Connor Casey

Lopez keeps a low profile but makes huge contributions

by Connor Casey June 27, 2013 in Baseball

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He didn’t have the highest batting average. He had two teammates drafted before him. He might not have been the player reporters would flock to for comments after a win. But Carlos Lopez, first baseman for the Cal State Fullerton Titans, was the total package as a baseball player and exemplified the qualities of a Senior CLASS Award winner.

On the field Lopez was a dedicated and consistent offensive force. After redshirting his freshman year due to a knee surgery, Lopez led the Titans’ offensive charge as designated hitter in his first season. With a career-high batting average of .354 with 84 hits and 51 RBIs, Lopez was named to the Freshman All-American team by Collegiate Baseball and the NCBWA and was promptly drafted by the Detroit Tigers in n the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft. But Lopez opted to stay at Fullterton, showing true dedication to his team and school.

Lopez would play for the Titans for another three years, finishing with a career batting average of .338, 287 hits, 154 RBIs and 14 home runs and was regarded by his coaches as the team’s “most consistent hitter.”

But Lopez’s academic success did not go unnoticed either. With a GPA of 3.41, he was named to the Dean’s List twice and the All-Big West academic team three times. As a senior he became the second player in Cal State Fullerton history to be named to the Capital One Academic All-American team as a member of the third team. He was also named Cal State Fullerton Male Scholar Athlete of the Year twice.

Lopez was also an active member in multiple community service events. Through the athletic department, he visited local elementary schools to read to students and was involved in Challenger Camps and free baseball clinics for local kids. Lopez also traveled to Mexico to help build houses for the needy.

“I am so flattered and grateful to receive the Senior CLASS Award,” Lopez said. “I share this accolade with my teammates, coaches and Cal State Fullerton staff and community that supported me during my career as a Titan. Most importantly, I share this award with my family, who stressed the importance of effort not just on the field, but in the classroom and in my community.

“When I made the decision to return for my senior season, I could not have fathomed the amazing and successful season we had this year, as well as the long-lasting relationships I was able to build with my coaches and teammates,” Lopez added.

The Titans had four players selected in the 2013 MLB draft.  The Miami Marlins picked up Lopez in the 10th round, along with teammate catcher Chad Wallach in the sixth round.

It didn’t matter that Carlos Lopez wasn’t always the face of Fullerton. With his dedication on the field, his hard work off the field and his willingness to aid the community, Lopez rightfully earned the 2013 Senior CLASS Award for baseball.