Mountain West Announces 2012 All-Conference Baseball Team

May 22, 2012

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The five Mountain West baseball coaches chose New Mexico junior catcher Mitchell Garver and sophomore third baseman DJ Peterson as the MW Baseball Co-Players of the Year for 2012 as the all-Conference team and individual award winners were announced today. TCU's Preston Morrison was named MW Pitcher of the Year and Freshman of the Year, while UNM skipper Ray Birmingham earned his first MW Coach of the Year honor.

There was not much separation between Garver and Peterson during Conference play in 2012. The pair ranked 1-2 in nine offensive categories including batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, runs scored, hits, runs batted in, doubles, total bases and total plate appearances. They tied for first in home runs with eight apiece and tied for second in triples with two each. Peterson edged out Garver in batting average by .001 with a .446 clip at the plate. The Gilbert, Ariz., product topped the league with a .812 slugging percentage, .533 on-base percentage and 40 RBI. Garver, an Albuquerque, N.M., native, led the league with 42 runs scored, 49 hits, 11 doubles, 88 total bases and 123 total plate appearances. Overall, Garver and Peterson finished 1-2 in eight offensive categories. Peterson became the third player in Mountain West history to claim the overall triple-crown title with a .422 batting average, 14 home runs and 68 RBI. UNLV's Eric Nielsen earned the title in 2004 and Utah's C.J. Cron took the crown in 2011.

Morrison is the first player in Mountain West history to earn Pitcher of the Year and Freshman of the Year in the same season. The right-hander from Waxhaw, N.C., was 5-0 in Conference action with a league-leading 1.54 earned run average in 46.2 innings of work. He struck out 37 batters while only walking seven. Morrison also added a save in his eight MW appearances. Overall, Morrison was 9-0 during the regular season with an ERA of 1.55 and 61 strikeouts.

Birmingham led the Lobos to a share of the team's first Mountain West regular season title since 2000, the league's inaugural year. UNM recorded an 18-6 Conference record, tying TCU for the crown. The Lobos finished the regular season with a 33-22 overall record and will be the No. 1 seed in the 2012 Mountain West Baseball Championship, May 24-27, at Earl E. Wilson Stadium in Las Vegas.

Five players were repeat all-Conference selections from a year ago, including TCU's Jason Coats, who was named to the all-Mountain West First Team for the third consecutive season. Coats, a senior outfielder from Plano, Texas, is just the third three-time, first-team honoree in the league's 13-year history to receive the honor (Jay Brossman - Utah, 2004-05, 2007; Jordan Pacheco - New Mexico, 2005-07).

2012 All-Mountain West Baseball Team
Position Name Team Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown
Catcher Mitchell Garver# New Mexico 6-1 200 Jr. Albuquerque, N.M.
First Base Trent Cook! UNLV 6-2 190 Sr. Centerville, Utah
Second Base Blair Roberts Air Force 5-10 175 Sr. Parker, Colo.
Shortstop Alex Allbritton New Mexico 6-2 180 Jr. Aurora, Colo.
Third Base DJ Peterson# New Mexico 6-1 190 So. Gilbert, Ariz.
Outfielder Josh Melendez# New Mexico 5-11 180 Jr. Chandler, Ariz.
Outfielder Jason Coats^! TCU 6-2 190 Sr. Plano, Texas
Outfielder Brandon Bayardi! UNLV 6-2 210 Jr. Phoenix, Ariz.
DH/Utility Ben Woodchick New Mexico 5-10 185 Sr. San Antonio, Texas
Pitcher Austin House# New Mexico 6-4 210 Jr. Albuquerque, N.M.
Pitcher Andrew Mitchell# TCU 6-3 220 So. Houston, Texas
Pitcher Preston Morrison# TCU 6-2 160 Fr. Waxhaw, N.C.
Relief Pitcher Zack Hartman UNLV 5-11 185 So. Las Vegas, Nev.
Catcher Garrett Custons! Air Force 5-11 200 Jr. Sarasota, Fla.
First Base Trey Porras New Mexico 6-4 225 Sr. Richmond, Texas
Second Base Kyle Stiner New Mexico 6-1 180 Sr. Peoria, Ariz.
Shortstop Danny Higa UNLV 5-9 185 Sr. Honolulu, Hawaii
Third Base Jantzen Witte! TCU 6-1 195 Jr. Arlington, Texas
Outfielder Ryan Padilla New Mexico 6-4 205 Fr. Albuquerque, N.M.
Outfielder Kyle Von Tungeln TCU 6-0 175 Jr. Sugar Land, Texas
Outfielder Joey Swanner UNLV 5-11 170 Fr. Frisco, Texas
DH/Utility Seth Kline Air Force 6-1 225 So. Yakima, Wash.
Pitcher Gera Sanchez New Mexico 6-0 180 Sr. Las Cruces, N.M.
Pitcher Josh Walker New Mexico 6-2 180 So. Rio Rancho, N.M.
Pitcher Erick Fedde UNLV 6-4 165 Fr. Las Vegas, Nev.
Relief Pitcher Kevin Allen TCU 6-1 210 Jr. Kingwood, Texas
Co-Players of the Year - Mitchell Garver, New Mexico; DJ Peterson, New Mexico
Pitcher of the Year - Preston Morrison, TCU
Freshman of the Year - Preston Morrison, TCU
Coach of the Year - Ray Birmingham, New Mexico
#unanimous selection
^2010 All-MW selection
!2011 All-MW selection