Mississippi State

Mississippi colleges land 5 players on preseason All-American squad

Mississippi State pitcher Konnor Pilkington throws against Illinois-Chicago during the first inning of their game at Pete Taylor Park in Hattiesburg on June 4.
Mississippi State pitcher Konnor Pilkington throws against Illinois-Chicago during the first inning of their game at Pete Taylor Park in Hattiesburg on June 4. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com File

There were a total of five players from Mississippi colleges named on Collegiate Baseball's Preseason All-American Team on Monday.

Mississippi State junior left-hander Konnor Pilkington, an East Central product, was named to the second team along with a pair of Southern Miss standouts — sophomore outfielder Matt Wallner and junior relief pitcher Nick Sandlin.

Ole Miss right-handed reliever Dallas Woolfolk and Mississippi State right-hander Spencer Price both made the third team.

Pilkington was 8-5 with a 3.08 ERA in 17 starts last season for the Bulldogs. He struck out 111 and walked 47 in 108 innings.

Pilkington is coming off a strong summer that included a stint as a member 2017 USA Collegiate National Team.

Wallner had a .336 batting average last year, putting together Southern Miss freshman records for home runs, 19, and RBIs, 63. His home run total was the most by any freshman in country while his RBI total ranked second. The 6-foot-5 Minnesota native also had 14 doubles, two triples and four stolen bases.

Wallner was named Freshman Hitter of the Year by the National Collegiate Baseball Association (NCBWA) and Freshman of the Year by Baseball America.

He was listed on five All-American teams last year, including a first-team selection by D1Baseball.com and the NCBWA.

Sandlin posted a 10-2 record with eight saves and a 2.38 earned run average for the Golden Eagles last season. Sandlin fanned 80 and walked just 29 in 56 2/3 innings of work as he appeared in 29 games.

Sandlin collected three All-America accolades last summer, being named first team by Perfect Game/Rawling’s and second team by both Collegiate Baseball and the NCBWA.

USM opens the season with a three-game series against Mississippi State in Hattiesburg, beginning on Feb. 16.

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