July 29, 2014

Eshelman, Garza Finish Off Summer With Team USA

FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton right-handers Thomas Eshelman and Justin Garza completed their summer stints with the USA Collegiate Baseball National Team after a 1-0 loss to Cuba on Sunday at Capitan San Luis Stadium in Pinar Del Rio, Cuba.

Team USA completed their summer tour with an 18-8-2 overall record including a 7-1 mark at Honkbal Week in the Netherlands where it won the tournament title.

Eshelman kicked off Team USA's summer as he went three perfect innings with four strikeouts against the Catawba Valley Stars on June 21. Garza followed up Eshelman's effort with three more perfect innings of his own, striking out seven of the nine outs he collected.

The pair was just as dominant on July 15 against Japan at Pim Mulier Stadium in Haarlem, Netherlands. Garza drew the start on this occasion and tossed six innings of two-hit baseball while striking out five. Eshelman came out of the bullpen this time and had his best outing of the summer, allowing just one hit in three innings while striking out seven to collect the save. Neither pitcher issued a walk.

Overall, Eshelman finished the summer with a 2-0 record in eight appearances, making three starts. He had a 2.14 ERA, allowing six runs, five earned, and 16 hits in 21 innings pitched. Eshelman, who led the country in strikeout-to-walk ratio in 2014 for the second straight season, tallied 20 strikeouts and issued a team-low two walks. Opposing batters collected a .213 batting average against him and had just one extra-base hit against the Carlsbad, Calif. native.

As for Garza, the Titans Saturday starter in 2014 went 2-1 with a 1.35 ERA, the fourth best mark on Team USA for pitchers who made at least four starts. Garza made eight appearances in all during the summer, tossing 26 and 2/3 innings and fanned 27 batters, the third most on the team. He allowed four earned runs on 16 hits and allowed batters to hit a paltry .178 against him.

Eshelman and Garza became the 24th and 25th Titans to represent Cal State Fullerton on the Collegiate National Team dating back to 1987. In addition, the Titans have placed a student-athlete on the Collegiate National Team for the last six consecutive seasons. It is also the sixth time multiple Titans have been named to the squad.

Titans on Collegiate National Team

1987: Longo Garcia, RHP

1991: Phil Nevin, 3B

1993: Dante Powell, OF

1994: Ted Silva, RHP

1995: Mark Kotsay, OF; Brian Loyd, C

1998: Ryan Owens, 3B

2000: Kirk Saarloos, RHP

2002: Chad Cordero, RHP; Wes Littleton, RHP; Shane Costa, OF 

2004: Ricky Romero, LHP

2005: Blake Davis, INF 

2006: Wes Roemer, RHP

2008: Christian Colon, INF; Jared Clark, INF; Josh Fellhauer, OF 

2009: Christian Colon, SS

2010: Nick Ramirez, 1B/LHP; Noe Ramirez, RHP

2011: Michael Lorenzen, OF

2012: Michael Lorenzen, OF

2013: Matt Chapman, INF

2014: Thomas Eshelman, RHP; Justin Garza, RHP