BERKELEY -- Two weeks ago, on Oct. 19, the California baseball team unofficially kicked off the 2014-15 season with its annual alumni game, which reunited for the first time – on the alumni’s side – five members of the 2011 College World Series team, including Philadelphia Phillies catching prospect Andrew Knapp, Minnesota Twins left-handed pitching prospect Michael Theofanopoulos, Chicago White Sox shortstop Marcus Semien, 2011 Houston Regional MVP Devon Rodriguez and 2011 center fielder Chad Bunting.
Rodriguez (who is preparing to take the LSAT, but is still being evaluated by several professional teams) took the field with Knapp, Bunting and Semien for the first time since 2011 to start the game at first base, while Knapp started in left, Bunting in center and Semien at short, with 2005 ace Adam Gold on the mound against senior righty Dylan Nelson, sporting a new throwback windup.
Knapp made the biggest impact, slugging two opposite-field home runs for the alumni, while Semien chipped in with an RBI double and a run scored.
Knapp participated in his first Alumni Game as a member of the alumni, alongside his father – 1985 catcher Mike Knapp -- and against his younger brother Aaron Knapp, who had two hits, a run and a stolen base for the 2014-15 Bears.
Other highlights included home runs by utility infielder John Soteropulos (a three-run job in the top of the seventh) and a fifth-inning solo home run by sophomore second baseman Robbie Tenerowicz. Projected Friday-night starter Daulton Jefferies also got in for an inning of work, throwing only fastballs, and challenged Major Leaguer Semien, spotting a 94 mph heater on both sides of the plate and impressing the Pale Hose’s shortstop.