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Golden Medals: Cal Baseball is a preseason Top 10 team

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We are still a few weeks away until the start of the baseball season, but the hype is growing for Cal Baseball in 2016.

Daulton Jefferies and the Cal Golden Bears are getting plenty of preseason love.
Daulton Jefferies and the Cal Golden Bears are getting plenty of preseason love.
Cal Baseball Facebook

Schedule:

Men's Tennis is hosting meets in Berkeley this weekend, after their trip to North Carolina was halted due to the weather. Women's Gymnastics host UCLA on Monday, with the meet on the Pac-12 Networks.

Other than those two teams and Women's Basketball, the rest of the Cal squads are mostly on the road. Women's Swimming is in LA. Rugby is in SLO to play Cal Poly. Men's Golf is playing at the Arizona Intercollegiate in Tucson.

Fri,
Jan 29
M Golf Arizona Intercollegiate (Host: Arizona) Tucson, AZ 7:00 a.m. Live Stats
Fri,
Jan 29
W Swimming & Diving at USC Los Angeles, CA 6:00 p.m.
Fri,
Jan 29
W Basketball Washington State Berkeley, CA 6:00 p.m. KALX 90.7 FM Live Stats PromotionsTickets Twitter
Sat,
Jan 30
Track & Field New Mexico Team Challenge Albuquerque, NM All Day
Sat,
Jan 30
M Golf Arizona Intercollegiate (Host: Arizona) Tucson, AZ 7:30 a.m. Live Stats
Sat,
Jan 30
M Tennis Hawai'i Berkeley, CA 9:30 a.m.
Sat,
Jan 30
W Swimming & Diving at UCLA Los Angeles, CA 12:00 p.m.
Sat,
Jan 30
Rugby at Cal Poly (reserve-grade follows) Arroyo Grande, CA 12:30 p.m.
Sat,
Jan 30
M Tennis San Francisco Berkeley, CA 1:30 p.m.
Sat,
Jan 30
M Gymnastics Oklahoma, California, Iowa Norman, OK 2:00 p.m.
Sun,
Jan 31
W Basketball Washington Berkeley, CA 2:00 p.m. KALX 90.7 FM Live Stats PromotionsTickets Twitter
Sun,
Jan 31
M Basketball at Colorado Boulder, CO 2:00 p.m. FOX Sports 1
Mon,
Feb 1
W Gymnastics UCLA Berkeley, CA 7:00 p.m.
Tue,
Feb 2
W Basketball at Stanford Stanford, CA 7:00 p.m. Twitter
Thu,
Feb 4
M Swimming & Diving at CSU Bakersfield Bakersfield, CA 2:00 p.m.

Cal Baseball

Cal Baseball season doesn't starts until February 19th in Durham, NC against Duke. Nevertheless, the hype for the team coming off a brief but memorable postseason run (losing in the Texas A&M Regional to host Texas A&M) continues to mount.

Ace pitcher Daulton Jefferies has already been mentioned as a potential 1st round pick in the MLB amateur draft (he is ranked 24th overall by MLB Pipeline). Jefferies has been mentioned as either a 2nd or 3rd team preseason All-American, following two successful seasons as the Bears' Friday starter.

The Bears as a team is firmly ranked in the top 25. In fact their No.13 preseason ranking in the Collegiate Baseball newspaper ranking is by far the lowest. Baseball America and Perfect Game both have the Bears as the No.8 team in the country. D1Baseball.com has the Bears No.9. Top 10 preseason ranking means that the expectation is for the Bears to make a return trip back to Omaha for the College World Series. Bears were of course famously in the CWS back in 2010 when the program was facing the axe (and I don't mean the Stanford one).

The reason for all these hype has to do with the Bears returning their entire rotation with senior Ryan Mason and sophomore Matt Ladrach also back. Bears have 7 starters back on the squad, but is going to miss 2015 Pac-12 first teamer in 3rd baseman Lucas Erceg, who has left the program due to academic issue. I would imagine the Bears would probably have been picked as a top 5 team has Erceg still been on the team. Also gone from the team is former pitching coach Mike Neu, who is now the head coach over at University of Pacific.

Bears are breaking in another talented group of freshmen. Infielder Ripken Reyes played with the Team USA U-18 team last summer. Pitcher/OF Tanner Dodson, pitcher Aaron Shortridge, and pitcher Joey Matulovich also saw summer league action before enrolling at Cal.

Season tickets have gone on sell for Cal Baseball. I don't know if Evans Diamond is going to be so crowded that the box office is going to be a pain to deal with comes gametime, but if you have yet to visit the new Evans Diamond with the lights, scoreboard, and beer garden, 2016 is a great time to do so.

Cal Swimming

Bears celebrated their seniors in style as both the men and the women dominated their Arizona State and then Arizona counterparts at Spieker's last week.

For both days, the Bears basically won every races (definitely true against ASU, mostly true against Arizona). More importantly, the swimmers got the chance to potentially meet some NCAA qualifying times (I still can't find a good list of this anywhere).

Checking the message section of swimming sites, one of the Cal dream class' freshmen phenom Katie McLoughlin is still out (wearing a neck brace). Her fellow classmates Kathleen Baker and Amy Bilquist both shone in the pool last weekend. Hopefully, the Bears will be back to full strength comes the Pac-12 championship and the NCAA championship in mid-March.

Missy Franklin returned to Berkeley to receive her Honda award during the Arizona game last Saturday (no idea if she rushed the court afterward or not). She iterated her plan to re-enroll back as a student in the fall after the Rios 2016 games.

Finally, not only are the Bears very good in the pool, they are also doing pretty well in the classrooms.

Cal Lacrosse

Year 2 of the Brooke Eubanks era is about to start. The players have gone back in camp and are the program is hoping to have its first winning season since 2013.

GO BEARS!