LA JOLLA, Calif. - University of California San Diego baseball players Tyler Durna, Jack Larsen and Adrian Orozco picked up postseason honors in late May during the Tritons' run to a national runner-up showing at the NCAA Division II Championship.
On May 24, Durna and Larsen were chosen to American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings All-West Region teams, with Durna on the 16-player first team as the first baseman. Larsen made the 17-player second team as one of four outfielders. Voting was conducted by ABCA member West Region head coaches.
Of the three awards programs in Division II baseball, Durna (Chino Hills/Ruben S. Ayala HS) was previously selected to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) All-West Region First Team and Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) second team, while Larsen (Mission Viejo/Capistrano Valley HS) was a D2CCA second-teamer and picked up honorable mention from the NCBWA.
Orozco on May 25 was named one of 14 finalists for the fourth annual Josh Willingham Award, given to the most valuable player in Division II baseball, an individual who not only excels on the field, but in the dugout, clubhouse and practice field as well, and leads his team to national-championship-caliber status.
Durna (.363) and Larsen (.362) finished 1-2 for UCSD in batting average. Durna had streaks during a breakout sophomore campaign, of 28 games with a hit and 41 reaching base safely. The hit streak was a record for the program's Division II era, since 2001, while the reached-base stretch, at the time, matched Jeff Riddle's from 2004. Larsen later extended his own reached-base streak out to 45 games through his last appearance in a UCSD uniform in the NCAA final round on Sunday, June 4.
Durna made the All-California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) First Team, with Larsen and Orozco on the second.
Durna paced the league in batting average for much of the season, up to as high as .433 on April 28, and wound up seventh. He was tied for fourth in the CCAA in hits (77) and RBI (49), second behind Larsen in walks (39), tied for second in triples (four), sixth in runs (52) and on-base percentage (.469), and seventh in slugging (.547). Durna was charged with just three errors over 553 chances at first (.995).
Larsen achieved two-thirds of a CCAA triple crown, leading the league in on-base percentage (.497), runs (71) by 15, hits (83), RBI (66) by 14, doubles (23), home runs (15), and walks (56) by 17. He was second in slugging percentage (.668) and eighth in batting average. Larsen topped the nation with 56 walks, breaking the UCSD career mark in the national semifinals at the NCAA Championship in Grand Prairie, Texas, on June 3, and finishing with 144. All of those season totals were career bests. He fielded all 155 defensive chances cleanly this year, and his last 186 in a row going back to 2016. His team-best seven outfield assists increased his Division II-era program record to 20.
Orozco returned to the program for his final year of eligibility and made an enormous impact, highlighted by a one-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts at the West Regional in Azusa on May 19. He had served as a reliever for the Tritons in 2013 and 2014, before spending the 2015 and 2016 seasons at Southwestern College and San Diego State, respectively. Joining the rotation, the Chula Vista native out of Otay Ranch High School went 9-1 with a 3.27 ERA and led UCSD in wins (tied), starts (16), innings (96.1), strikeouts (77), and strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.05). Orozco was second in the CCAA in wins, third in innings and fourth in strikeouts.
UC San Diego wrapped up the year at 44-19, achieving the second-most wins in program history, behind only the 54 from 2010, when the Tritons won their previous West Region crown and also were national runners-up. They were No. 2 in the final Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and Perfect Game/Rawlings polls, UCSD's highest ranking under six-year head coach Eric Newman.
2017 UCSD Postseason Honors
Overall Record: 44-19
Final National Ranking: No. 2
Tyler Durna (First Team)
JD Hearn (Second Team)
Jack Larsen (Second Team)
Adrian Orozco (Second Team)
Brandon Shirley (Second Team)
Alex Eliopulos (Honorable Mention)
Kyle Goodbrand (Honorable Mention)
CoSIDA Academic All-District
Preston Mott (First Team)
Josh Willingham Award
Adrian Orozco (One of 14 Finalists)