LOCK HAVEN, Pa. --- While another baseball season is right around the corner for California Baptist University, one Lancer is still hauling in honors for what he did last year.
Zach Esquerra was selected out of eight individuals for the NCAA Division II Conference Commissioners Association’s Male Scholar Athlete of the Year for 2012-13. He qualified for the national honor by being named the association’s West Region Scholar-Athlete of the Year back in September.
It’s one of several top accolades the outfielder received for his final season with CBU, in which he helped the team go 43-18 and capture PacWest Conference and NCCAA West Region championships.
Just as strong in the classroom, the criminal justice major posted a 3.88 grade-point average and was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-American first team, along with the PacWest Scholar Athlete of the Year, PacWest Male Athlete of the Year, NCAA Division II Player of the Year and PacWest Player of the Year awards.
In his just past junior campaign, Esquerra led the conference in runs scored (51), was No. 2 in batting average (.3882) and third in doubles (15) and runs batted in (47). He was a national leader in home runs, as his 17 dingers ranked fourth in all of college baseball, including all three NCAA divisions and the NAIA.
Esquerra was selected in the 24th round (720 overall) by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft. He hit .283 with 33 runs batted in, 22 scored and eight homers in his first taste of professional baseball with the Hillsboro Hops, the Diamondbacks class A short-season affiliate. He made the Northwest League All-Star team and named the league’s Player of the Week on Sept. 3.