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Mountain West announces all-conference baseball team

The MWC might be a one-bid league this year, but it's certainly not a one-star league in 2016.

Not to be confused with the honors doled out by our crack baseball writer Don Starks, the Mountain West, in conjunction with the beginning of its postseason conference tournament, announced its selections for the all-MWC this morning.

New Mexico's sophomore third baseman, Carl Stajduhar, was named the Tony Gwynn Player of the Year after emerging as one of the conference's premier sluggers. He hit .351 and crushed 17 homers in 56 total games this year, but reached another level in MWC play, hitting .421 with a staggering .746 slugging percentage.

On the mound, Air Force ace Griffin Jax and Fresno State's Jimmy Lambert shared Pitcher of the Year honors. Jax, one of the biggest reasons for the Academy's surprising success in 2016, led the conference in innings pitched (98.1) and ERA (1.74), while racking up 85 strikeouts and holding opponents to a .221 overall average. he is the first AFA player to earn any like honors in Mountain West history. Lambert, meanwhile, led the conference with 10 wins in 14 starts and finished third in both innings pitched (95) and ERA (2.37).

They weren't the only players to share a major award, however. Freshman of the Year was split between two third baseman: Air Force's Nic Ready and UNLV's Kyle Isbel. Ready held a slight advantage in batting average (.327 vs. .323), and extra base hits (23 vs. 18) on the season, but Isbel was also 7-of-9 on stolen base attempts and finished with a better on-base percentage, as well (.381 vs. .346).

Fresno State head coach Mike Batesole won his first Coach of the Year nod since the program's move to the Mountain West, leading the Bulldogs to their first MWC regular season title with a 21-9 conference record.

First Team

Name Class Position School
Bradley Haslam Jr. DH Air Force
Griffin Jax Jr. RHP Air Force
Tyler Jones Jr. OF Air Force
Aaron Arruda Soph. 1B Fresno State
Jimmy Lambert Jr. RHP Fresno State
Brody Russell Sr. SS Fresno State
Ricky Tyler Thomas Soph. LHP Fresno State
T.J. Friedl Soph. OF Nevada
Chris DeVito Jr. C/DH New Mexico
Jared Holley Sr. 2B New Mexico
Carl Stajduhar Soph. 3B New Mexico
Tyler Stevens Soph. RHP New Mexico
D.J. Myers Jr. RHP UNLV
Payton Squier Soph. OF UNLV

Second Team

Name Class Position School
Nic Ready Fr. 3B Air Force
Tim Borst Sr. RHP Fresno State
Rickey Ramirez Soph. RHP Fresno State
Scott Silva Jr. 2B Fresno State
Jake Stone Jr. OF Fresno State
Miles Mastrobuoni Jr. 2B Nevada
Jordan Pearce Soph. 1B Nevada
Luis Gonzalez Soph. OF/LHP New Mexico
Dominic Purpura Jr. LHP San Diego State
Justin Wylie Soph. 2B San Diego State
Dillan Smith Sr. OF San Jose State
Kyle Isbel Fr. 3B UNLV
Ben Wright Sr. RHP UNLV