Lobo Baseball picked as preseason favorite in Mountain West Coaches Poll

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Lobo Baseball is fresh off a Mountain West Tournament Title, and the feeling around the league is that Ray Birmingham’s team is on track to do it again. They received 4 first place votes in the latest Mountain West preseason coaches poll. Fresno State received 3 first place votes and finished second in the balloting.

“It doesn’t mean a whole lot, it’s respect, but you still have to do it. Winning the Mountain West we have done seven times, but getting to Omaha is what we want to do and I think we can pull it off,” said UNM Baseball Coach Ray Birmingham.

It was a tough way to go in the Lubbock Regional last year, but this team is coming into 2017 hungry. They are returning 17 letterman this upcoming season and have three players that made the All-Mountain West Preseason Team. Three juniors made the list, center fielder Luis Gonzalez, pitcher Tyler Stevens, and 3rd baseman Carl Stajduhar.

Stajduhar has also received some acclaim from around the college baseball community. The junior 3rd baseman also earned a spot on D1 Baseball’s power rankings. He ranked fourth in the country at the position, after earning the 2016 Mountain West Player of the Year award last season, hitting .331, 18 home runs and 66 RBI.

“I try not to pay attention to that kind of stuff, it’s just a little bit of a distraction coming into the season. What matters is what we do as a team and we always treat ourselves like we are going to be number one because we don’t want to lose that spot. So, we come out everyday with that killer instinct to get better,” said Carl Stajduhar.

The Lobos will start the season next week by hosting a three game series with Binghamton. The first game is Friday Feb. 17 at 6 p.m. at Santa Ana Star Field.

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