Mountain West Baseball Weekly Release - NCAA Tournament
May 29, 2012
DJ Peterson, a semifinalist for the 2012 Golden Spikes Award. Click on DJ's name to vote.
NCAA Tournament ... Mountain West regular season co-champions New Mexico and TCU have been selected to participate in the 2012 NCAA Baseball Tournament. The Lobos (36-22) earned the league's automatic bid after winning the MW Baseball Championship in Las Vegas on Saturday and are making their third consecutive appearance in the NCAA postseason. The Horned Frogs (36-19) will be making their ninth consecutive NCAA appearance, seventh as a member of the MW. It is the fourth year in a row that the MW is sending multiple baseball teams to the NCAA tournament.
No. 3-seeded New Mexico will face San Diego (40-15) in the first round of the Los Angeles, Calif., Regional on June 1-4. The Toreros earned an at-large bid after a second-place finish in the West Coast Conference. Game time on June 1 is set for 3 p.m. PT. The winner of the UNM-USD game will face the winner of host UCLA (42-14), the Pac-12 co-champion and No. 2 national seed, against No. 4 seed Creighton (26-28), the Missouri Valley Conference tournament champion.
TCU is headed to the College Station, Texas, Regional on June 1-4 as the No. 2 seed. The Frogs take on Ole Miss (35-24), an at-large selection from the Southeastern Conference. The winner will take on the winner of the game between No. 1 seed Texas A&M (42-16), a Big 12 Conference at-large pick, vs. No. 4 seed Dayton (31-28), the Atlantic 10 Conference automatic bid. All College Station Regional games will be available on ESPN3.com. Friday's Horned Frog-Rebels game is set for 12:35 p.m. CT with Texas A&M-Dayton scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CT.
Each of the 16 regionals features a four-team double-elimination format.
Peterson Named Golden Spikes Semifinalist ... New Mexico third baseman DJ Peterson has been named a semifinalist for the 2012 Golden Spikes Award. The sophomore is among 30 semifinalists named by USA Baseball on May 29. This marks the 35th consecutive year that the award has been presented to the nation's top amateur baseball player. Peterson is also a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and was named the Mountain West Co-Player of the Year. In addition to the 200-plus voters, fans can vote online for their favorite player at www.GoldenSpikesAward.com.
Peterson Named to Team USA National Collegiate team ... While he was preparing for New Mexico's first game of the 2012 Mountain West Baseball Championship, third baseman DJ Peterson received the news that he will be representing Team USA this summer. Peterson, a sophomore, has been named to the USA Baseball 2012 Collegiate National Team on May 24. The 22-man roster will play games in North Carolina, Cuba and The Netherlands. The 2012 team will assemble on June 23, and embark on a 30-day tour. The team is made primarily of non-draft eligible college players from across the country selected based on their play from both the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
Garver and Peterson Named National Semifinalists ... New Mexico baseball student-athletes Mitchell Garver and DJ Peterson have been named semifinalists for two national awards. Garver, a junior catcher, is one of 12 semifinalists for the 2012 Johnny Bench Award presented by BaseballSavings.com as announced by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission on Wednesday, May 16. Peterson, a sophomore third baseman, is one of 35 semifinalists announced today for the 2012 Dick Howser Trophy, presented by Easton Foundations. The Johnny Bench Award has been given annually to the nation's top collegiate catcher since 2000. The three 2012 finalists will be honored at the Greater Wichita Sports Banquet on June 28. TCU's Bryan Holaday was the 2010 Johnny Bench Award recipient. The Dick Howser Trophy, presented to the top player in collegiate baseball, is regarded by many as college baseball's most prestigious award. Criteria for consideration of the trophy include performance on the field, leadership, moral character and courage, qualities that were exemplified by Dick Howser's life. Howser was twice an All-America shortstop at Florida State (1957-58), and coached the Seminoles in 1979, after a career as a major league player and coach. After one year in the college ranks, Howser returned to the majors to manage the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals and won the World Series with the Royals in 1985. Howser passed away from brain cancer in 1987. Former San Diego State pitcher Stephen Strasburg was the 2009 Dick Howser Trophy recipient.
Mountain West on Watch Lists ... TCU junior catcher Josh Elander has been named to the Johnny Bench Award watch list. He is one of 43 members on the first list of the season. Air Force junior Garrett Custons and New Mexico junior Mitchell Garver were added to the watch list during the season. TCU's Bryan Holaday was the award recipient in 2010. Elander is also one of three MW student-athletes on the Golden Spikes Award Watch List, recognizing the top player in collegiate baseball. TCU senior outfielder Jason Coats and New Mexico sophomore third baseman DJ Peterson are also on the list. San Diego State's Stephen Strasburg won the award in 2009.
Tops in Attendance ... In the most recent Division I Baseball Attendance survey conducted by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, TCU and New Mexico rank among the Top 40 in the nation in home attendance in 2012. The Horned Frogs rank 11th in average attendance at 4,112 and in total at 131,60. TCU is just one of 17 teams in the nation to have over 100,000 fans come through the front door so far this season, first among teams not in the SEC, Big 12 or ACC. The Lobos are 38th in average (1,618) and 37th in total (51,807).
Elander and Kirk Named Academic All-District ... TCU catcher Josh Elander and UNLV outfielder Trevor Kirk have been named to the 2012 Capital One Academic All-District Baseball Team. Elander represents District Seven, while Kirk is in District Eight. It is the first Capital One Academic honor for both student-athletes. As first team selections, Elander and Kirk will advance to the 2012 Capital One Academic All-America Team ballot. Elander is a junior communications major with a 3.42 GPA. Kirk, a senior, holds a 3.55 GPA in kinesiology.
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