Lobo Baseball All-Decade Team (1990s)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The 1990s saw a lot of great baseball at UNM, and the closing of a major chapter in the school’s history as the team would leave the Western Athletic Conference after the 1999 season and head to the newly formed Mountain West in 2000. Lobo baseball fell just short of 300 wins for the decade and had three straight 30+ win seasons (1992-94).
What the decade did see were a pair of freshmen All-America picks in Travis Young and Lon Yamaguchi, three CoSIDA Academic All-America selections in Mark Wulfert and Young (twice) and six players earning All-America honors, five of which are honored on the All-Decade team (the sixth was honored on the All-Decade team for 2000-2009).
It also saw an unprecedented 20 Lobos drafted into Major League Baseball, three players earn WAC Player of the Year and the earn WAC Freshman of the Year.
“Every All-Decade team is very difficult to select because New Mexico baseball is so rich in its history,” said current head coach Ray Birmingham. “This is truly an all-star team in terms of talent that represented New Mexico the right way on and off the field.”
Here is the Lobo Baseball All-Decade Team for the 1990s:
P | Russell Alexanderson (1987, 89-90)
*Second in career complete games with 19
*Set a UNM record with 10 complete games in 1990, and it’s the most by a Lobo senior
*Led the 1990 team in starts (13) and innings pitched (92.1)
*Two-time team leader in ERA, with a 3.95 in 1987 and a 3.41 in 1990.
A workhorse who pitched three years for the Lobos, Alexanderson was an old-school workhorse on the mound, throwing 19 complete games in his three years in the Cherry and Silver. In 1990, his 10 complete games in 13 starts equaled teammate Pat Fetty and is a record that might never be broken at UNM.
P | Luis Gonzalez (1995-96)
*All-time winningest pitcher in terms of percentage, going 17-5 in his career, good for a .773 mark.
*Tied for third for single season wins with 10 in 1996.
*Went 7-2 in 1995, and that .778 winning percentage is tied for eighth-best in a single season.
*Threw 108.0 innings in 1996, ninth-most in a single season, and threw 108 strikeouts as well.
*Made a team-high 22 appearances in 1995.
*Drafted by Pittsburgh in the 22nd round in 1996.
The man with the best winning percentage in school history went a blistering 17-5 in his two-year career. Leading the team in wins in both of his seasons, Gonzalez was a flamethrower, averaging a strikeout per inning in 1996. He was a two-time All-WAC honoree who was selected by the Pirates as the 636rd overall pick, going in the 22nd round.
P | Scott Strickland (1995-97)
*Led the 1997 squad in strikeouts with 59.
*Led the 1997 squad in complete games with two.
*Drafted by Montreal in the 10th round in 1997
After spending two seasons behind teammate Luis Gonzalez, Strickland got the chance to shine in 1997. He led the Lobos with a pair of complete games and 59 strikeouts, while also leading the team in ERA among all qualifiers. He was able to turn that season into becoming a 10th round draft pick by the Montreal Expos, the 316th selection overall.
P | Jim Serrano (1998)
*Tied for the third-most single-game strikeouts, punching out 17 in a win over Point Loma.
*Completed seven games (tied for seventh-most in a single season) and won nine games (tied for sixth-most in a single-season).
*Tossed 116.1 innings, the fifth-highest single-season total.
*Is UNM’s all-time single-season strikeout king with 137.
*An 18th round selection by the Montreal Expos (534th overall) in the 1998 entry draft.
Jim Serrano made the most on his lone season with UNM, going 9-5 with a 4.41 ERA and a school record 137 strikeouts in parlaying that into an 18th round selection by Montreal. Serrano had 17 of those punchouts in one game, a 5-3 win over Point Loma that is third-most in school history and the most in the past 50 years. Durable, he completed seven contests and threw for 116.1 innings and he is still on 14 single-season top 10 lists at UNM over 20 years after his career.
1B | Mark Gulseth (1991-93)
*Only player in Lobo history to hit two grand slams in one game.
*First player to ever ring up 10 RBIs in one game.
*His 82 RBIs in 1993 is the third best total in school history for a season.
*Is 10th on the career home run charts with 29.
*One of five Lobos with over 1,000 career putouts.
*Twice led team in RBIs and HRs in a season.
*Earned All-America honors in 1993.
*Drafted in the 19th round by San Francisco.
Mark Gulseth is more than just one monster game, but boy did he throw in a monster game. On April 19 against San Diego State in 1992 he hit grand slams in back-to-back at bats as UNM won 13-5. He earned Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week for that performance, but it was in 1993 that it all came together, earning All-America honors after hitting 18 home runs and driving in 82 runs. A player at his best in big moments, he hit .450 in his three postseason tournaments as he was a two-time All-WAC performer. He was drafted in the 19th round (526th overall) by San Francisco.
2B | Travis Young (1994-97)
*All-time leader in hits with 340.
*A two-time First Team CoSIDA Academic All-America.
*All-time leader in stolen bases with 127.
*Owns three spots in the single-season top 10 list for steals.
*Hit .442 in 1996 (fourth-best at UNM) and .380 for his career (ninth-best at UNM)
*Second in career at bats (895) and runs (239).
*Owns the fourth-best single-season batting average, going 95-for-215 (.442) in 1996.
*Is ninth in career batting average at .380 (340-for-895).
*Is the only Lobo in school history with 60 career doubles and 20 career triples.
*Was drafted twice; by Cincinnati in the 21st round (630th overall) and by San Francisco in the 11th round (328th overall).
*WAC Freshman of the Year in 1994 and Player of the Year in 1996.
Young could do it all, and he is the all-time hit king at UNM, topping out at 340, and since then only once has anyone made a run at that. The speedster and owner of 20 career triples, he obliterated the school mark for career stolen bases, finishing with 123, 49 more than the previous leader. Young could do it all and did, at one time or another leading the team for a season in hits, doubles, triples, runs, assists stolen bases and even sacrifices. He was drafted as a junior after earning Mountain West Player of the Year honors and came back to school as a senior, where he set the hits record.
SS | Lon Yamaguchi (1996-99)
*Career leader in runs scored with 248.
*Career leader in walks with 152.
*Ranked third in career at bats (862) and fourth in career hits (295).
*One of three Lobos to record over 200 RBIs in his career (203).
*In 1998 set a school record with 20 home runs in a season, a total that is tied for fourth all-time.
*Second in career total bases with 496.
*All-time career leader with 612 assists.
*1996 WAC Freshman of the Year and named Freshman All-America.
*Two-time All-WAC, in 1998 and 1999.
Yamaguchi was a slick-fielding shortstop with a big bat who finished his career on the tops of several batting charts, including single-season home runs. In 1998, he became the first Lobo to hit 20 home runs in a season. A power bat with a discerning eye, Yamaguchi is the all-time leader in career walks at UNM with 152, and he turned that ability in scoring a school record 248 runs. He is the only player in school history to have scored 75 runs in two separate seasons. When he completed his career, his 203 runs batted in were the most in school history.
SS | Scott Candelaria (1998-00)
*Had 103 hits in 2000, the fifth-most in a single season.
*Also in the top-10 list for hits in a season with 96 in 1999.
*Sits eighth in career hits with 274.
*His career batting average of .384 is good for fifth all-time at UNM.
*Owner of a 25-game hitting streak in 2000.
*Named All-Mountain West in 2000.
*Drafted in the 22nd round by the Milwaukee Brewers.
A rangy shortstop, Candelaria was an exceptional hitter, as his .384 career batting average will attest. He twice landed in the single-season top 10 for hits in a season with 96 in 1999 and then with 103 in 2000. He hit in 25-straight over the 2000 season, at the time the third-longest streak in UNM history. He was a part of UNM’s first Mountain West All-Conference honorees in 2000, and he was drafted in the 22nd round (651st overall) by the Milwaukee Brewers.
3B | Antonio Fernandez (1992-94)
*1992 WAC Freshman of the Year
*1993 WAC Player of the Year
*A 47th round selection (1,280th overall) by the San Diego Padres.
*Eighth in career RBI with 181.
*Turned in one of the greatest single seasons in school history in 1993, with a .430 batting average and a 29-game hitting streak.
Fernandez backed up a terrific freshman campaign in which he earned WAC Freshman of the Year honors into one of the greatest single season in Lobo history, turning in a sophomore campaign that led to WAC Player of the Year honors. He hit .430 for the 1993 season with a 29-game hitting streak. He had 10 sacrifice flies in that season (part of his 19 career) and he went 95-for-221 on the season. He turned on the power his junior season with a team-best 13 home runs, and he was drafted after his junior season by San Diego.
C | Jamie Garcia (1994-95)
*Earned All-WAC honors in 1995.
*Drafted in the 25th round by Montreal
*Hit .344 as a catcher in a two-year career.
*Was a workhorse, starting 101 games in two seasons, almost all at catcher
At any other school, Garcia’s two-year career numbers would have him dotting the record books. Garcia hit .332 in his 1994 seasons with nine bombs and 54 runs batted in, and he followed that up with a .358 mark in 1995 with 13 home runs and 54 RBI again. Truly the George Harrison to guys like Antonio Fernandez and Mark Wulpert, Garcia goes down as one of the best defensive catchers in school history with a .987 career fielding percentage. He could steal a base (he was 7-for-8 in his career) and he had a discerning eye at the plate as well with 43 walks and 19 HBPs. His solid play was rewarded in 1995 with first team All-WAC honors, and he was drafted in the 25th round (703rd overall) by Montreal after the season.
LF | Mark Wulfert (1993-95)
*All-time career leader in grand slams with five
*Has one of 11 all-time cycles, turning the trick against Air Force in 1994
*Hit .441 as a senior, the fifth-highest single-season batting average in school history.
*Hit .380 for his career, 10th on the UNM’s career charts.
*His slugging percentage of .669 is the sixth-best career mark in school history.
*Stole 40 bags in 1995, second-most in school history.
*WAC Player of the Year in 1995 and two-time All-WAC
*CoSIDA Third-Team Academic All-America as well as All-America in 1995
*Drafted in the 11th round (285th overall) by the San Diego Padres.
Wulfert turned in one of the all-time great campaigns in 1995, earning a host of individual honors. Wulfert was a one-man wrecking crew, leading the Lobos in batting with a .438 average, hits with 88, doubles with 24, home runs with 15, runs batted in with 80, sacrifice flies with seven and stolen bases with 40. Wulfert was also at his best in big moments, hitting a school record three grand slams, part of his school record five for his career). Wulfert’s fantastic season earned him a second straight first team All-WAC honor along with being named WAC Player of the Year. He also earned All-America honors and CoSIDA Third Team Academic All-America honors. His season was capped off by being selected in the 11th round by the San Diego Padres.
CF | Luke Oglesby (1993)
*All-time single-season steals leader with 56.
*Sits seventh on career steals list with those 56.
*One of 12 players with a single-season on-base percentage of .500 or better (.508)
*Drafted in the 26th round by Kansas City.
Another player who got in just one season, Oglesby’s 1993 was one for the books, resulting in All-America honors and a draft selection. Oglesby, roaming center field, appropriately raced past the UNM record of 33 stolen bases, swiping 56 bags, a total that has not only never been matched, it hasn’t even been remotely challenged. Those 56 steals in just one season still has him seventh in Oglesby was able to swipe a base because he was almost always on base. His .508 on base percentage is one of 12 seasons in which a UNM hitter reached half the time, and his total is ninth all-time. His 1993 season ended with All-WAC honors, teaming with Antonio Fernandez for one of the country’s top hitting duos. He was drafted in the 26th round (721st overall) by Kansas City.
RF | Robert Gonzales (1997-98)
*Third all-time in career batting average at .397
*One of five players with 80 or more RBIs in a season (81 in 1998).
*His 106 hits in 1997 were third all-time for a single season.
*Owns the top two season marks for doubles with 33 in 1997 and 35 in 1998.
*Fourth in career doubles despite playing just two seasons (68).
*Earned All-WAC honors in 1997.
Gonzales was a doubles machine in his two seasons, and he is the only Lobo to set a hitting record for a single season and then best his own mark. He did it when he connected for a school record 33 doubles in 1997. The next year, he followed that up by hitting 35 doubles. Both marks are still sitting 1-2 on the single-season charts. Gonzales was adept with the bat, hitting for a .397 lifetime clip, the third-highest career average at UNM, and his 1998 season saw him drive in 81 runs, tied for the fourth-best mark all-time.