LUBBOCK, Texas – Cal State Fullerton Friday-night starter Thomas Eshelman and closer Michael Lorenzen were both named to the College Baseball Hall of Fame 2013 Pitcher of the Year Watch List, it was announced on Saturday.
The initial watch list for the 2013 Pitcher of the Year Award, sponsored by Diamond Sports and presented during the College Baseball Hall of Fame's Night of Champions on June 29, features 41 players from across the country.
The Southeastern Conference leads the list with nine representatives – three each from Vanderbilt and LSU. In addition, the Titans, North Carolina, Oregon State and Rice also have multiple representatives on the list.
The Big West Conference has three pitchers on the watch list with the addition of Andrew Morales of UC Irvine.
In his first season for Cal State Fullerton, Eshelman posts a record of 7-1 in nine starts and his miniscule 1.09 ERA leads the Big West. Eshelman has pitched in three combined shutouts this season, and in 66 innings on the mound has struck out 46 while holding opposing batter to a .161 average.
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 Wes 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.
In addition to leading the Big West, Eshelman's 1.09 ERA ranks 13th in the nation, and second amongst freshmen in the country this season. Eshelman's 0.58 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) also leads the nation. WHIP is a measurement of the number of baserunners a pitcher has allowed per inning pitched. Eshelman's mark of 0.14 walks allowed per nine innings is also tops in the country.
Eshelman has also totaled eight quality starts in 2013.
On Feb. 15, 2013, Eshelman became the first freshmen 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, on Feb. 15. In the win, Eshelman allowed two unearned runs on four hits while striking out six in six innings of work.
Fullerton closer Michael Lorenzen's total of 12 saves is tied for the lead in the country. One of the top two-way players in the country, Lorenzen is 1-0 on the season with a 2.84 ERA. Lorenzen has made 13 appearances in 2013, and has tossed 12 and 2/3 innings while managing a 2.84 ERA and striking out 11.
Last Friday, Lorenzen was denied his 13th save of the year, but picked up the win in a 4-3 victory over UC Santa Barbara. The blown save ended his streak of 16 straight that dated back to May 1, 2012. Lorenzen's 28 career saves rank fourth all-time at Fullerton.
At the plate, Lorenzen leads the Titans in batting average (.353), doubles (7), home runs (7), RBIs (35), slugging percentage (.603), on-base percentage (.434), multiple-RBI games (9) and game-winning RBIs (6). His 13-game hitting streak from March 15-April 2 was the longest for any Titan this season, as Fullerton went 12-1 during that stretch while Lorenzen batted .469 with 19 RBIs, three doubles, three home runs and 13 runs scored.