Eight MW Student-Athletes Named to 2015 ABCA/Rawlings All-Region Teams
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Eight Mountain West student-athletes were named to the 2015 American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings All-Region baseball teams today. Nevada first baseman Austin Byler was named to the All-West Region First Team and will advance to the ABCA/Rawlings All-America ballot.
Six student-athletes were named to the All-West Region Second Team. Byler’s teammates Ryan Howell (Jr., 2B), Trenton Brooks (So., OF) and Kewby Meyer (Sr., OF) were joined on the squad by the San Diego State trio of Seby Zavala (Jr., C), Steven Pallares (Sr., OF) and Bubba Derby (Jr., RHP). New Mexico freshman third baseman Carl Stajduhar was named to the All-Midwest Region Second Team.
Byler, a two-time All-Mountain West selection, finished the season with a league-leading .652 slugging percentage, .507 on-base percentage, 69 runs scored and 54 walks. The senior from Peoria, Arizona hit .328 for the year with 52 RBIs, 18 doubles and 14 home runs. The Wolf Pack’s starting first baseman was second in the league in putouts with 501 and had a .994 fielding percentage.
Howell, one of the top transfers in the Mountain West during the 2015 season, led the Conference with 17 home runs and 138 total bases, and was second in slugging percentage (.642) and RBIs (65). The junior from Brentwood, California was the 2015 All-Mountain West First Team second baseman and hit .312 for the season. He was recently named District VIII Player of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association for his achievements.
Meyer joins Howell on the All-West region second team after batting .343 in 2015. The Waipahu, Hawai'i., native belted a team-high 81 hits this year with 60 runs and 55 RBI. Meyer, a First Team All-MW selection, graduates from the Wolf Pack ranking second in program history in career doubles, third in games played and fourth in hits.
Brooks, the inaugural winner of the Tony Gwynn Mountain West Player of the Year Trophy, joins Meyer in the outfield of the All-West region second team. The Alpine, Calif., native became the Pack's first conference player of the year since 2003 after batting a team-high .365 with a 3.65 ERA in 13 appearances. As a position player, he started in 55 games, Brooks posted 73 hits, 51 runs and 52 RBI.
Stajduhar set a new UNM freshman record for RBIs with 53 and led the Lobos in RBIs, hits (75), doubles (21), home runs (nine), total bases (127), multi-hit games (22) and multi-RBI games (13). The native of Fort Collins, Colorado, was second on the squad in runs (45) and slugging (.545) and hit .322 while being the only Lobo to appear on all 59 contests this season, including 58 starts. He was named to the Mountain West All-Tournament Team after hitting .353 with eight runs, two doubles and two home runs during UNM's five games in Reno, Nevada, last month.
Derby was a First Team All-Mountain West selection this past season who finished with a record of 8-4 and a 3.32 earned run averaged. He led the conference by a wide margin with 131 strikeouts, a figure that ranks as the third-most ever in a season by an Aztec hurler. His strikeout number was bettered only by former Aztec Stephen Strasburg during the 2008 and 2009 campaigns. Derby was also named to the NCAA Regional All-Tournament team last month during SDSU's postseason play at Lake Elsinore, Calif. The right-hander from Monrovia, California, recorded a complete-game victory over No. 13 UC Santa Barbara in the Aztecs' tourney opener.
Pallares was a Second Team All-Conference honoree who ended the season with a team-leading .352 batting average along with 17 doubles, nine home runs and 48 runs batted in. He ended the season on a 21-game hitting streak and finished ranked among the top eight hitters in the Mountain West in eight offensive categories. In addition, the Corona, California native was an all-tourney selection at the NCAA Regional where he hit .600 (6-for-10) over the Aztecs' three contests with a home run, four RBI and five runs scored. In the Aztecs' victory over No. 13 UC Santa Barbara, he had a solo homer and later stole home in the eighth inning with the game-winning run in SDSU's 4-3 victory over the Gauchos.
Zavala, a native of West Covina, California, hit .290 this past season while leading the team in home runs (14) and RBI (67). Zavala was named the MVP of the 2015 Mountain West Tournament and was also a Second Team All-Conference selection.