Garver, Peterson on Midseason Golden Spikes Award Watch List

May 2, 2013

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Prior to the 2013 season, All-Americans Mitch Garver and DJ Peterson were named to the Golden Spikes Award preseason watch list by USA Baseball. Thursday the duo was named to the midseason watch list as well.

"This is a well-deserved honor," UNM head coach Ray Birmingham said. "These are two of the better overall players in the country; DJ is the best hitter and Mitch is the best catcher in the country."

Garver and Peterson are two of 60 players named to the watch list for the award, which is given annually to the top amateur baseball player in the country. Peterson was a semifinalist in 2012.

Garver is second in the Mountain West in hitting with a .379 average, trailing only Peterson's .403 mark. He has 16 doubles, 43 RBI, and career-highs in triples (four), stolen bases (10), and OBP (.450). Earlier this season he had a career-long 26-game hitting streak, which is the sixth longest in school and is tied for the second longest in the nation this season.

"It's truly an honor to be named to the Golden Spikes Award watch list," he said. "These are the best college baseball players in the nation and they all play the game with respect and class."

Garver has also started a school-record 166 consecutive games heading into this weekend's home series against Air Force. It is no surprise then that he also owns the school record for hits by a catcher. He has 257 career hits, 218 of which have come with him playing behind the plate.

DJ Peterson is on pace to win the MW triple crown for the second straight season. He's hitting .403 with 13 home runs and 53 RBI. He was a semifinalist for the award last season and earned nearly three times as many fan votes as any other player.

Peterson, meanwhile, is having another monster season and has justified his placement on the preseason watch list. He's currently on pace to win the MW triple crown for a second straight season as he leads the conference with 13 home runs and 53 RBI to go with his league-leading batting average.

Despite missing four games this season, the All-American is second in the nation in slugging (.811), third in OBP (.520), fourth in total bases (129) and home runs, and seventh in doubles (20). Against UC Riverside earlier this season he had a stretch where he reached base in 12 straight plate appearances: 7-for-7 with four home runs, three singles, and five walks.

USA Baseball officials will announce the 30 semifinalists for the 2013 Golden Spikes Award on Tuesday, May 28.  The list of 30 will then be sent to a voting body consisting of past USA Baseball National Team coaches and press officers, members of media that closely follow the amateur game, select professional baseball personnel, and current USA Baseball staff, representing a group of more than 200 voters in total.

Fan voting will once again be a part of the Golden Spikes Award in 2013.  Tuesday, May 28, marks the day when amateur baseball fans from across the country will be able to vote for their favorite semifinalist on GoldenSpikesAward.com. Last season Peterson earned the most fan votes of any player, garnering nearly three times as many votes as any other player.

On Tuesday, June 4, USA Baseball will announce the three finalists, and voting will once again commence that same day. The Golden Spikes Award trophy will be awarded live on MLB Network for the third year in a row, with a live presentation scheduled during The Rundown on Friday, July 19.