June 11, 2014

Eshelman, Chapman Earn All-American Honors

FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton right-hander Thomas Eshelman and third baseman Matt Chapman each received All-American honors on Wednesday. 

Eshelman and Chapman were each named to the Baseball America College All-America Team. Eshelman earned a spot on the second team while Chapman was named to the third team. It was Eshelman's second consecutive selection to the Baseball America College All-America Team after earning a spot on the first team in 2013.

In addition, Eshelman was also named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association's 2014 All-America Third Team. It was also the second straight year Eshelman was named to the squad, earning a second team spot in 2013 as a freshman. Both players were also named Preseason All-Americans by Baseball America on Feb. 3.

Eshelman spearheaded a Fullerton pitching staff that set a new school record with a 2.24 collective ERA, shattering the previous mark of 2.47 set last season. The Carlsbad, Calif. 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. His 2014 mark also ranks third in school history. He also led the country with a 12.38 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Eshelman had a solid sophomore campaign for the Titans, making 16 starts and posting an 8-3 overall record. He posted a 1.89 ERA, allowing 26 earned runs in 123 and 2/3 innings of work. He struck out a career-high 99 batters while allowing just eight walks and opponents hit just .222 against him.

The sophomore had five complete games in 2014 to lead the Big West Conference and rank 10th in the nation. He became the first Titans pitcher since Jason Windsor in 2004 to pitch a 10-inning complete game. Eshelman shut down Hawaii on Apr. 25, scattering six hits and striking out six without issuing a walk en route to a 1-0 victory. Through two seasons, Eshelman already ranks atop the Cal State Fullerton record book with a 1.69 career ERA in 239 and 1/3 innings pitched along with a 0.41 walks-per-nine innings average.

Chapman, who was also named to the Louisville Slugger All-America Third Team by Collegiate Baseball on May 29, hit a career best .312 with six home runs and a team-high 48 RBI in 54 games. The 6-foot-2 infielder started 53 games at third base and made just six errors in 157 chances. He was second on the team with 24 extra-base hits, a .498 slugging percentage and .412 on-base percentage.

Chapman caught fire in the second half of the season. In his final 29 games of the regular season, Chapman hit .373 (38-for-102) with a .588 slugging percentage and .472 on-base percentage. He blasted three home runs in that stretch to go along with nine doubles, two triples and 29 RBI.

On May 11, Chapman reached a career milestone as he drove in his 100th RBI as a member of the Titans. He went 3-for-4 against UC Riverside with a double and two runs scored. In the first inning, Chapman drove in his 100th and 101st career RBI as he hammered a two-run double to left field. 

The Trabuco Canyon, Calif. native was selected 25th overall by the Oakland Athletics in the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on June 5. He was the 13th member of the Titans to be selected in the first round of the MLB Draft and marked the 40th straight year the Titans had at least one player selected in the draft. Chapman was the highest pick for the Fullerton baseball program since Christian Colon (4th overall, Kansas City) and Gary Brown (24th overall, San Francisco) were first-round selections in 2010.

During his three years at Cal State Fullerton, Chapman played 162 games and made 157 starts. He hit .295 with 171 hits, 37 doubles, five triples and 13 home runs. He drove in 108 RBI and scored 103 runs to go along with 13 stolen bases.