, and since he is not on the two-deep this week, it appears to be more serious than the Bears initially let on.

    Tight end Richard Rodgers was still listed as the starting tight end, despite injuring his foot and, according to a source "hearing a pop," last week against Southern Utah. Outside linebacker Chris McCain was also still listed as the starter.

    As expected, true freshman tackle Freddie Tagaloa is now on the two-deep after playing one series against the Thunderbirds, and is second-string at left tackle behind Tyler Rigsbee.

    At right tackle, replacing Summers-Gavin, is Bill Tyndall, followed by redshirt freshman Geoffrey Gibson, who was the second-string right guard. 6-foot-6 Matt Williams moves to take Gibson's spot behind starter Chris Adcock.

  • The Cal baseball team started fall practice a bit earlier than normal this year, hitting the field for the first time on Friday.

    The Bears brought in 13 freshmen, including eight letter of intent signees, highlighted by power-hitting first baseman Nick Halamandaris. Instead of Larkspur (Calif.) Redwood righty Cal Becker -- who did not complete summer bridge and then planned on going to Miami (Fla.), but turned out to be a non-qualifier -- the Bears are bringing in sophomore right-handed junior college transfer Dylan Nelson, who pitched for Rochester of the Northwoods League this past summer. Out of the College of San Mateo, Nelson had 39 strikeouts in 32.0 innings for the Honkers this summer.

    Becker was set to start the season at the back end of the bullpen as a late-inning live arm and then transition into a starter, and it looks like Nelson will take over that relief role, according to pitching coach Mike Neu.

  • The California Baseball Program has released details of its 2012 Alumni Weekend, taking place the weekend of Big Game on Oct. 20-22. Included in the festivities for members of the Golden Bear baseball family and friends is an invitation to play golf at the beautiful Contra Costa Country Club on Monday, Oct. 22 for the annual Cal Baseball Foundation Golf Classic.

    [RELATED (PREMIUM): Bears Flip Card Pitching Commit]

    Bear supporters can enjoy a day of great stories, 18 amazing holes of golf, cocktail reception and a live/silent auction. A shotgun start for the golf tournament will begin at 10 a.m., concluding with the reception and auction around 5 p.m.

    The Cal Baseball Foundation Golf Classic is part of an alumni weekend that begins with the Saturday, Oct. 20 Stanford-Cal Big Game at the newly renovated Memorial Stadium (time TBD).

    On Sunday, Oct. 21 the annual Cal Alumni Baseball Game will be held, featuring current and former Major and Minor Leaguers, with on-field batting practice starting at noon and game time beginning at 1 p.m. at Evans Diamond. There will be a postgame BBQ immediately following the Alumni Game Sunday afternoon.

    [RELATED: 2012 Bears Win Alumni Game, 14-1]

    The field for the Cal Baseball Foundation Golf Classic is limited to 144 people, so please fill out the registration form on the Cal Baseball Foundation Website Click Here as soon as possible, but no later than Oct. 1 to lock in your group. A full field is expected so please send everything by Oct. 1. The cost to play in the tournament is $300 per person. If someone doesn't want to play golf, they can still join the reception, 3-5 p.m. dinner and the live/silent auction for just $25 per person.

    If someone is unable to attend and would like to support this tournament and the Cal baseball program there are tee, green, and tournament sponsorships available. Donations for the silent and live auction are also welcomed. All information about sponsorship and payment options can be found at Cal Baseball Foundation.

    [PREMIUM VIDEO: 2011 Alumni Game]

    For more information on the 2012 Cal Baseball Alumni Weekend, or sponsorship/donation information for the Cal Baseball Foundation Golf Classic, please contact the Chairman of the Cal Baseball Foundation, Sam Petke at or 415-407-7626.

    The schedule for the 2013 Cal baseball team is still being finalized, but the Bears will be hosting exciting Pac-12 series versus USC, Oregon, Washington State, Arizona State and Stanford. There have also been whispers of a big-time series at Evans Diamond to open the season, so stay tuned for details on that, as they become available.

    Baseball fans should also be on the lookout for the announcement of the date of another one of Cal baseball's special events - the second annual Fanfest - which should take place the weekend before the opening series.

  • WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- The 2012-13 Pac-12 Conference basketball television package features an unprecedented 221 men's contests telecast to national and regional audiences, Commissioner Larry Scott announced today.

    The Pac-12 men's basketball package includes 150 games aired on the Pac-12 Networks, 47 on ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU (including the Pac-12 Tournament championship game on ESPN), 22 games on FSN, and two nationally on CBS. Additional appearances will be made through other conference television agreements and various in-season tournaments.

    With the launch of the Pac-12 Networks, every Pac-12 home contest will be televised during the 2012-13 season. The attractive non-conference Pac-12 home slate includes games against potential preseason Top-25 picks Missouri, Creighton, UNLV, Gonzaga, Florida, Minnesota and San Diego State, as well as 35 contests against teams that appeared in the postseason last year.

    The 2012-13 Pac-12 men's basketball season will get underway on Friday, November 9 with the Pac-12 Networks airing five telecasts, starting with Wofford at defending Pac-12 Tournament champion Colorado, while FSN will carry the Indiana State at UCLA game in renovated Pauley Pavilion.

    California will see its Pac-12 Networks debut on Sun., Nov. 11 at 7 PM Pacific, hosting Cal State Bakersfield.

    Other Bears games on the slate will include the Nov. 13 game against Pepperdine at Haas Pavilion at 6:30 PM (Pac-12 Networks); Sun, Dec., 9 hosting UNLV at 3 PM Pacific (ESPNU); Sat., Dec. 15 vs. Creighton at 8 PM Pacific (P12N); Tues., Dec. 18 hosting UC Santa Barbara at 8 Pacific (P12N); Sat., Dec. 22 hosting Prarie View A&M (P12N); the Dec. 29 home contest with Harvard at 7:30 PM Pacific (P12N) and all games against Pac-12 opponents.

    Read the rest of the Pac-12 hoops television schedule HERE.

  • August 22, 2012

    Big League Update

    With the Major League Baseball season nearing its home stretch, the Cal baseball program currently has five former standouts currently seeing extensive action in The Show  - John Baker (San Diego Padres), Brennan Boesch (Detroit Tigers), David Cooper (Toronto Blue Jays), Allen Craig (St. Louis Cardinals) and Brett Jackson (Chicago Cubs). The Bears also have former first-round pick Brandon Morrow (Toronto Blue Jays), on the disabled list, but is on the mend.

    Craig, who was a do-everything infielder/outfielder for coach David Esquer from 2003-06, is still shining in 2012 after playing a huge part in the Cardinals winning the 2011 World Series. Craig, recently the cover feature in St. Louis' game program, is batting .309 with 26 doubles, 18 home runs and 62 RBI this summer. He now has a .299 career average with 48 doubles, 33 home runs and 120 RBI in three seasons with the Cardinals.

    Baker (2000-02), who has come back from elbow surgery that limited him to 16 games in 2011, is now batting .244 with seven doubles and 11 RBI in 52 games for the Padres, while Boesch (2004-06) is batting .247 with 20 doubles, a triple, 11 home runs and 48 for the Tigers.

    Two of the younger Bears in the Big Leagues -- former teammates David Cooper (2007-08) and Brett Jackson (2007-09) -- are making their marks in the Major Leagues. Cooper was called up in July by the Blue Jays and has flashed a hot bat, hitting .297 with 11 doubles, four home runs and 11 RBI in 44 games. He helped engineer an extra-inning win Aug. 13 when he drove home the game-winning run with a single to right field in the 11th inning in a 3-2 victory over the White Sox.

    Jackson made his Major League debut Aug. 5 for the Cubs and went 2-for-5 with a pair of singles versus the Dodgers. He has since hit two doubles, a triple and had his first Big League home run August 18. Both Cooper (2008) and Jackson (2009) were first round draft picks under Esquer.

    Cal baseball is also represented by 18 players in the Minor Leagues, including recent standouts Tony Renda,Chadd KristErik JohnsonMarcus SemienDixon AndersonMatt FlemerDanny Oh and Mitch Delfino - all members of the Bears' 2011 College World Series squad.

    Another member of Cal's 2011 CWS team, junior catcher Andrew Knapp, had a fine summer playing in the prestigious Cape Cod League for the Chatham Anglers. Knapp batted .293 with 13 doubles, eight home runs and 29 RBI in 40 games. He had led the Northwoods League in hitting in 2011, batting .500 with five home runs and 33 RBI.

    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.

    The schedule for the 2013 Cal baseball team is still being finalized, but the Bears will be hosting exciting Pac-12 series versus USC, Oregon, Washington State, Arizona State and Stanford. Baseball fans should also be on the lookout for the announcement of the dates of Cal baseball's two special events - the annual Alumni Game and the second annual Fanfest.

  • August 21, 2012

    Eleraky to play at JC

    Sami Eleraky -- the 7-foot Danish center signed by the California Basketball program this summer -- did not qualify to play at a four-year university as per NCAA rules, and will instead play at Barton Junior College in Kansas for the required two years.

    Eleraky chose to play so far away from his intended final destination because Barton was able to offer him a full scholarship, whereas JCs in California could not. He still intends on coming to Berkeley once his JuCo stint is finished, per a source.

    Apart from Eleraky, the rest of the 2012 signing class made it through, and the Bears are "a full 15-strong" according to a source in the program.

  • President of Pac-12 Enterprises Gary Stevenson came on Yahoo! Sports Radio with Travis Rodgers today to talk about the recently-launched Pac-12 Network. Listen to the interview HERE.

    The quick bullet points:

    • All PAC-12 games will be broadcasted on television.
    • The PAC-12 Network launched last night, and this network is a game changer.
    • The PAC-12 Network is great for recruiting students, coaches, etc.
    • View the network as a content company.
    • 1 National network and 6 regionals.
    • They will have studio shows on the PAC-12 Network as well.
    • PAC-12 Network is based in San Francisco.
    • Football will be vital to the network.
    • Cable companies like Comcast and Time Warner are on board, but at this point they don't have DISH, U-Verse, Verizon, or DirecTV.
    • Still through their cable providers they can be seen by 48 million viewers.

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