As the playoff-bound California baseball team traveled to College Station, Tex., for its first Regional since 2011, the Bears learned that senior first baseman Chris Paul was named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive team, in his first and only season at first. Paul spent his previous three years as a shortstop.
Along with that honor, Paul, sophomore third baseman Lucas Erceg and sophomore right-handed pitcher Daulton Jefferies were all named First-Team All-Pac-12. Right fielder Devin Pearson was named Honorable Mention.
Paul – a two-time Pac-12 Player of the Week this season -- finished the regular season hitting .326 with a team-best 42 RBIs, 11 doubles, three triples and eight home runs, slugging .549. Paul also steadied the defense with a sparkling .994 fielding percentage.
Erceg – named the national and Pac-12 Player of the Week on March 23, for his performance in a weekend series against Washington – finished the regular season hitting .316, with 10 doubles, one triple and a team-leading 11 home runs, tied for second in the conference. Erceg’s 112 total and his .528 slugging percentage were each good for sixth in the conference. Erceg also threw 6.2 innings in relief, posting a 2.70 ERA. Pitching coach Mike Neu said on Monday that Erceg will be crucial in the Regional to come because of his two-way playability.
Despite missing 19 games with a broken hamate bone, Pearson paces the Bears with a .350 batting average, slugging a team-best .567 with an on-base percentage of .407 – second only to Paul’s .408 for the team lead.
From April 25 through the end of the season, Pearson went 24-for-56 (.429) with two home runs, nine RBIs, 13 runs and five walks.
Jefferies missed the first four weeks of the Pac-12 season due to biceps tendonitis in his throwing arm, but still posted a 3.12 ERA and a 5-5 record. Jefferies struck out 67 batters in 72.0 innings of work, and will start the Regional opener against Coastal Carolina on Friday at 10 a.m., Pacific, on ESPN3. Jefferies held opposing hitters to a .248 batting average, and allowed just three home runs and 12 doubles in 274 at-bats.
All games available on ESPN3
Friday, May 29
12 PM (CT) Game 1: No. 3 Coastal Carolina vs. No. 2 California
6 PM (CT) Game 2: No. 1 Texas A&M vs. No. 4 Texas Southern
Saturday, May 30
12 PM (CT) Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2
6 PM (CT) Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2
Sunday, May 31
12 PM (CT) Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4
6 PM (CT) Game 6: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5
Monday, June 1
6:30 (CT): Game 7: Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6 (if necessary)