WACO, Texas – Sophomore Thomas Eshelman threw the third complete game of his career and first complete-game shutout as No. 4 Cal State Fullerton won their sixth consecutive game with an 11-0 decision over Baylor Friday night at Baylor Ballpark.
Eshelman went the distance for the Titans (8-3) and scattered three hits to go along with a pair of strikeouts. It was the second nine-inning complete game of his career and the first since he went the distance at Oregon on March 1 of last year, his third career start. It was the first complete-game shutout for a Titans pitcher since Dylan Floro blanked Long Beach State on May 25, 2012.
Baylor (6-7) starter Dillon Newman allowed four runs, two earned, five hits and three walks in four innings pitched as he took his first loss of the year.
Austin Diemer, who was named the 2013 Big West Male Student Athlete of the Year this week, led the Titans offense as he went 4-for-6 with a double and a triple. Diemer extended his hitting streak to six games and set new career highs with three RBIs and four runs scored on the night.
The junior outfielder got the Titans started in a hurry, but it was not on one of his four hits. Diemer led off the game with a swinging strikeout but advanced to first on a wild pitch by Newman. Matt Chapman walked a few batters later and, with two outs, Clay Williamson scorched a single up the middle to plate Diemer and then advanced into scoring position on a fielding error by Bears center fielder Logan Brown. Greg Velazquez made the Bears pay for that mistake, lining a single to left-center to bring in Chapman and Williamson to give the Titans a 3-0 lead after one inning.
That was all the support Eshelman needed as the right-hander stifled a Bears offense that had outscored their opponents 40-8 in their first five home games this year. Eshelman retired the first 10 batters he faced for the second consecutive week and allowed the Bears just three singles. He did not allow a runner to advance to second base for the entire night.
Both teams return to action Saturday at Baylor Ballpark as Justin Garza takes the hill for the Titans while the Bears counter with lefty Brad Kuntz.
Notes: The Titans had scored just three runs in the first inning through 10 games before putting up three in the opening frame Friday night… Baylor committed six errors on Friday night, the most by a Titans opponent this season… J.D. Davis had a single in the second inning to extend his hitting streak to six games… The Titans handed the Bears their first home loss of the season.