By Ray Beasley |Staff Writer|
Five Coyote baseball players earned CCAA All-West region honors to close out an outstanding baseball season. Paul Eshleman, Edwin Mendoza, Ethan Chapman, Darren Dworak and Mike Mudron all earned the honor of being placed on the second team.
This is the first time in CSUSB baseball history that five individuals have made the first or second all-region teams in a single season.
The only other team in the CCAA to have five players nominated was San Diego State. “I was not surprised that San Diego had guys receive this award, just surprised that any team could have as many as we did,” said Eshleman.
The record high honor was no surprise to the Coyotes, who worked hard all season long.
“I would not have this opportunity if it wasn’t for the other guys on the team around me,” said Eshleman.
Eshleman surely made his mark in his one and only season in a Coyote uniform.
He hit eight home runs in his senior season to go along with an outstanding 38 RBIs, second only to fellow All-West honors teammate Edwin Mendoza.
Mendoza has been one of the most consistent hitters for the Coyotes this season. He led the CCAA this season with 11 home runs. He also added a team high 39 RBIs, which was the third best in the CCAA as well.
When asked how he maintains focus under immense pressure, he responded, “Sticking to my routine helps me stay calm and focused, never allowing myself to get too high or too low emotionally.”
Junior Ethan Chapman knows the difficulties of staying focused all too well—people have such high expectations of you when you step up in the batter’s box.
Chapman had an outstanding season, as he hit six triples this season, which was a new single season school record. He also holds CSUSB’s career triples record with 12. There is no telling how many more triples he will hit before his Coyote baseball career comes to an end next spring.
His consistency with the bat enabled him to lead the team with an enormous 188 at-bats and 34 runs scored. He was also perfect defensively in center field.
When asked how he stays focused when such enormous pressure continually rests on his shoulders, he said, “I remind myself that I have done this 1,000 times.”
Teammate Darren Dworak demonstrated the ability to stay consistent by leading the team with a .347 batting average. Dworak also led the club with 12 doubles, setting the Coyote standard for consistency.
Junior left-handed pitcher Mike Mudron represented the pitching prowess the Coyotes had this season by having an outstanding 6-1 record. He led the Coyotes starting staff with a 2.90 ERA.
Mudron kept opposing teams to a .219 batting average throughout the 59 innings he pitched, never giving up a single home run while he was on the mound.
With a team as talented as the Coyotes, and two of the five all-region individuals coming back to play next year, expect the club to come out as confident as ever and once again push for another CCAA playoff berth.