June 26, 2008
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- University of New Mexico head baseball coach Ray Birmingham recently announced the addition of four players to his first Lobo signing class. Junior college transfers Edwin Carl, Travis Dirk and Justin Howard, and incoming freshman Ben Woodchick bring the number of signees to 14. The Lobos signed 10 student-athletes in the Fall 2007 early signing period. Early signee Cole White, out of Paris Junior College, was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 30th round of the 2008 MLB Draft. White will have until the beginning of the fall semester to decide on UNM or a professional contract.
"These are four great additions to our signing class," said Birmingham. "With the departure of nine seniors and Scott Gracey to the pros, we have some big holes to fill. This incoming class will make its mark early in the upcoming season as we move the Lobo baseball program forward and build on the successes we had this past season."
The UNM baseball team wrapped up one of its most successful seasons in 2008 with a 34-25 overall record and second-place finish in the Mountain West Conference. Eight Lobos were named to the 2008 All-Mountain West Conference teams and two, Bobby LaFromboise and Scott Gracey, were selected in the 2008 MLB Draft. Rafael Neda, a Freshman All-American, became the first Lobo to be named MWC Freshman of the Year in 2008.
Spring 2008 Lobo Baseball Signees
Edwin Carl - RHP, 6-1/200, Jr.-TR - Farmington, N.M. (Eastern Arizona College)
Currently playing summer ball for the Hays Larks with current Lobos Mike Brownstein and Rafael Neda ... 2008 stats - 61 IP, 17 ER, 2.51 ERA ... NJCAA Region I Division I Player of the Week for week ending March 30
Travis Dirk - RHP, 6-4/230, Jr.-TR - Stephenville, Texas (Navarro College)
Drafted by Orioles in 2007 (44th round) when a freshman and the Bulldogs closer ... Currently playing summer ball for the Brazos Valley Bombers in Bryan, Texas
Justin Howard - OF, 6-0, 205, Jr.-TR - Ennis, Texas (Navarro College)
2008 NJCAA All-Region XIV Team ... 2008 stats - 53 G, .395 BA, 70 H, 16 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 53 RBI, 21 SB
Ben Woodchick - RHP/INF, 5-9/170, Fr.-HS - San Antonio, Texas (Smithson Valley HS)
2008 and 2007 All-district 26-5A ... 2008 THSBCA all-state ... 2008 THSBCA All-Star ... Summa Cum Laude graduate ... All-State honorable mention football (defensive back) ... Playing summer ball for the South Texas Sliders U18 Team ... 2008 stats - .396 BA, 38 H, 31 R, 18 RBI; 6-2, 1.60 ERA, 63 K in 48 IP
Updates on Fall 2007 Early Signees
Gabriel Aguilar - LHP, 5-7/165, Fr.-HS - El Paso, Texas (Socorro HS)
*Earned win in 2008 Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association 4A-5A All-Star Game on June 15 ... Went undefeated this season ... Socorro was ranked in USA Today Baseball Super 25 during the season.
Aguilar was a first team All-City and second team All-District pitcher for Socorro as the Bulldogs made their third Texas 5A sweet 16 appearance in 2007. Aguilar was 11-3 overall with a 1.89 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 85.1 innings. He led the squad in ERA, strikeouts and wins, throwing a complete game win against Arlington Martin in the regional semifinals.
Zach Carlson - INF, 6-0/200, Fr.-HS - Topeka, Kan. (Seaman HS)
*2008 All-state second baseman ... Seaman won Kansas 5A state title in 2008
Carlson was named first team All-State Class 5A as a second baseman in 2007 and to the first team All-Centennial League and All-City teams, hitting .429 with five home runs and 22 RBI last year. He was named second team All-City and All-Centennial League in 2006 as a sophomore when he batted .348 with two home runs and 17 RBI. He has helped lead Seamen to a record of 65-8 during the past three seasons including Centennial League champions in 2005 and 2007 and 5A State Champions in 2006. Younger brother of former Lobo Chris Carlson.
Joey Castleman - RHP, 6-1/225, Jr.-TR - Garland, Texas (Grayson County College)
*Grayson County won the 2008 NJCAA World Series
Castleman will transfer from Grayson County College in Denison, Texas. The graduate of Naaman Forest High School in Garland, Texas, spent his first year of college at Richland College in the Dallas metro area before transferring to GCC. Castleman was a member of Baseball America's Class of 2006 Top 300.
Ben Gonzales - OF/LHP, 5-11/185, Fr.-HS - Moriarty, N.M. (Moriarty HS)
*2008 District 5-4A Co-Player of the Year
Gonzales was a second team All-State pitcher for Moriarty in 2007 as the Pintos advanced to the Class 4A state championship game. Gonzales is also one of the top running backs in the state of New Mexico, carrying the ball 121 times for 1,236 yards.
Daniel Gonzalez - SS/RHP, 5-10/170, Jr.-TR - Las Cruces, N.M. (El Paso CC)
*Hit .405 on the 2008 season in 57 games played, 81 H, 23 2B, 10 3B, 58 RBI, 8 HR
Gonzalez hit .357 with 31 RBI for El Paso Community College in 2007. He was one of the top RBI leaders in New Mexico high school ball with 31 as a senior in 2006. Also in 2006, he was a Baseball America second team preseason All-American.
Dan Hayduk - SS/3B, 6-1/200, Jr.-TR - Browns Mills, N.J. (Burlington County College)
*Named BCC Male Scholar Athlete of the Year ... 2008 NJCAA All-America second team, All-Region XIX, and All-Garden State Athletic Conference ... hit .400 with 68 H, 53 R, 11 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 38 SB, 44 RBI
Hayduk was named first team All-America and Region 19 and Garden State Athletic Conference Player of the Year. The East All-Star team member helped the Barons to the 2007 conference championship. Hayduk was named Male Scholar Athlete of the Year, Freshman Athlete of the Year, and Team MVP at BCC, while batting .485 and leading the NJCAA in hits with 82 and doubles with 22.
Rudy Jaramillo - LHP, 6-0/170, Fr.-HS - Chandler, Ariz. (Marcos de Niza HS)
*All-State honorable mention in 2008
Jaramillo helped lead the Marcos de Niza Padres to the Arizona 5A-II championship in 2007.
Cameron Monger - OF, 6-2/205, Jr.-TR - Weatherford, Texas (Howard College)
*Hawks were ranked #3 in final regular season NJCAA poll ... hit .446 in 56 games played, 70 H, 16 2B, 9 3B, 55 RBI, 12 HR
Monger hit .438 as a freshman in 2007 and was ranked eighth in NJCAA in steals with 38. Monger was named al All-WJCAC and All-Region 5.
Jason Oatman - LHP, 6-0/200, Jr.-TR - Great Falls, Mont. (College of Southern Idaho)
*In 2008, 2.90 ERA in 71.1 IP, 61 K, 7-3 record
Oatman recorded an ERA of 1.40 as a freshman in 2007 with a record of 8-3 and 56 strikeouts in 70.2 innings pitched. He was a second team All-Region 18 selection. As a senior at C.M. Russell High School, Oatman set a single season strikeout record with 136.
Cole White - RHP, 6-3/200, Jr.-TR - Blossom, Texas (Paris JC)
*Selected by the Cubs in the 30th round of the 2008 MLB Draft, has until fall semester starts to decide ... currently with summer ball team, Oklahoma A's, in Durant
White recorded a 5.32 ERA as a freshman in 23 appearances for the Dragons. Not only is he a talented ball player, White is nominated for two 2008 Grammys one for Song of the Year and Best Rock Song. The song, Fight A Storm, is performed by the band Turning Point out of Paris, Texas.