May 30, 2013
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - University of New Mexico senior catcher Mitch Garver and junior third baseman DJ Peterson were named to the Louisville Slugger All-America first team as announced by Collegiate Baseball Thursday. The duo, who were named Mountain West Co-Players of the Year for the second straight season, were also named Louisville Slugger All-Americans in 2012.
Peterson, who was a Freshman All-American in 2011, is the first three-time All-American in UNM history, while Garver becomes just the seventh Lobo to earn All-America honors in two season.s
"They deserve this," UNM head coach Ray Birmingham said. "They are two of the greatest Lobo athletes of all-time."
An Albuquerque native, Garver is the heart and soul of the Lobos. He is a semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award and has started a school-record 179 straight games, despite being hit in the face with an errant throw earlier this season and suffering a broken nose. He is hitting .387 and is seventh in the nation with 92 hits. The backstop has also produced 21 doubles, five triples and five home runs, scored 54 runs and knocked in 65. He's slugging .580, has an on base percentage of .455 and is third on the team with 12 steals.
"It's an honor to be named a first team All-American," he said. "I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for my family, coaches and teammates pushing me to my full potential."
The Lobos could say the same thing about him, because without his contributions the team would not be where it is today. Prior to his arrival on campus, UNM had not advanced to the NCAA postseason since 1962. With Garver on the team, though, UNM has been to four straight, one of only 18 programs in the nation that can claim that fact.
The program would also not have reached its current level of success without the contributions of Peterson, who will finish his career as one of the greatest hitters in school history. A native of Gilbert, Ariz., he is second in the nation in both slugging percentage (.823) and total bases (172), third in average (.411), home runs (18) and on base percentage (.525), fourth in runs (68), fifth in RBI (70), and sixth in doubles (23).
He is also climbing up the school's all-time leaderboards in numerous categories. He is second in program history with 77 doubles, third with 488 total bases, fourth with 41 home runs, fourth with a .694 slugging percentage and fifth with 196 RBI.
UNM is one of only three schools to have two players named to the first team. The others are Mississippi St. and Cal St. Fullerton, the latter being the No. 5 overall seed in the NCAA tournament, and the host of UNM's regional this weekend. The Lobos begin postseason play against Arizona St. Friday night at 5:05 (MT).
Notes: The other Lobos who earned multiple All-America honors are Travis Young (1994, 1996), Aaron Sisk (1999, 2000), Jordan Pacheco (2005, 2007), Chris Carlson (2005, 2006) and Rafael Neda (2008, 2010).