May 24, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - University of New Mexico sophomore third baseman DJ Peterson was named to the USA Baseball 2012 Collegiate National Team Thursday. The 22-man roster will play games in North Carolina, Cuba, and The Netherlands this summer.
"It's quite an achievement," UNM head coach Ray Birmingham said. "It's like being named to the Top-22 in football or the Top-10 in basketball."
The honor is justly deserved for Peterson as he has proven this year that he is one of the top hitters in the country. Entering this week he led the NCAA in total bases (162), he was third in both RBIs (68) and slugging percentage (.726), fourth in hits (94), and sixth in batting (.422). His 14 home runs are good for 17th in the country. He was named Co-Mountain West Player of the Year with teammate Mitchell Garver on Tuesday. The pair ranked 1-2 in eight offensive categories in the league this season. Peterson's home run, RBI, and batting totals won him the overall league triple crown.
Peterson is also a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and was on the midseason watch list for the Golden Spikes Award, both of which are given annually to the best college player in the country. He is the first Lobo player ever named to the Collegiate National Team.
"He represents the University of New Mexico at the highest level," Birmingham said. "(USA Baseball) selected him not only on his abilities but also on his character and that's a big deal."
The 2012 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team will assemble on June 23, and the team will embark on a 30-day tour. It is made primarily of non-draft eligible college players from across the country and based on their play from both the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Peterson was named a Freshmen All-American last year by both Louisville Slugger and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association as he set a new NCAA record for doubles in a single season by a freshman with 32.