Mountain West Names 2016 All-Conference Baseball Team
ALBUQUERQUE, NM. – The Mountain West baseball coaches selected New Mexico third baseman Carl Stajduhar as the Tony Gwynn Player of the Year, while Air Force junior Griffin Jax and Fresno State junior Jimmy Lambert were named the MW Baseball Co-Pitchers of the Year as the 2016 All-Conference teams and individual award winners were announced today. A pair of third basemen share the league’s Freshman of the Year honors, Nic Ready of Air Force and UNLV’s Kyle Isbel. Fresno State skipper Mike Batesole earned his first MW Coach of the Year honor.
Stajduhar is the second MW player to receive the Tony Gwynn Trophy. In MW action this season, he led the league in batting average (.421), slugging percentage (.746), home runs (9) and RBIs (39). A sophomore, Stajduhar was second in hits (53), on-base percentage (.490) and tied for fourth in runs scored (28). Stajduhar is the sixth Lobo to earn the MW Player of the Year honor and was a Second Team selection in 2015. In the summer of 2014, the MW head coaches voted to name the Conference’s Player of the Year trophy in honor of the late San Diego State head coach, Tony Gwynn.
Jax becomes the first Air Force cadet-athlete to be named Player or Pitcher of the Year in the history of Mountain West baseball. In 10 Conference appearances, Jax earned a 2.21 ERA with a 6-1 record. He tied for second in the league with 55 strikeouts against 10 walks. Jax also threw three consecutive complete games to finish the regular season. In 69.1 innings pitched, Mountain West batters only hit .250 against the right-hander. He was a Second Team selection in 2015.
Lambert was 8-0 for the Bulldogs with an ERA of 2.65 in Conference play this year. The right-hander was tied for second in Conference-only game rankings with 55 strikeouts and was third in opposing batting average (.247), innings pitched (68.0). Lambert is the first Fresno State pitcher to earn the accolade.
In 30 Conference games, Ready hit .336 while playing third base for the Falcons. He had 41 hits, 21 runs scored, 23 runs batted in, eight doubles, one triple and three home runs. Ready is the first Air Force rookie to receive this honor.
Isbel, also a third baseman for the Rebels, hit .338 in Conference play. He posted 44 hits, 20 runs scored and 14 RBI with six doubles, a league-leading five triples and one home run. Isbel is just the second UNLV freshman to earn the award (Joe Wickman, 2002).
Batesole led the Bulldogs to their first Mountain West regular season title since joining the league in 2013. Fresno State compiled a 21-9 Conference record en route to earning the No. 1 seed for the 2016 Mountain West Baseball Championship, May 25-29, at Santa Ana Star Field in Albuquerque.
^ 2015 All-MW First or Second Team selection