Southern Miss

It’s hard to do much better than Southern Miss did in C-USA’s preseason honors

Southern Miss outfielder Mason Irby yells after hitting a double against South Alabama during the first inning of their NCAA Regional baseball game at Pete Taylor Park in Hattiesburg on June 4, 2017.
Southern Miss outfielder Mason Irby yells after hitting a double against South Alabama during the first inning of their NCAA Regional baseball game at Pete Taylor Park in Hattiesburg on June 4, 2017. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com file

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.

Patrick Magee: 228-896-2333, @Patrick_Magee

ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM

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

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