The Southern Miss baseball team dominated the 2018 Conference USA preseason selections on Wednesday.
The Golden Eagles took 11 out of 12 first-place selections in a poll of the league’s coaches and is considered the heavy favorite to repeat as C-USA regular season champions. Rice, which is picked to finished second, was the only other team to pick up a first-place vote.
USM also swept the preseason individual honors. Sophomore outfielder/pitcher Matt Wallner was name the preseason Player of the Year and junior reliever Nick Sandlin was named the Pitcher of the Year.
Sandlin was 10-2 last season with eight saves, 2.38 ERA in 29 appearances.
Wallner was named the C-USA Freshman of the Year in 2017 after batting .336 with 19 homers and 63 RBIs.
Wallner and Sandlin also landed on the All-Conference Team along with senior outfielder Mason Irby, who batted .338 with a homer and 40 RBIs last year.
Rice and Florida Atlantic also landed three players a piece on the All-Conference Team.
Southern Miss opens the 2018 campaign with a series against Mississippi State in Hattiesburg on Feb. 16-18.
P — Matt Canterino, Soph. — Rice
P — Nick MacDonald, Soph. — FIU
P — Jake Miednik,Sr. — Florida Atlantic
RP — Nick Sandlin, Jr. — Southern Miss
C — Dominic DiCaprio, Jr. — Rice
IF — Bryan Arias, Jr. — UTSA
IF — Tyler Frank, Jr. — Florida Atlantic
IF — Ford Proctor, Jr. — Rice
IF — Vinny Pasquantino, Soph. — Old Dominion
OF — Kyle Battle, Soph. — Old Dominion
OF — Mason Irby, Sr. — Southern Miss
OF — David Miranda, Sr. — Florida Atlantic
OF — Matt Wallner. Soph. — Southern Miss
DH/UT — Aaron Aucker, Sr. — Middle Tennessee