Eshelman Named NCBWA Freshman Pitcher of the Year

NCBWA Release

FULLERTON, Calif. – Right-hander Thomas Eshelman was named the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Freshman Pitcher of the Year, it was announced by the organization on Tuesday.

The award adds to along list that the native of Carlsbad, Calif., has been honored with over the last month. In addition, Fullerton's Friday-night starter was named Collegiate Baseball's 2013 Freshman Pitcher of the Year, and was also named to the Louisville Slugger and NCBWA Freshmen All-American Teams, respectively.

Eshelman was also voted the Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year, was named a Golden Spikes Semifinalist, and earned Louisville Slugger All-American first team accolades.

The rookie out of Carlsbad High School is also the first Titan to earn national freshman pitcher of the year accolades.

Eshelman played a major role in Cal State Fullerton's 51-10 record, 2013 Big West Conference championship and the Titans' run to the NCAA Division I Super Regionals.

Eshelman ended his rookie campaign with a 12-3 record and 1.48 ERA, which led the Big West Conference. Fullerton's ace set Titan freshman records for innings pitched (115.2) and ERA (1.48), while the 1.48 mark also ranks second in Cal State Fullerton all-time single-season history.

In addition, Eshelman struck out 83 batters and walked just three, a 27.7 strikeout-to-walk ratio that also set a new single-season record at Cal State Fullerton, previously held by Wes Roemer (20.7; 2006). That wasn't the only Cal State Fullerton record Eshelman took from Roemer, as the rookie's mark of fewest walks per nine innings (0.23) also topped Roemer's mark of 0.41 in 2006.

In his first 63 and 1/3 innings as a collegiate pitcher, Eshelman did not issue a walk, a streak that fell just two innings short of Roemer's program record of 65 and 1/3 innings in 2006. The main difference between the two streaks was that Eshelman plunked only two batters, while Roemer drilled 12.

Eshelman was named Big West Pitcher of the week on March 4 after the 6-foot-3 right-hander tossed the first complete game of his career, holding then 14th-ranked Oregon to two runs on four hits in the 8-2 Titan victory. Eshelman issued zero walks and struck out six in just his third career start.

On Feb. 15, 2013, Eshelman became the first freshman to start a season opener for the Titans since Feb. 5, 1987 when Mark Beck took the mound vs. Saint Mary's. Eshelman didn't disappoint the sellout crowd of 3,508 as CSF edged USC, 3-2.

 LSU freshman shortstop Alex Bregman was named the NCBWA Freshman Hitter of the Year.