Host of Titans Earn Top Tier Honors in 2013-14

FULLERTON, Calif. – Numerous Cal State Fullerton student-athletes and coaches were honored among the best in their respective sports in 2013-14.

 

In total, 36 Big West honors were handed out to CSF student-athletes, while there were 19 occasions in which a Titan was highlighted as a conference player of the week.

 

Described below are some of Fullerton’s conference, regional and national recognitions following the 2013-14 season.

 

Men’s Golf
The men’s golf season was highlighted with numerous first-time accolades including its first outright Big West Championship after sharing the crown with Pacific in 2013. Head coach Jason Drotter led the Titans to nine top-five finishes in 12 events as he was recognized as the Big West Coach of the Year for the second consecutive campaign.

 

The Titans shot a 1-under-par 287 first round, and held on to the team lead after chalking up a second round 3-over-par 291 to conclude the Big West Championships with a total score of 578 (+2). Due to high winds and unplayable conditions for the final round, the tournament was deemed to be final after 36 holes at the Soboba Springs Country Club in San Jacinto, Calif.

 

Garnering its second consecutive championship, Fullerton finished two strokes ahead of UC Davis, who claimed the 2011 and 2012 titles. CSF was the only Big West team to place all five participants in the top-20 on the individual leaderboard.

 

Since the reinstatement of the golf program in 2009-10, CSF has improved on its overall finish every year at the Big West Championships (2010- Ninth Place; 2011- Eighth Place; 2012- Third Place; 2013- Tied for First Place; 2014- First Place).  

 

Following the victory, the Titans earned a berth to the postseason, another first since the program’s reinstatement. Seeded 10th in a 14-team field at the Sugar Grove Regionals (May 15-17) in Sugar Grove, Ill., Fullerton finished 11th in the competition (319-309-309—937, +73).

 

Cal State Fullerton excelled both as a team and individually at the Folino Invitational in City of Industry, Calif., on Feb. 17-18. Mark Anguiano had a magical performance on the links, becoming the first Titan to claim an individual championship in the program’s history (66-68-70—204, -12).

 

As a team, the overall score of 863 (-1) was the best score on record at the Folino, surpassing Cal Poly's 867 (+3) by four-strokes during the 2011 event. Similar to the conference championship, all five team participants finished within the top-20 competitors.

 

Anguiano showed consistency all season, pacing the conference with a 69.72 stroke average to become the first Titan to garner the Big West Golfer of the Year honor. The Whittier, Calif., native tallied nine top-five finishes over the season to eventually land himself on the PING All-West Region Team.

 

Also selected on the All-Big West First Team, Anguiano was the only conference golfer from both the men and women to claim the golfer of the month honor multiple times, recognized on three occasions for the months of September, February and March. 

 

Women’s Soccer
In thrilling and dramatic fashion, the Titan women’s soccer team clinched the Big West Conference's automatic NCAA Tournament berth for the fifth time in program history after winning their fourth league tournament championship. The Titans' last Big West Tournament title came in 2007, the last time the event was held at Titan Stadium.

 

Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside battled to a grueling 1-1 draw following 110 minutes of regulation (90) and overtime (20). The heavyweight bout could only be settled through penalty kicks, as the Titans garnered the title after a 2-1 advantage.

 

Coming up in the clutch was Titan goalkeeper and Big West Tournament Most Valuable Player Katie Pulliam, who made three stops during the shootout, after saving two Cal Poly penalty kicks in the semifinals on Nov. 7.

 

Exceeding all expectations, Fullerton the No. 4 and lowest seed at the Big West Tournament, ousted the No. 1 seeded Mustangs on Nov. 7 after the match ended in a 1-1 tie after 110 minutes and the Titans advanced on penalty kicks, 4-3.

 

With the tournament and automatic postseason berth, Fullerton traveled to Stanford in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament in Palo Alto, Calif., but came up short in a 1-0 defeat at the hands of the 17th-ranked Cardinal.

 

Another outstanding goalkeeper in the 2013 season was Lindsey Maricic, who was named the Big West Goalkeeper of the Year. Maricic led the conference in saves (104), goals against average (0.73) and save percentage (.867). She was also one of three Titans selected on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Continental Tire All-West Region Team.

 

Another important piece to the puzzle was Erica Mazeau, the 2013 Big West Conference Midfielder of the Year. She led the Titans in scoring with a total of 14 points, producing team highs in goals (4) and assists (6). Of those six assists during the season, three were game winners, bringing her career total to six career game-winning assists, tying for second in program history.

 

Also a member of the NSCAA/Continental Tire All-West Region Team, Mazeau concluded her Titan career with 14 assists, which rank eighth all-time in program history.

 

The third and final Titan selected to the NSCAA/Continental Tire All-West Region Team was Morgan Batcheller, who started all 22 matches on the backline. Batcheller helped anchor a Titan defense that led the Big West in goals allowed (17) and goals against average (0.71) while also totaling seven shutouts.

 

Baseball
The Cal State Fullerton baseball program set new records and continued some old ones as the team made its 23rd straight NCAA postseason appearance and recorded the 40th consecutive 30-win season.

 

Their 23 straight appearances is the third longest active streak in the nation behind Miami (42) and Florida State (37). Fullerton posted a 2-2 record at the Stillwater Regional hosted by Oklahoma State with a pair of wins over Nebraska, 5-1, and 4-3. The Titans fell 6-4 to Oklahoma State in the championship game, denying them their 12th trip to the Super Regionals since 1999.

 

Third baseman Matt Chapman spearheaded the Fullerton offense in his three years at Cal State Fullerton, competing in 162 games and making 157 starts. Batting .295 with 171 hits, 37 doubles, five triples and 13 home runs, Chapman reached the 100-plus mark in RBIs (108) and runs scored (103).

 

Selected by the Oakland Athletics with the 25th overall selection in the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, Chapman earned a plethora of top tier honors including selections to the ABCA/Rawlings, Baseball America's and Louisville Slugger's All-American teams.

 

In his final campaign in 2014, Chapman belted six long balls to go along with a career-best .312 average with a team-high 48 RBIs in 54 games. Defensively, Chapman surrendered just six errors in 157 chances to earn the ABCA/Rawlings Gold Glove Award in the West Region.

 

Starting 53 games as the corner stone at third, Chapman was second on the team with 24 extra-base hits, a .498 slugging percentage and .412 on-base percentage. Showing both an offensive and defensive prowess on the diamond, he earned a spot on the ABCA/Rawlings All-West Region Team and a nod on the All-Big West First Team following the season.  

 

On the hill for the Titans was a pair of right-handers, Thomas Eshelman and Phil Bickford who pioneered a pitching staff to a new school record of 2.24 collective ERA, shattering the previous mark of 2.47 set in 2013. Both were important pieces among a pitching staff that ranked No. 1 in the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio, aided heavily by Eschelman’s dominating 12.38 ratio to lead the country.

 

For the second straight season, Eshelman was named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association's All-America Third Team, making 16 starts and posting an 8-3 overall record. In an impressive sophomore campaign, the Carlsbad, Calif., native dazzled on the mound with a 1.89 ERA, allowing 26 earned runs in 123 and 2/3 innings of work. Opposing batters were frequently guessing, hitting at a dismal .222 clip.

 

Possessing both control and discipline, he fanned a career-high 99 batters while allowing just eight walks. He allowed 0.58 walks per nine innings, leading the nation for the second consecutive season after setting the NCAA record with a 0.23 mark in 2013.

 

Allowing a minimal amount of runners on the base paths aided the sophomore to five complete games to lead the conference, one of which was a 10-inning complete game, first Titan to accomplish such a feat since Jason Windsor in 2004.

 

Newcomer Phil Bickford showed that he was ready to make an immediate impact, complimenting the pitching staff with a 6-3 overall record and 2.13 ERA. Appearing in 20 games, Bickford was named on the Louisville Slugger Freshmen All-American Team while garnering the Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year honor.

 

The right-hander fanned 74 batters in 76 innings of work while allowing just 13 walks on the season. Similar to Eshelman’s execution of his pitches and his ability to fluster batters, opponents hit just .232 against Bickford.

 

Bickford ranked fourth in the conference and 23rd in the nation with a 5.69 strikeout-to-walk ratio.  Selected as the No. 10 overall selection in the 2013 MLB Draft, he also averaged 8.76 strikeouts per nine innings, ranking fourth in the conference and 70th in the country.

 

The Titans showed talent in both the batter’s box and on the mound, but another area in which a student-athlete flexed their muscles was in the classroom. For the second consecutive season, Austin Diemer was selected to the All-District VIII First Team Academic All-American Team after earning a selection in 2013.

 

The communications/broadcast journalism major boasted a 3.77 GPA while earning Dean's List honors in each of his semesters as a Titan to become Cal State Fullerton’s Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2014.

 

On the field, Diemer appeared in 57 games, making 53 starts. He batted at a .250 clip with seven doubles, 29 runs scored and 14 walks. In addition, he swiped six bases in seven attempts and was second on the team with two triples on the season.

 

The 6-foot-1 outfielder was also one of five Titans selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, picked by the Minnesota Twins in the 28th round and 830th overall.

 

Women’s Golf
Newcomer Martina Edberg became the first golfer since the Cal State Fullerton women's golf program was reinstated in 2009-10 to capture an individual title at the Big West Conference Championships (Apr. 13-15) at the San Luis Obispo Golf and Country Club.

The freshman defeated Clariss Guce of Cal State Northridge in a one-hole playoff for the victory, finishing the 54-hole competition with a collective 2-under-par 217. Edberg was the first player in Titans history to shoot under par at the Big West Championships.

Following her top performance at the conference’s biggest stage, Edberg became the first Titan to earn Big West Freshman of the Year honors. Competing in all nine tournaments the team participated in this season, Edberg posted a 74.81 scoring average to also land herself on the All-Big West First Team.

 

Softball
Missy Taukeiaho was named to the NFCA Division I All-American Third Team, becoming the 29th Titan to be named to an NFCA All-American Team and the first since Kiki Munoz earned second team honors in 2008. Prior to that honor, Taukeiaho was nominated on the NFCA Division I All-West Region First Team.

 

The University of Washington transfer single-handedly rewrote both the program and conference record books in four separate categories en route to being the first Titan to earn Big West Player of the Year honors since Ashley Van Boxmeer in 2006.

 

Competing out of the leadoff position in all 55 games, Taukeiaho scored 62 times, inking her into the program’s record book for most in a single-season. Power wasn't the least bit lacking from batting in the one-hole, as she blasted 19 home runs, notching her into the No. 2 spot on the single-season charts. In addition, she finished No. 6 in RBIs (51) and No. 9 in batting average with a .429 clip.

 

Simply doing it in bunches, the sophomore third baseman manufactured 21 multi-hit contests and 12 multi-RBI games, pacing the Titans to their first .300 team average since the 2000 campaign. 

 

Batting from the right-side, Taukeiaho posted a team-high 10-game hitting streak between Mar. 26-Apr. 12 (.543, 19-for-35, four home runs, 14 RBIs, 15 runs scored, six doubles, seven walks). She clubbed her first career home run as a Titan on Feb. 7 in a win over then No. 2 Oklahoma, 3-1, marking the first program win over a second-ranked opponent since 2008.

 

The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., native captured three Big West Player of the Week accolades over the season (weeks of Feb. 3-10, Mar. 24-31 and Apr. 14-21). She led the league in home runs, runs scored, RBIs, walks (40), on-base percentage (.547) and slugging percentage (.851).

 

In conference play, Taukeiaho launched eight of her 19 long balls complimented by her league-high .508 average, propelling the Titans to victories in seven of their last eight games. Also selected on the All-Big West First Team, she swiped eight bags over the season with a perfect (8-for-8) succession rate. 

 

Similar to Diemer, infielder Samantha Galarza shined just as bright in the classroom as she did on the softball diamond. Galarza was given the nod as a CSF Scholar Athlete of the Year while being recognized nationally as a member of the CoSIDA All-District VIII Academic All-American First Team.

 

Galarza was only one of two Titans to start all 55 games totaling 54 hits, five home runs, 24 runs scored and 29 RBIs. She also logged a .369 on-base percentage to go along with a solid .329 batting average.

 

In her sophomore campaign, Galarza’s season was highlighted with a deciding grand slam on Mar. 30 that proved to be the game-winner against UC Santa Barbara in a thrilling come from behind, 11-7, victory at Anderson Family Field. 

 

Boasting a 3.95 GPA, the communications major was named a Dean’s Scholar, a President’s Scholar and has earned Dean’s List honors every semester at Cal State Fullerton. Galarza aspires to play softball professionally and hopes to pursue investigative journalism and missionary work.

 

Men’s Basketball
Michael Williams, playing in his first year at Cal State Fullerton following his transfer from San Francisco after the 2011-12 season, excelled in his lone season on the court for the Titans as he was recognized as Newcomer of the Year in the Big West.

 

He was the third Titan honoree to be tabbed Newcomer of the Year in the four years the award has existed.  The 6-foot-2 guard showed consistency all season, starting all 30 regular season games while pouring in at least 10 points in all contests.

 

A leader on the court, Williams led Fullerton with 17.6 points per game, possessing the capability of playing at an elite level with a dozen performances of 20 or more points. He turned it on late in the season, dropping 20-plus points in seven of the last 10 games. 

 

Williams even flirted with the 30-point mark on a pair of occasions as the Van Nuys, Calif., native registered a season-best 29 points at UC Santa Barbara (Feb. 22) and 28 points in a victory over Long Beach State (Mar. 1).

 

When the games mattered most, Williams averaged 19.7 points per game in conference play – second only to Big West Player of the Year Alan Williams (20.3 ppg). Having exceptional range beyond the arc, Williams' 68 three-pointers led the Titans while also ranking fourth in the Big West.

 

 

 

 

 

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