2013 Fullerton Regional

(capsules compiled by Sean Ryan, Phil Stanton, Zachary Kerr)


1. Cal State Fullerton

Fullerton, California

Automatic bid - won Big West title

Notes: The Titans are in the field for the 22nd straight year, third-longest in the nation – Miami (41) and FSU (35) lead the way. Rick Vanderhook (CBI feature) is in his second year as head coach and 23rd overall – he spent nearly 25 years as an assistant to Augie Garrido, Larry Cochell, George Horton and Dave Serrano and also played for the Titans. Fullerton ranks in the top 5 in the country in ERA, is tops in WHIP (1.02) and features a young rotation: its top six innings eaters are either freshmen or sophomores. Freshmen Thomas Eshelman (first in nation in WHIP at 0.76) and Justin Garza have combined for a 22-2 record and 151 strikeouts and only 18 walks. Two-way player Michael Lorenzon (CBI feature) has 23 extra-base hits and 18 saves. His nickname growing up in Southern California was “Cowboy.” Catcher Chad Wallach is the son of former major leaguer Tim Wallach, and infielder Jake Jefferies is the son of former major leaguer Gregg Jefferies.


2. Arizona State Sun Devils

Notes: ASU returns to the field after missing last year due to NCAA violations. Coach Tim Esmay has guided the Sun Devils to three Regionals in his four years, including the CWS in 2010. ASU also reached Omaha in 2005, 2007 and 2009, capping an impressive six-year run. Michael Benjamin, son of former major leaguer and Sun Devils assistant Mike Benjamin, leads a solid offensive attack with 30 extra-base hits and a .586 on-base average. He also has 47 strikeouts and only nine walks. Drew Stankiewicz is the son of former major leaguer Andy Stankiewicz. Trevor Williams went 12-2 a year ago with a .227 BAA, but has yielded a .287 BAA this year – he also has three complete games. Closer Ryan Burr has been brilliant, saving 11 and limiting hitters to a .140 average. The Sun Devils won series against Oregon and UCLA, but also dropped games to Bethune-Cookman, Valparaiso and finished only 17-11 at home.


3. New Mexico Lobos

Notes: The Lobos are one of the top offensive teams in the nation, ranking first in batting average (.336), on-base percentage (.424), hits (702), scoring (8.4 runs per game), and doubles (146). D.J. Peterson is a Golden Spikes semifinalist. He is third in the country in batting average (.411), third in homers (18), fourth in runs (68) and fifth in RBI (70). Peterson has 18 multi-RBI games, including three with five or more. He has reached base safely in each of his past 30 games. Mitch Garver and Josh Melendez both had 16-game hit streaks during the season. UNM won the Mountain West regular season title by seven games.


4. Columbia Lions

Notes: The Lions are back in the tourney for the first time since 2008 after winning their 11th Ivy League title. Columbia has a win against Arizona and close losses to Miami on its ledger and enters the tourney with a seven-game winning streak. Coach Brett Boretti was a tremendous catcher at Davidson and was named all-SoCon twice, starting all but two games in his final three years. He also played football for the Wildcats, and was the team’s offensive player of the year as a freshman. Ace David Speer allows opposing batters a .235 average and has 15 walks in 66.1 innings. As a staff, the Lions only walk 2.9 batters a game. Sophomore Joey Falcone threw out the first pitch at the New York Mets’ home game on Sunday – Falcone served three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan during six years with the Marines and is the son of former major league pitcher Pete Falcone.