|College:||Cal State Fullerton, '99; Azusa Pacific, '01|
|Position:||Assistant Coach / Pitching|
Veteran pitching coach Jason Dietrich was added to the Cal State Fullerton baseball coaching staff on July 7, 2012.
We are very excited to have Jason join our staff,” said Head Coach Rick Vanderhook at the time of the hire. “He is a local product who grew up a fan of Titan Baseball and also earned his bachelor’s degree here at Cal State Fullerton.
Dietrich replaced departed Kirk Saarloos, who took a similar position at TCU on June 20 after two seasons with the Titans.
In his first year, Dietrich managed arguably the best pitching staff in the Big West Conference, if not the nation. The 2013 Cal State Fullerton baseball team finished the campaign with a 51-10 record, falling in the Super Regionals to eventual College World Series champion UCLA.
Dietrch’s staff set a multitude of new single-season records at Fullerton including earned run average (2.47), fewest walks (86), walks per 9.0 innings pitched (1.41), hits per nine innings pitched (7.59) and shutouts (11).
Fullerton finished the year with a 2.47 ERA which led the Big West Conference and ranked fourth in the nation. In addition, the Titan pitching staff led the country in walks allowed per 9.0 innings (1.41), strikeout-to-walk-ratio (4.94) and WHIP (1.0).
Dietrich and the Cal State Fullerton accomplished all this with a pair of rookies on the mound.
Eshelman was named the Big West, Collegiate Baseball and NCBWA Freshman Pitcher of the Year, respectively, while Garza was named the 2013 Big West Pitcher of the Year.
With Eshelman, Garza and sophomore Grahamm Wiest (9-3, 3.27) in the starting rotation, Fullerton’s bullpen totaled a 15-3 record and 27 saves, managing a 2.56 ERA and 172 and 1/3 innings on the mound.
A major part of bullpen was two-way player Michael Lorenzen, who completed his second year on the mound.
An All-American, Lorenzen finished the 2013 campaign 19-for-22 in save attempts (tied for fifth in the country), but in three blown save opportunities, kept the Titans within reach to record the win (3-0).
Dietrich, 40, came to Fullerton after spending five seasons (2008-12) in the UC Irvine program, the last two serving as Head Coach Mike Gillespie’s pitching coach. Over those two seasons the Anteaters posted a combined ERA of 3.10 and a WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) of 1.18.
In 2012, Dietrich’s staff set a Big West Conference record for fewest hits allowed (422) in a season, ranking them sixth in the nation in fewest hits allowed per nine innings. He also helped script Irvine’s fifth no-hitter in school history on Apr. 20, 2012, when right-hander Andrew Thurman blanked the Long Beach State 49ers at Blair Field. Dietrich also helped the all-conference first-teamer Thurman to an additional pair of one-hitters against Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Bakersfield.
Under his guidance in 2011, the Anteaters posted their lowest ERA (2.95) in nearly 40 years led by the Big West Pitcher of the Year Matt Summers (11-4, 2.15 ERA, 100 K), who finished conference play with an unblemished 8-0 record and wound up being an All-American and a fourth-round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins. Dietrich was also part of a Summers no-hitter against Long Beach State on May 28, 2011, in Irvine.
The Anteaters finished the 2011 season just one win away from their second College World Series appearance with a Super Regional series loss to No. 1 national seed Virginia.
Dietrich spent his first three seasons with Irvine as its director of baseball operations.
Before joining the Anteaters in 2008, he was the recruiting coordinator and pitching coach for then-Head Coach Pat Shine’s Cal State Los Angeles Golden Eagles, who won a West Regional championship and finished third at the Div. II College World Series in 2007. Four of his hurlers received all-conference recognition that year.
A season later, Dietrich moved to Irvine with Shine in the late fall of 2007 to join Gillespie’s new Anteater staff.
In the junior college ranks, Diectrich spent four seasons (2003-2006) as the pitching coach at Irvine Valley College where he helped the Lasers to a 2005 Super Regional appearance. He also served in the same capacity at Los Angeles City College, where he assisted the Cubs to a 2002 South Coast Conference championship.
Dietrich’s other coaching experience includes two summer seasons in the prestigious Cape Cod League with the Hyannis Mets in 2004 and 2005, and a season (2003) with the Southern California Fire in the Western Wood Bat Collegiate Summer League. He got his start in 1999 as the varsity pitching coach at Arcadia High School. The Apaches won two Pacific League titles (2000 and 2001) in his three seasons there.
As a player, Dietrich spent three seasons (1991-93) with Rancho Santiago College (now Santa Ana College) before transferring to Pepperdine for a season in 1994.
He was a redshirt for former Titan Don Sneddon’s Dons his freshman year as he recovered from “Tommy John” surgery. He saw limited action in his first competitive season back due to a shoulder injury, but had an outstanding sophomore year in 1993. That season he went 6-1 with a 2.69 earned run average with 99 strikeouts en route to all-conference and all-state honors. He was also the winning pitcher in the Dons’ 5-3 win over Sacramento City College in the 1993 state championship game.
After three straight junior college conference championships he declined an offer from the New York Yankees as a 23rd-round pick to move to Malibu.
The right-hander was an All-West Coast Conference honoree under then-Wave Head Coach Andy Lopez and is still in the Pepperdine single-season record book for the second lowest batting average against (.186) and most strikeouts per nine innings (10.77). His 1.66 ERA that year led the WCC and he was eventually a 19th-round pick and signee of the Colorado Rockies.
Dietrich’s professional career lasted five seasons, four in the Rockies’ minor league system and one in the independent Northeast League. He was a combined 7-2 with a 2.39 ERA in four seasons with the Portland Rockies, Asheville Tourists and the Salem Avalanche and 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA with the independent New Jersey Jackals in 1998.
Dietrich owns a master’s degree in physical education from Azusa Pacific University (2001) and a bachelor’s degree from Cal State Fullerton (1999) in criminal justice. He prepped at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif.
• Dietrich was coached by former Titan All-American player and Augie Garrido assistant coach Don Sneddon at Rancho Santiago College from 1991-93.
• Dietrich was teammates with future Titan first baseman Jim Betzold and future Titan infielder and coach Jason Gill at Mater Dei High School.
• Dietrich was on the same pitching staff with former Titan and former major league pitcher Matt Wise at Pepperdine in 1994.
• Dietrich played with former Titan national champion D.C. Olsen in his final season of professional baseball with the Northeast League champion New Jersey Jackals in 1998.
• Dietrich was the pitching coach for former Titan All-American and 2008 Big West Conference Pitcher of the Year Jeff Kaplan when he was pitching at Irvine Valley College in 2004 and 2006.
• Dietrich coached along side former Titan All-American pitcher Mike Parisi at Arcadia High School in 2000 and 2001.