Blaser, Eastman, Vanderhook Earn Top Awards as All-Conference Teams are Announced
IRVINE, Calif. - The Cal State Fullerton baseball team was well represented in the Big West Conference postseason honors, garnering Big West Field Player, Freshman Pitcher and Coach of the Year honors, the conference announced Tuesday.
Seven Titans were named to the Big West All-Conference squad and two others were named Honorable Mention.
Senior Dalton Blaser earned the Big West Field Player of the Year award after leading the Titans with a .362 batting average in 55 games this season. He led the team with 71 hits, 38 RBIs, a .495 slugging percentage and a .441 on-base percentage. He was particularly effective in conference play, batting .419 in 24 Big West contests. Blaser earned the conference player of the week honors on May 9 after going 8-for-10 in a three-game set against UC Riverside, including a two-home run game in the series finale.
Colton Eastman led the Titans with eight victories in 2016 along with a 2.11 ERA and 94 innings pitched in 14 starts. He struck out 93 batters, second on the team, and opposing batters hit just .211 against him. He earned a pair of Big West Pitcher of the Week Awards during the season including the final one of the season after going eight a 1/3 innings against Long Beach State and holding the Dirtbags to one run on four hits, striking out nine.
Head coach Rick Vanderhook guided the Titans to their second straight Big West Conference title and fourth in the last five seasons under his watch. The Titans went 17-7 in conference play to earn the program's 29th conference title overall and 21st Big West crown. He led the Titans to their 25th consecutive NCAA Postseason appearance and 38th overall in 42 seasons. The selection is Vanderhook's fourth coach of the year award and the program's 14th selection.
Joining Blaser and Eastman on the Big West First Team, first baseman Tanner Pinkston earned his first career spot on the First Team. The senior out of Dublin, Calif. played in 54 games and led the team with 16 doubles and 43 runs scored. He batted .335 on the season and had two home runs to go along with 31 RBIs during the regular season. He also stole six bases and had a .987 fielding percentage. In conference play, Pinkston batted .391 in 23 games, posting a .511 slugging percentage and scoring 16 runs. Pinkston earned Big West Player of the Week honors on April 18 after batting .643 with four runs scored and five RBIs in a three-game series against UC Davis, slugging .929 with a double and a home run.
Four Titans earned Big West Second Team All-Conference honors.
Shortstop Timmy Richards earned his first selection to the Big West All-Conference team after leading the team with nine home runs during the regular season. Richards batted .284 in 52 games for Fullerton. He led the team with 22 extra-base hits including 12 doubles. He was second on the team with a .481 slugging percentage as well as runs scored (37), stolen bases (10) and RBIs (31).
Jerrod Bravo earned a spot on the second team as a utility player after filling in at catcher for much of the season. The Cameron Park, Calif. native started off as the starting third baseman but stepped in as the backstop after starter Chris Hudgins went down with an injury and missed 20 games. Bravo was solid in Big West action, batting .288 in 23 games and driving in nine runs to go along with a .372 on-base percentage. Overall, Bravo threw out seven of 19 would-be base stealers on the season (.368).
Starting pitcher Connor Seabold earned a second-team selection after going 7-5 in 12 starts despite starting the season coming out of the bullpen. He made 15 appearances overall and posted a 2.42 ERA. He led the team with 94 strikeouts and issued just seven walks in 81 and 2/3 innings pitched. His 13.43 strikeout-to-walk ratio ranked second in the nation, as did his 0.77 walks per nine innings average.
Reliever Scot Serigstad was the final Titans player to make it on the second team. He led the team with 25 appearances in 2016 and posted a 1.13 ERA in 47 and 2/3 innings. He struck out 53 batters, the most by a Titans reliever and opponents hit just .172 against him. He also led the team with four saves.
Gavin made 14 starts and had 17 appearances overall. He went 6-3 with a 2.16 ERA and also recorded his first career save. He struck out 57 batters in 83 and 1/3 innings as opposing batters hit just .206 against him.
Prohoroff appeared in 19 games out of the bullpen for Fullerton, going 1-1 with a 0.69 ERA, the lowest on the team. He allowed just two earned runs in 26 innings pitched and struck out 30. He also posted two saves while allowing batters to hit just .198.
The Titans will hit the road this weekend to play in the NCAA Starkville Regional, hosted by Mississippi State, the No. 6 National Seed in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.