Major League Baseball player Michael Lorenzen returned home Friday for a Cal State Fullerton dinner with the Titans fundraiser, helping his former team raise more than $100,000 for the upcoming season.
“I want to see this organization succeed more than anything,” said Lorenzen, who donated $20,000 before delivering his speech as the evening’s keynote speaker.
“I personally feel a responsibility to help this organization and ensure that we build back up to be the strength we have always been and never look back. That is my goal for this program, and I will do everything in my power to achieve that.”
About 420 people attended the event, including current players, coaches, friends, family, and alumni. Among the crowd were several former CSUF baseball players who have had successful careers MLBincluding Connor Siebold, Scott Hearst, Tyler Pitzmeyer, W Phil Niven.
Growing up in Anaheim, Lorenzen said he was obsessed with baseball, and after seeing his older brother, Jonathan, get drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers when he was eight years old, he knew he wanted to play professionally.
“I played for all these teams growing up, and all these kids were Titans fans, and I had never heard of Cal State Fullerton. My brother was drafted by the Dodgers, so all I knew was pro ball. I went to two games,” Lorenzen said. at Goodwin Stadium, and it was love at first sight.” “I wanted to be a Major League Baseball player, but first, I wanted to be a Titan.”
Lorenzen joined the Titans in 2011, and quickly earned recognition as the 2011 Big West Conference Freshman of the Year. Later in his collegiate career, his toughness and athleticism earned him a spot on the mound, where he had a 5-0 record and 35 saves and 42 rebounds. Two years of playing.
He was drafted in 2013 as the 38th overall pick by the Cincinnati Reds, and after two years in the minor leagues, made his major league debut in April 2015. Lorenzen spent most of his career in Cincinnati before joining the Los Angeles Angels last season. After a short stint as a free agent in 2022, the former Titan was signed by the Detroit Tigers and will join them in the 2023 season.
“There’s a level of play that’s expected at Cal State Fullerton, and when you don’t meet that standard, you’re accountable to them. It’s something very special about this program,” Lorenzen said. of my major league career.”
Throughout his MLB career, Lorenzen has connected with many former Titans, and has said he is proud to be in the company of hard-working athletes who are passionate about the game.
“Justin Turners, Kurt Suzukis – these are the guys we see coming out of this program,” Lorenzen explained.
Nevin, the current manager of the Angels, added that it is important for a player to remember his roots. After he headed the fundraiser last year, this year he’s back to show his support for the program.
“Don’t forget where I come from. This program has been the bedrock of everything I’ve done in my life, besides my high school days. I’ve been fortunate enough to play for a great college coach and a great program with continued success,” Nevin said.
President Fram Verjee talked about the program’s progress in the past year, highlighting the construction of the new baseball game compound and the first season of head coach Jason Dietrich. Echoing Lorenzen’s focus on the future, Fergie also encouraged the team to start considering the 2023 College World Series.
“These players and coaches, past and present, are and will forever be a big part of my soul. Titan baseball will forever be the heartbeat of the Titan family,” said Fergie. “I want to thank everyone for supporting this team and continuing to take this program to greater heights.” New. Remember, Omaha is only 1,544 miles away, so let’s enjoy the ride.”
This spring, the team will welcome 22 new players and 17 returning players. They will begin the 2023 season at Goodwin Field on February 17 against Stanford University.
“We want these guys to improve a little bit every day and keep growing. We’re excited to see what this team can do this season. If you look at our schedule, you’ll see that’s what the Titans do. We play better because we feel like we’re the best,” Dietrich said.