FULLERTON, Calif. – Five members of the 2013 Cal State Fullerton baseball program earned ABCA/Rawlings All-America or West Region honors, it was announced by the American Baseball Coaches Association on Friday.
Junior Michael Lorenzen was named an ABCA All-America First Team utility player as well as garnering West Region first team honors after his final season in a Titan uniform. The two-way player, one of three finalists for the John Olerud Player of the Year Award, was selected as the overall 38th pick in the 2013 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Cincinnati Reds, and recently signed with the club.
The All-American nod is the fourth of the year for Lorenzen, who also received first-team accolades from Louisville Slugger, Baseball America and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
The native of Anaheim, Calif., was a Golden Spikes Award semifinalist, a Big West Conference first team selection and one of five finalists for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award.
On the hill, Lorenzen totaled 35 saves in just two years on the mound, breaking the all-time Fullerton record.
Lorenzen finished the 2013 campaign 19-for-22 in save attempts, but in three blown save opportunities, kept the Titans within reach to record the win (3-0).
In 22 appearances this year, Lorenzen tossed 22 and 2/3 innings, striking out 20 and managing a 1.99 ERA while holding opposing batters to a .205 clip.
At the plate, Lorenzen hit .335 with a Big West-leading 54 RBIs while managing a .515 slugging percentage, with 40 runs scored, 76 hits, 12 doubles, four triples and a team-leading seven home runs. Lorenzen totaled 21 multiple-hit games and 12 multiple-RBI games.
Freshmen phenoms Thomas Eshelman and Justin Garza were ABCA/Rawlings Second Team All-America selections after earning first team West Region honors. The pair 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.
For Eshelman, the honor marked his sixth All-American nod of the year. The Carlsbad, Calif., native was previously named a first team All-American by Louisville Slugger and Baseball America, while also receiving NCBWA second-team honors. He was also named a freshman All-American by Louisville Slugger and the NCBWA.
The Titans' Friday-night starter was also voted the Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year, and was named a Golden Spikes semifinalist.
The rookie ended his freshman 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 and set the new NCAA benchmark.
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.
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.
Garza, the 2013 Big West Picher of the Year, finished the season with an undefeated record of 12-0 in 17 starts, sharing the Cal State Fullerton freshman win record with Eshelman, after the pair surpassed Tyler Pill's total of 11 wins in 2009.
Garza, a native of Ontario, Calif., was named a second team All-American by Louisville Slugger, Baseball America and the NCBWA.
In addition, Garza's 1.000 (12-0) winning percentage not only set the Fullerton freshman record, but he is one of just four pitchers in Cal State Fullerton history with at least 12 win and no losses following Tim Dixon (13-0, 1995), Matt Sorenson (12-0, 1999), and Benito Flores (12-0, 1998).
Garza finished the year with a 2.02 ERA (third Big West) with 115 innings on the mound (third Big West) and 95 strikeouts (second Big West) compared to just 17 walks.
Garza was named a Louisville Slugger and NCBWA Freshman All-American.
Lopez, selected as the 2013 Big West Co-Player of the Year, was the Titans' starting first baseman and also earned ABCA/Rawlings Golden Glove accolades. The Northridge, Calif., native led Cal State Fullerton in several offensive categories in 2013 including; batting average (.339), runs scored (52), hits (80), and stolen bases (15). In addition, Lopez totaled 11 doubles, three triples and four home runs while driving in 34 runs.
Lopez and the Titans clinched their fourth consecutive Big West championship on May 19 by completing a weekend series sweep of UC Irvine. Lopez played a massive role in the sweep that finalized the Titans 27th conference championship and the Big West's automatic NCAA Tournament berth. Following the sweep, Lopez was named Big West co-Player of the Week with dramatic back-to-back walk-off home runs against the Anteaters.
Wallach was a fifth-round draft pick (142 overall) of the Miami Marlins. Fullerton's starting catcher for the majority of the season finished the year batting .309, driving in 32 RBIs with 50 hits, 14 doubles, one triple and two home runs.
Wallach totaled 11 multiple-hit games in 2013, as well as seven multiple-RBI games. He has also driven in the game-winning run on two occasions.