June 3, 2010
TUCSON, Ariz. - University of New Mexico senior Justin Howard and junior Rafael Neda have been named to the Louisville Slugger All-American Team as announced by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper today. Howard and Neda each earned third-team honors. The award is Neda's sixth All-America award of his career and the first for Howard. The award comes on the eve of Lobo baseball's first trip to an NCAA Regional since 1962.
"This is a great feeling and a great honor to win this award," said Howard. "It shows that all the hard work is paying off and it's a great honor to bring back to New Mexico. We aren't done yet though. We've still got work to do and more awards to win."
"It's amazing to be named All-American," said Neda. "I'll enjoy it for a little bit but we are here in Fullerton to play baseball. I'm honored to win this award but it doesn't matter to the guys in the other dugout. We are here to prove that New Mexico baseball belongs here."
Howard is currently ranked second in the NCAA with 117 hits, a .455 batting average and 32 doubles. The Ennis, Texas native has played every minute of every inning this season. He was named to the All-Mountain West Conference Second Team on Monday, May 24, in San Diego Calif.
Neda was named to the Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America, Baseball America Freshman All-America, Pro-Line Athletic Freshman All-America, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Freshman All-America and Ping!Baseball Freshman All-America teams in 2008. He is hitting .369 with 22 doubles and is tied for the team lead with 10 home runs.
The Lobos earned a No. 3-seed in the NCAA Fullerton Regional and will take on No. 2-seeded Stanford on Friday, June 4 at 5 p.m. MT. The game will be televised nationwide on ESPNU and will be broadcast in Albuquerque on 101.7 FM The TEAM.For more information on the NCAA Fullerton Regional click HERE