Courtesy Chris Kennedy, NM State
TUCSON, Ariz. – After another historic season for New Mexico State baseball, the postseason awards are rolling in for the players. Collegiate Baseball has named infielders Joey Ortiz, Nick Gonzales and Tristan Peterson First-Team All-Americans. NM State is the only program to have three players on the first-team list and this marks the first time in program history having three players all earn the nod. The Aggies have now had nine All-Americans since 2016.
Ortiz recently concluded one of the best seasons by an Aggie in recent memory en route to earning WAC Player of the Year honors – just the second player in program history to earn that honor. The shortstop finished his junior campaign with a .422 batting average, eight home runs and 84 RBI. In 55 games, Ortiz amassed 43 extra base hits. He leads the entire NCAA in hits (106), runs scored (85) and triples (10), while also ranking third in runs batted in (84). During the WAC Tournament in Mesa, Ortiz set the new school record for hits and runs in a single-season. The Garden Grove, Calif. native also set the new school record for triples in a single-season and career earlier in the campaign. For a single-season, Ortiz sits in second place in program history for doubles (25) and total bases (125) and fourth in at-bats (251). His average and RBI total ranks fifth and eighth respectively in a single-season in program history.
Gonzales, who was recognized recently as the best second baseman in the country by D1baseball.com, racked up some of the best overall offensive numbers in the country during his sophomore season. The sophomore leads the country with a .432 batting average – the best average by a player in the program since 1988. Meanwhile, he added 16 home runs and 80 RBI – with the RBI total ranking fourth in the country. Nationally, the Vail, Ariz. native also ranks second in OPS (1.305), third in runs (80), third in slugging percentage (.773) and fifth in on-base percentage (.532). His 80 runs and 95 hits are both good for fourth most in a single-season in program history. He finished the season on a 66-game on-base streak, which is the longest active streak in the country.
Peterson shined in his first year in the program, batting .400 with 20 home runs and 90 RBI. The Aggie first baseman, who was ranked as the ninth best first baseman in the country by D1baseball.com, has the second most runs batted in nationally, which also ranks fourth on the single-season program list. Peterson also sits fourth in the country in slugging percentage (.769), fourth in OPS (1.279) and tenth in the country in on-base percentage (.510). He finished the season on a 47-game on-base streak.
Since 2016, NM State has had nine All-Americans honorees. In 2016, Daniel Johnson was named an ABCA/Rawlings Third-Team All-American and Kyle Bradish earned Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American accolades. In 2017, Mason Fishback claimed Second-Team All-American honors from Collegiate Baseball. Last year following the incredible 2018 season, Jonathan Groff was named a Collegiate Baseball Second-Team All-American, Kyle Bradish was a Third-Team All-American from Rawlings/Perfect Game and Nick Gonzales was a unanimous Freshman All-American from five publications.