March 21, 2012
New Mexico first baseman DJ Peterson has been named one of the College Baseball Insider Regional Players of the Week for games played from March 12-18, 2012.
Peterson, a sophomore from Gilbert, Ariz., hit .667 (10-15) for the week as the Lobos went 3-1, including a three-game series sweep of San Diego State to begin Conference play. In Tuesday's 6-2 loss to New Mexico State, Peterson was 1-for-3 with an RBI and two walks. Against SDSU in Friday's series opener, Peterson was a perfect 5-for-5 with three runs scored, four RBI and two home runs in the 11-9 win. Peterson scored the eventual winning run in the bottom of the sixth with the score tied at nine and two outs on a home run to left field.
"DJ had a great night," UNM head coach Ray Birmingham said. "He swung the bat the right way, sprayed the ball around the field, and hit a tape-measure homer. You can't ask for anymore from a kid than he did."
On Saturday, UNM won 11-2 with Peterson hitting 1-for-3 with two runs scored and two walks. Over the first two games of the series, Peterson reached base eight-straight times, a season-high for the Lobos. Peterson was 3-for-4 with a run scored, two RBI, one walk and two doubles in Sunday's 8-6 win. Both of Peterson's RBI came in the bottom of the sixth as the Lobos scored eight runs in the inning to comeback from a 6-0 deficit. He ended up reaching base in 15 of his 20 plate appearances over the four games. Defensively for the week, Peterson was a perfect 1.000 with 40 putouts and three assists. Peterson, who was a Freshman All-American last season and set a new NCAA record for doubles by a freshman with 32, currently leads the Mountain West Conference in batting (.457), slugging (.800), and on-base percentage (.518). He also leads the league in hits (32), home runs (5), RBI (21), and total bases (56) and is second in runs (18). He is also tied for the league lead in doubles (7) with teammate Mitchell Garver. Prior to this season he was named to the Louisville Slugger Pre-Season All-American Team by Collegiate Baseball newspaper.
"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."