December 25, 2013

Eshelman and Garza Named to Preseason Louisville Slugger All-American Team

Louisville Slugger Preseason All-America Team (PDF)

TUCSON, Ariz. – Thomas Eshelman and Justin Garza were named to the Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American First Team, it was announced by Collegiate Baseball on Monday.

The honor is the second of the preseason for the pair of sophomore right-handers, who were also named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association preseason All-American team earlier this month.

In addition, Cal State Fullerton was ranked No. 1 in Collegiate Baseball's Fabulous 40 NCAA Division I preseason baseball poll presented by Big League Chew bubble gum last week.

Eshelman, Fullerton's Friday-night starter in 2013, returns to the mound after being named the Freshman Pitcher of the Year by Collegiate Baseball, the NCBWA and the Big West Conference.

Eshelman received several All-American accolades (Louisville Slugger, 1st Team; Baseball America, 1st Team; NCBWA, 2nd Team; NCBWA/Rawlings, 2nd Team) following his freshman season in 2013.

He finished his rookie campaign with a 12-3 record and 1.48 ERA, setting Cal State Fullerton freshman records for innings pitched (115.2) and ERA (1.48), while the 1.48 mark also ranks second in Fullerton single-season history.

The native of Carlsbad, Calif., led the country in strikeout-to-walk ratio (27.67, Fullerton single-season record), walks allowed per 9.0 innings (0.23, new Fullerton and NCAA single-season record) and WHIP (0.77).

His 1.48 ERA led the Big West, ranked 10th in the country and rated second among rookie weekend starters. He struck out 83 batters and walked just three, and his 12 wins tied Garza for the Fullerton freshman record.

Garza received four All-American second team nods from ABCA/Rawlings, Louisville Slugger, Baseball America and the NCBWA.

Cal State Fullerton's Saturday night starter in 2013, Garza finished the season with an undefeated record of 12-0 in 17 starts as the Titans finished the year with a 16-1 record when he was on the mound.

The Big West Conference Pitcher of the Year, Garza was also named the Fullerton Regional MVP.

He completed his rookie campaign with a 2.03 ERA (50th country, third Big West) pitching in five combined shutout victories. The native of Ontario, Calif., tossed 115 innings, allowing just 26 earned runs while striking out a team-best 95 and issuing only 17 walks.

In Big West games, Garza finished with a record of 6-0 in nine starts, striking out 48 in 59 innings of work, and his 1.000 winning percentage (12-0) not only set the Fullerton freshman record, but he is one of just four pitchers in Cal State Fullerton history with at least 12 wins and no losses.

The Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American team included four members of the Big West Conference with right-hander Andrew Morales (UC Irvine), left-hander Matt Imhof (Cal Poly) and first baseman Conor Spencer (UC Irvine) named to the second team while third baseman Taylor Sparks was named to the third team.

The Titans return 19 players from last year's 2013 Super Regional squad, including the team's starting weekend rotation and 89 percent of the squad's innings from last season's 51-10 and Big West championship effort.

Fullerton begins its quest for its fifth national championship on Friday, Feb. 14, hosting a three-game series against Washington State.

In addition, Cal State Fullerton fans will have the first opportunity to meet current and former Titans at the program's annual "Dinner with the Titans" held on Saturday, Jan. 11. The alumni game is scheduled for 1 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 25, at Goodwin Field.

Season tickets, which offer a 36 percent savings for Titan fans are currently on sale along with single-game tickets and ticket packages that include "Friday Night Lights" and "Any Given Sundays."

Season Tickets: Reserved Seats for 29 Homes Games ($210)

Friday Nights Lights: Reserved Seats for 8 Friday Home Games ($72)

Any Given Sundays: Reserved Seats for 7 Sunday Home Games ($63)

Single-Game Tickets