April 30, 2012
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - University of New Mexico catcher Mitchell Garver has earned Mountain West Baseball Player of the Week honors for games played from April 23-29, 2012. It is the third honor of the season for the Lobos' catcher.
Garver, a junior from Albuquerque, N.M., hit .591 (13-of-22) for the week as the Lobos went 4-1, including a mid-week split with Texas Tech and a weekend series sweep of UNLV. On Tuesday in a 9-5 loss to Texas Tech, Garver was 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. The Lobos bounced back on Wednesday with a come-from-behind 14-13 victory against the Red Raiders. Garver was 2-for-5 with two RBI, two runs scored and a double, while throwing out three consecutive base stealers in the game.
Against UNLV in Friday's 11-4 win, Garver was 2-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI. In Saturday's 16-5 triumph versus the Rebels, he was 3-for-5 with three runs scored, an RBI, two doubles and a stolen base. He also threw out his fourth base stealer of the week. Sunday's 9-1 series finale win over UNLV saw Garver go 3-for-3 with two walks, two runs scored, two RBI and a home run. For the week, Garver had a 1.000 slugging percentage and no strikeouts, all from the lead-off spot in the lineup.
"I'm seeing the ball well," he said. "I'm looking for one pitch and when I get my pitch I hopefully won't miss it. I've been working hard on getting on top of the ball and squaring it up and putting it in play."
UNM head coach Ray Birmingham has been impressed with his star catcher's play all season.
"He's going to be a professional catcher someday, I can promise you that," he said.
Garver is having a tremendous season. He is second on the team with a .380 batting average, he leads the MW with 20 doubles, and he is tied for the MW lead in runs scored at 46 with teammate Josh Melendez. He has already set career-highs in hits, runs, doubles, home runs, RBI, and total bases with at least 12 games left in the season.
He has also committed only three errors in 316 chances this season for a .991 fielding percentage. Even more impressive is that he has managed to do so while playing catcher and all three outfield positions. At catcher he has thrown out 36% of attempted base stealers.
This honor continues an unprecedented run by the Lobos in the Mountain West Player and Pitcher of the Week awards. Garver's latest win is the fourth consecutive week a Lobo has won the award, and is the seventh win in the past eight weeks. As a team the Lobos have been honored a school-record 11 times, besting the previous high of nine set in 2000.
2012 Mountain West Baseball Players of the Week
Feb. 20 - Garrett Custons, Jr., C/OF, Air Force
Feb. 28 - Josh Melendez, Jr., 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., C/OF, 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
April 16 - Mitchell Garver, Jr., C/OF, New Mexico
April 23 - Ben Woodchick, Sr., OF, New Mexico
April 30 - Mitchell Garver, Jr., C/OF, New Mexico
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
April 16 - Andrew Mitchell, So., RHP, TCU
April 23 - Zack Hartman, So., RHP, UNLV
April 30 - Justin Hepner, So., RHP, San Diego State