Southern Miss

Southern Miss' All-American ace picks up his most prestigious honor yet

Southern Miss pitcher Nick Sandlin has gone from an All-American closer to an All-American starter.
Southern Miss pitcher Nick Sandlin has gone from an All-American closer to an All-American starter. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com file

After being overlooked for the Golden Spikes and Dick Howser awards, Nick Sandlin added his most impressive award yet to his trophy cabinet on Wednesday.

The Southern Miss right-hander was named the National Pitcher of the Year by Perfect Game/Rawlings following an outstanding junior campaign.

This marks the first time that a USM player has been named a national pitcher of the year.

Mississippi State interim head coach Gary Henderson was also honored by Perfect Game/Rawlings as the National Coach of the Year. He has led the Bulldogs to a 37-24 mark and a spot in the College World Series.

Sandlin was also named First-Team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and D1Baseball.com.

USM junior third baseman Luke Reynolds, a Chicago Cubs draft choice in the 10th round, was named second-team All-American by the NCBWA and and D1Baseball.com.

USM sophomore outfielder Matt Wallner was named second-team All-American by the NCBWA and was chosen for the D1Baseball.com third-team.

After making the switch from the bullpen to starter, Sandlin put together a nearly flawless season as a junior. He finished 10-0 with a 1.06 ERA in 15 starts, striking out 144 and walking 18.

Sandlin finished the season as the nation's leader in ERA, allowing 12 earned runs in 102 1/3 innings.

Mississippi State offered praise for Southern Miss right-handed Nick Sandlin after the Eagles’ 11-0 win.

The Georgia native was also named the the winner of the 2018 Ferriss Trophy, which goes to Mississippi's top college baseball player, and the Conference USA Pitcher of the Year.

Sandlin finished his career with a record of 23-5, an ERA of 1.70 and 20 saves. He struck out 268 batters and walked 67 in 199 2/3 innings.

He will soon begin his professional career after being selected in the second round of the MLB Draft by the Cleveland Indians.

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