May 29, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - University of New Mexico sophomore third baseman DJ Peterson has been named a semifinalist by USA Baseball for the Golden Spikes Award, which is given annually to the best amateur player in the country. There were 30 players named semifinalists, and he is one of only five sophomores on the list.
Peterson is having a fantastic season, having already earned Mountain West Co-Player of the Year honors in addition to being named to USA Baseball's National Collegiate Team. He is currently leading the nation in total bases (174), is second in RBIs (76) and slugging percentage (.734), is fourth in hits (99), and ranks sixth in batting average (.418).
"DJ is a first-class kid," UNM head coach Ray 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.
"He represents the University of New Mexico at the highest level."
In 2007, USA Baseball instituted a new selection and balloting procedure for the most prestigious award in amateur baseball, and it will follow the same model again in 2012. After working closely with sports information directors and amateur baseball media across the country to determine watch lists and the top-performing athletes, a committee voted to determine the 30 semifinalists. A ballot featuring the names and accomplishments of the 30 semifinalists will now be sent to a group of more than 215 voters which will select the three finalists and eventual winner. Fans will also have a say as to who wins the award this year.
Beginning today fans can show their support and vote for Peterson by clicking here. Voting closes at 3 p.m. (MT) on Friday, June 1, and three finalists will be named on Tuesday, June 5.
Peterson has helped lead the Lobos to back-to-back Mountain West Tournament championships and into the postseason for a third consecutive year. UNM travels to Los Angels to face the University of San Diego Toreros at 4 p.m. (MT) on Friday, June 1.