June 8, 2011
TUCSON, Ariz. -DJ Peterson was named to the 2011 Louisville Slugger Freshmen All-American team, selected by Collegiate Baseball newspaper, today.
The 2011 Louisville Slugger Freshmen All-American team features a wealth of baseball talent, and is an honor Peterson earned with his production on the field.
The Lobos have now had either an All-American or Freshman All-American every year since 2002. Peterson is the first Freshman All-American the Lobos have had since Rafael Neda garnered the award in 2008.
Peterson led the Lobos in the majority of offensive statistics this season including: batting average (.317), hits (78), HR's (6), RBI's (48), total bases (134) and slugging percentage (.545).
Peterson also set a new NCAA record for doubles in a single season by a freshman, scorching 32 double baggers this year. His 32 doubles puts him in a tie with former Lobo Justin Howard for the single-best season in Mountain West Conference history. The feat is also a new MWC freshman record for doubles in a single season. It was tied for third-best in school history behind Robert Gonzalez, who hit 33 doubles in 1997 and 35 doubles in 1998. Peterson finished second in the nation overall in doubles this year, trailing only Jason Krizan of Dallas Baptist, who has set the NCAA single-season record with 39 doubles.
"It was pretty exciting to set the (freshman) record," Peterson said.
What makes Petersons' stats even more impressive is the caliber of talent he was able to produce against. The Lobos were put up against, what College Baseball 360 called, the nation's second-toughest schedule in 2011. The Lobos played over half of their games (31 of 61) against opponents that were nationally ranked in the top 30 at some point in the season. UNM played nine teams that were ranked in the top-30 at some point during the 2011 season (Arizona, Arizona State, Creighton, Gonzaga, New Mexico State, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, TCU and Arkansas).
"There's a foundation of great kids here and DJ Peterson is one of them," head coach Ray Birmingham said. "He is going to be spectacular as time goes on."
Birmingham is known for turning out great hitters, and Peterson is certainly that.
"I came to New Mexico because I wanted to play for a hitting coach and Coach Ray (Birmingham) was my first choice. He's a great guy and I love his players," Peterson said.