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LaFromboise and Hibbitts Named to Preseason All-MWC Baseball Team
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  02/12/2008
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Feb. 12, 2008

Seniors Bobby LaFromboise and Matt Hibbitts were named to the 2008 Preseason All-Mountain West Conference Baseball Team today as announced by the conference office. The voting panel of the MWC head coaches and select media also picked the Lobos to finish fourth in the league.

"Being picked fourth is pretty much the way the other coaches in the conference feel, and where our team finished up last year," said Lobo head coach Ray Birmingham. "I'm not worried about polls. Let's go play and see what we can do."

LaFromboise, a left-handed pitcher from Downey, Calif., returned to the Lobos for his senior season after turning down a 14th round draft offer from the Arizona Diamondbacks. LaFromboise earned all-MWC first team and all-MWC tournament team honors in 2007. He finished fourth in the league in ERA (3.35) and strikeouts (74). The all-tourney recognition came on the heels of a six-hit, complete-game shutout of San Diego State on May 23. LaFromboise also earned MWC Pitcher of the Week honors twice in the 2007 season (Feb. 19 and March 26).

"Bobby should have a great year," said Birmingham. "He's going to be challenged, not only by the other teams, but by other pitchers on this staff for the Friday night starts. We have about four or five pitchers that can compete with him. Which is a good thing for us. I think Bobby has underachieved in the past and I think he has a bigger ceiling than he has shown. He plans on showing double what he did in 2007."

Hibbitts, a second baseman from Portland, Ore., brings a 13-game hit streak into the 2008 season. Hibbitts is the Lobos' top returning hitter after spending last season primarily as the designated hitter and the back-up to MWC Player of the Year Jordan Pacheco at second base.

"Matt is one of the finest young men I've ever met," said Birmingham. "He's an inspiration to me and he is a tremendous baseball player. He has great bat speed, as good as I've ever seen. If he takes the right approach, he can pick up where Jordan Pacheco left off."

The Lobos begin the 2008 season on Friday, Feb. 22 against Eastern Michigan. Game time at Isotopes Park is set for 3 p.m. Senator Pete Domenici and UNM President David Schmidly will take part in the pre-game ceremonies.

2008 MWC PRESEASON POLL
(selected by MWC head coaches and select media)

Rk. Team (1st place votes) Points
1. TCU (6) 60
2. BYU (3) 52
3. San Diego State 42
4. New Mexico 40
5. UNLV 26
6. Utah 23
7. Air Force 9

2008 MWC PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
(selected by MWC head coaches and select media)

Pos. Name, Class Institution
C Michael Brenly, Jr. UNLV
1B Kasey Ko, Jr. BYU
1B Matt Vern, Jr. TCU
2B Sean McNaughton, So. BYU
2B Matt Hibbitts, Sr. New Mexico
3B Steve Parker, So. BYU
SS Bryan Kervin, Sr. TCU
OF Kent Walton, Jr. BYU
OF Brandon Glover, Sr. San Diego State
OF Clint Arnold, Sr. TCU
OF Corey Shimada, So. Utah
P Stephen Strasburg, So. San Diego State
P Bobby LaFromboise, Sr. New Mexico
UT/DH Nick Romero, Jr. San Diego State

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