RIVERSIDE --- Zach Esquerra’s dream season reached a new level Wednesday when the California Baptist University slugger was named the 2013 Rawlings/American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) NCAA Division II National Player of the Year.
Esquerra has also been named PacWest Conference Player of the Year, Rawlings/ABCA and National Collegiate Baseball Writer's Association (NCBWA) West Region Player of the Year and National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) National Player of the Year.
In addition to being named Player of the Year today, Esquerra was also named to the Rawlings/ABCA and the NCBWA Division II All-American first team.
“What a fantastic finish to an outstanding season for Zach,” said CBU Head Coach Gary Adcock, a member of the ABCA. “This is a culmination of a lot of things but particularly his hard work and desire. He truly found a way to get it done with no excuses. When you think of all the great athletes playing Division II baseball and you had a chance to coach what was considered the best this year, it’s a very special feeling—one that as a coaching staff, program and university we are extremely proud of.”
Esquerra’s twin brother, Luke Esquerra, was named to the Rawlings/ABCA NCAA Division II All-American third team and received NCBWA All-American honorable mention. Jon Bengard was named to the NCBWA All-American third team. Blair Moore also received NCBWA received honorable mention.
Prior to the postseason (the honor is based on regular season only), Esquerra hit .382 with a PacWest-leading 17 home runs. In fact, Esquerra not only led the PacWest and West Region and was second in the nation in Division II, but he had the third highest home run total in all of college baseball. He also ranked in the top five in the PacWest in hits (3rd-65), runs (1st-51), doubles (3rd-15) and RBI (3rd-47).
Luke Esquerra hit .380 with 62 hits, 42 runs and eight home runs, ranking in the top six of the PacWest in each of those categories. Bengard went 11-1 with a 2.21 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 102 innings pitched.
CBU finished the season winning its second straight PacWest title in the most dramatic way imaginable with two walk-off wins in the final two games of the regular season at home. It was the Lancers’ fourth straight conference championship. The Lancers went on to win the NCCAA World Series for the second straight year.
’s 2013 Postseason Honors
Rawlings/ABCA NCAA Division II National Player of the Year
Rawlings/ABCA NCAA Division II All-American first team
Rawlings/ABCA NCAA Division II West Region Player of the Year
Rawlings/ABCA NCAA Division II All-West Region
NCBWA Division II All-American first team
NCBWA Division II West Region Player of the Year
NCBWA Division II All-West Region
NCCAA National Player of the Year
NCCAA World Series MVP
PacWest Conference Player of the Year
All-PacWest first team