FULLERTON, Calif. — No. 4 Cal State Fullerton defeated rival Long Beach State, 3-2, behind freshman starter Thomas Eshelman Friday night at Goodwin Field. Eshelman picked up his eighth win of the season, going seven strong innings, including wriggling out of a bases-loaded jam by striking out the side.
In the fifth inning of a 2-1 game, Colton Vaughn led off with a triple that got hung up in the right field corner. Eshelman struck out Colby Brenner but hit Jeff McNeil. After McNeil advanced to second on a wild pitch, Eshelman showed his maturity pitching with an open base.
He attacked Jeff Yamaguchi early in the count getting a 1-2 count. Yamaguchi then spoiled a pair of pitches with foul balls. With two runners on and first base unoccupied, Eshelman was going for the strikeout. He tried to get Yamaguchi to strikeout on a breaking ball in the dirt. Instead of the K, Eshelman threw three consecutive balls, something that’s happened only a handful of times this season. Yamaguchi walked to load the bases for Juan Avila and Ino Patron — two of Long Beach’s hottest hitters.
But they were not hot on this night as Eshleman struck them both out to end the threat and rob the Dirtbags (21-22, 9-7) of a huge opportunity to swipe the momentum. Austin Kingsolver followed with a leadoff home run high off the netting behind the right field fence to put Fullerton (37-7, 13-3) up 3-1. Read the rest of this entry »