New Mexico Has a Lineup with Plenty of Firepower
New Mexico hit a ton last season but lost a few of their best hitters heading into this season. No matter as they seem to have enough good bats to fill the void. I have listed five .300 hitters from last season's stats and the team also had a great class of recruits. That spells danger to the rest of the conference. Pitching comes back with two starters and a closer intact. The staff still needs a Sunday starter and maybe one more. It's always nice to have one more. I talked to Coach Birmingham (always a delight) and I'll put a lot of what he said in regards to the lineup at the end. This team will be tough to deal with and will, again, be at or near the top of the Mountain West.
C - Lane Milligan (SO) - .333
1B - Jack Zoellner (SO) - .301 and 2
2B - Jared Holley (JR) - .314
SS - Sam Haggerty (JR) - .340 and 2
3B - Andre Vigil (SO) - .311
OF - Danny Collier (SO) - .353
OF - Aaron Siple (SR) - .290
OF - Ryan Padilla (SR) - .252
DH - Could be most anyone
SP - Colton Thomson (SR) - 6-6 and 3.68
SP - Drew Bridges (JR) - 4-1 and 3.66
SP - Preston Ryan (SO) - 0-0 and 8.50 in 18 IP. He started four games so we'll see.
RP - Victor Sanchez (JR) - 4-1 and 2.33 and 10 saves
C - Lane Milligan
1B - Jack Zoellner but Stajduhar (FR) and "Danny" DeVito (SO .148) are in the mix.
2B - Sam Haggerty
SS - Dalton Bowers (JR juco Trans)
3B - Jared Holley
OF - Aaron Siple
OF - Danny Collier
OF - Andre Vigil and/or Luis Gonzalez (FR)
DH - DeVito, Reece Weber (FR), or Ryan Padilla depending on pitching
SP - Colton Thomson
SP - Drew Bridges
SP - Preston Ryan
RP - Victor Sanchez
The Coach and his assistants made some changes to shore up the defense especially on the left side of the infield. He realizes that defense and pitching gets you to Omaha and I agree. You'll also notice he has put in a few freshmen as possibilities in a predominantly veteran lineup. Stajduhar is a much-heralded newbie but he still has to win his stripes so keep an eye on him. Gonzalez has some serious pop in his bat. Hmm, just what the Lobos need. Pitching comes back strong and he has some frosh and transfers who will get shots on mid-week games. Keep an eye on the results of those games to see who makes an impression; good impression that is. I'm sure most of you are aware that a lot of things come into play when a starter in the weekend rotation gets replaced. When he does, it is usually by a guy who has done well as a mid-week guy. He threw these names out there. Toller Boardman (JR juco Trans), Carson Schneider (SO) 2-1 and 3.81, Tyler Stevens (FR), and James Harrington (FR). I want you to note that two of these guys are from the great list of recruits.