Davis, Calif. – Thomas Eshelman tossed eight shutout innings, and Michael Lorenzen finished the job in the final frame as No. 4 Cal State Fullerton opened its series at UC Davis with a 3-0 victory at Dobbins Stadium on Friday afternoon.
The Titans (26-4, 4-0 Big West) stand alone at the top of the Big West standings after Cal Poly and UC Riverside suffered their first losses of conference action on Friday. Fullerton has also now won five straight.
In the win, Eshelman (7-1) tossed eight shutout innings, retiring the last 15 batters he faced. The rookie right-hander allowed just four hits and struck out four while again not issuing a walk. The native of Carlsbad, Calif., has now tossed 58 innings without issuing a base on balls.
UC Davis (10-17, 0-4) starter Harry Stanwyck (3-4) was charged with the loss after allowing two runs – one earned – on four hits and four walks, while striking out five in six innings of work.
Lorenzen earned his 10th save of the year, 14th straight dating back to 2012, after retiring the Aggies in order in the bottom of the ninth.
Fullerton took a 1-0 lead in the first when J.D. Davis was able to score from second after UC Davis shortstop Tino Lipson's errant throw failed to record the third out of the top of the frame.
The Titans doubled their lead to 2-0 in the third as Stanwyck loaded the bases on two walks and a hit batter before forcing in a run, walking Matt Chapman on four pitches with the bases loaded as Carlos Lopez scored.
Lopez helped the Titans add some insurance in the eighth, as his two-out RBI single to shallow center drove in Keegan Dale to build Fullerton's lead to 3-0.
Lopez led the Titans at the plate with a 2-for-4 effort, driving in a run and scoring a run.
Head coach Rick Vanderhook was ejected from the game in the top of the second.
The Titans return to action at UC Davis on Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.
Notes: Currently with a record of 26-4, Fullerton's start is the best for the program since the 1996 squad opened the year 31-2….Matt Chapman made his first start at third base since suffering an ankle sprain at Long Beach State on March 22…Fullerton is 20-1 when scoring first in 2013…Cal State Fullerton has outscored opponents in 38-6 in the first inning in 2013…Fullerton boasts a 14-1 record in road games this season, and the Titans have won their last nine road games…the Titans have shut out an opponent for the seventh time this year…Lorenzen's 13-game hitting streak was ended, but his reached base streak was extended to 19 games…in 58 innings pitched, Thomas Eshelman has yet to issue a walk, while striking out 39. Eshelman's streak is the longest for Fullerton since Wes Roemer tossed 65 and 2/3 innings in 2006 without issuing a base on balls…Friday's start was also Eshelman's seventh quality start in eight starts this season…Michael Lorenzen's 26 career saves match Ted Silva for fifth all-time at Fullerton.