April 10, 2012
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - University of New Mexico third baseman DJ Peterson and pitcher Austin House have been named Co-Player and Co-Pitcher of the Week by the Mountain West for games played from April 2-8, 2012. Peterson shares the award with San Diego State outfielder/catcher Chris Wilson and House shares it with Air Force's Evan Abrecht.
This is the third time Peterson has won the award this season, and his fourth career win, and the second seasonal and career win for House.
Peterson, a sophomore from Gilbert, Ariz., hit .474 (9 of 19) for the week as the Lobos went 2-2, including UNM's fifth consecutive series win. In Tuesday's 7-5 loss at New Mexico State, Peterson was 1-for-5 with a double and a run scored. During UNM's 19-0 and 17-2 wins over Air Force, he reached base 10 consecutive times on seven hits and three walks. Peterson was 4-for-5 with four runs scored, five RBI, two doubles and two home runs in the series opener. It was the second game of his career with four extra-base hits and his second game this season with at least four hits. In the 17-2 game, Peterson went 3-for-5 with a run scored, two RBI and a double, his fourth of the week. In the 1-0 loss to the Falcons in the series finale, he was 1-for-4.
"DJ is a first-class kid," Birmingham said. "He has grown and matured as a baseball player and as a person. He is another in a line of great Lobo hitters and will be playing on TV someday."
Following Monday night's 15-6 win over No. 21 Arizona State, Peterson took over the NCAA lead in batting average following his 3-5 night. Going into Tuesday's series finale against the Sun Devils he is hitting an astounding .471.
Birmingham said it's one of his goals for Peterson to finish the season ranked as the leading hitter in the country.
"He has the tools to do it," he said. "I want him and his family to have a lot of success. And every kid that comes here I want to teach them to be a good baseball player and make it to the pros and be on TV. Every kid that wears the cherry and silver is important to me."
Since opening the season with only three hits in his first 15 at bats, Peterson has hit .509 (54-106) and has 15 multi-hit games.
House, a junior from Albuquerque, N.M., hurled the first complete game of his career with a 19-0 win over Air Force in the series opener on Thursday. House struck out a career-high 10 batters and allowed only four hits, only one extra-base hit, by the Falcons.
"I'm so proud of that kid," Birmingham said. "He's a New Mexico kid. He's a kid that pitched very limited time in high school, but I believed in him. He had a growing process as a freshman and sophomore, but now he's a junior and he's everything I hoped he would be."
House leads the MW in strikeouts with 48 and innings pitched with 52.1. He has struck out at least six batters in five of his last six starts and has seen his ERA drop from 7.94 following his second start of the season on Feb. 24, to 2.75. He had a stretch earlier this season where he didn't allow an earned run over 22 2/3 innings.
The Lobos are becoming regular winners of the Player and Pitcher of the Week awards. The team now has eight total wins in eight weeks, and this is the third time a player and pitcher have won the award in the same week. Josh Melendez was the first Lobo to win the award this season, doing so on Feb. 28. Peterson and Gera Sanchez swept the award on Mar. 12. The very next week it was Peterson and House who swept the award. Most recently, Mitchell Garver was honored on Mar. 26.
2012 Mountain West Baseball Players of the Week
Feb. 20 - Garrett Custons, Jr., C/OF, Air Force
Feb. 28 - Josh Melendez, So., OF, New Mexico
March 5 - Matt Muñoz, Fr., 2B, San Diego State
March 12 - D.J. Peterson, So., 3B/1B, New Mexico
March 19 - D.J. Peterson, So., 3B/1B, New Mexico
March 26 - Mitchell Garver, Jr., OF/C, New Mexico
April 3 - Trevor Kirk, Sr., OF, UNLV
April 9 - D.J. Peterson, So., 3B/1B, New Mexico; Chris Wilson, Sr., OF/C, San Diego State
2012 Mountain West Baseball Pitchers of the Week
Feb. 20 - Preston Morrison, Fr., RHP, TCU
Feb. 28 - Andrew Mitchell, So., RHP, TCU
March 5 - Stefan Crichton, So., RHP, TCU
March 12 - Gera Sanchez, Sr., RHP, New Mexico
March 19 - Austin House, Jr., RHP, New Mexico
March 26 - No nominations
April 3 - Erick Fedde, Fr., RHP, UNLV
April 9 - Austin House, Jr., RHP, New Mexico; Evan Abrecht, Sr., RHP, Air Force