ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Last season the University of New Mexico baseball team was the overwhelming favorite to win the Mountain West, which it did convincingly by a conference-record seven games. After losing a school-record seven players to the MLB Draft last June there is more uncertainty about this year's squad, but not enough for Baseball America to not pick the Lobos to repeat as champs.
In its annual conference preview the publication tabbed the Lobos as the "Team to Beat" in the MW. BA predicts a big bounce-back season for Ryan Padila, as well as good years from Chase Harris, Alex Real, Josh Walker and the middle infield combo of Jared Holley and 2013 Freshman All-American Sam Haggerty.
Also, College Sports Madness released its 2014 Preseason All-Mountain West Team Friday, and Walker was tabbed as the Pitcher of the Year and head coach Ray Birmingham as the Coach of the Year.
Joining Walker on the first team are Real, Harris and Padilla, while sophomore right-handed pitcher Drew Bridges was named to the second team.
UNM opens its season on the road at the University of San Diego next Friday, Feb. 14 for three games, stops for a game at Arizona St. and then has its home opener against Northern Ilinois on Friday, Feb. 21 at 4 p.m. in the Lobo Invite.
Fans are reminded that the Lobo Pride Pass is on sale now. For just $50 fans can gain entry to all home Lobo baseball and softball games this season. You can purchase one online, by visiting the Lobo Ticket Office in The Pit or by calling the ticket office at 925-LOBO.