Press Release from Southern Miss Athletics
Conference USA announced Friday that former Southern Miss pitcher Nick Sandlin has been chosen as the league's Michael L. Slive Male Athlete of the Year for 2017-18.
The semifinalist for both the Golden Spikes Award and the Dick Howser Award for top collegiate baseball player in the country, Sandlin made the transition from closer to the team's ace starting pitcher this past season. The Evans, Ga., native helped lead the Golden Eagles to a 44-18 record, to both a C-USA regular season and tournament title and its third-straight – and 15th overall – trip to the NCAA Tournament.
The Conference USA Pitcher of the Year posted a 10-0 record in 15 starts and fanned 144 batters, while having walked just 18 over 102 1/3 innings. He ranked Top 10 nationally in the following statistical categories including No. 1 in WHIP (0.71), and earned run average (1.06), second in hits allowed by nine innings (4.84), fifth in strikeouts, ninth in strikeouts-to-walk ratio (8.00), 10th in strikeout per 9 innings (12.66) and tied for 10th in victories.
Sandlin earned the Perfect Game National Pitcher of the Year for 2018 season - the first Golden Eagle to win that award – as well as being named a consensus first-team All-American by every major publication.
The right-hander won the Ferriss Trophy for the top collegiate player in the state of Mississippi and also added C-USA and NCAA All-Tournament honors to his credit during the season. Earlier this month, Sandlin was picked in the second round of the 2018 MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Cleveland Indians (67th-pick overall).
Off the field, Sandlin is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, winning first-team honors for the 2018 campaign, becoming only the second Southern Miss baseball player to earn this award twice in his career.
Sandlin is first male Golden Eagle to win this award and only the second Southern Miss overall as former track and field standout Tori Bowie garnered the accolade for the 2010-11 academic year.