California Blog - College

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.

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