May 22, 2018 10:30:09 AM
JACKSON -- Southern Mississippi junior right-hander Nick Sandlin received the C Spire Ferriss Trophy on Monday afternoon at a luncheon at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.
Sandlin, who made the transition from closer to the team's ace starting pitcher this season, is 8-0 in 13 starts. He has struck out 122 and walked 14 in 86 1/3 innings.
The other four finalists for the award were Ole Miss outfielder Ryan Olenek, Mississippi State outfielder Jake Mangum, Southern Miss third baseman Luke Reynolds, and Delta State first baseman Zack Shannon.
Sandlin is ranked first in the nation in WHIP (0.71), second in earned run average (1.25), fourth in hits allowed by nine innings (4.90), eighth in strikeouts, and eighth in strikeouts-to-walk ratio (8.71).
The preseason Conference USA Pitcher of the Year earned National Pitcher of the Week honors five times and the Conference USA weekly honor four times. He is also a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy, given to the best player in college baseball.
He is the third Southern Miss player to capture this award, as outfielder Tyler Koelling won the honor in 2011 and pitcher James McMahon earned the accolade in 2015.
In addition to wining the Ferriss Trophy as the best college baseball player in the state of Mississippi, Sandlin was named one of 25 semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award. Presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, the 41st Golden Spikes Award will be presented June 28 in Los Angeles.
The list of semifinalists spans 23 colleges and universities, 13 conferences, and two divisions of the NCAA.
Since 2007, 26 athletes have been named a semifinalist more than once in their careers, including past Golden Spikes Award winners Stephen Strasburg (2009), Trevor Bauer (2011), Mike Zunino (2012), Kris Bryant (2013) and Brendan McKay (2017).
From Monday through Sunday, June 3, the voting body will select three semifinalists from the ballot to be named as Golden Spikes Award finalists and fan voting will simultaneously be open on GoldenSpikesAward.com. Selections made by the voting body will carry a 95-percent weight of each athlete's total, while fan votes will account for the remaining 5 percent.
The finalists will be announced Wednesday, June 6. Beginning that same day through Friday, June 22, the voting body and fans will be able to cast their final vote for the Golden Spikes Award winner.
The winner of the 41st Golden Spikes Award will be named Thursday, June 28, at a presentation in Los Angeles.
Sandlin capped his day by earning a spot on the Conference USA All-Academic Team.
The Evans, Georgia, native has a 3.91 grade-point average in construction engineering technology.
No. 17 Southern Miss (39-15), the Conference USA regular-season champion, will take on No. 8 seed Alabama-Birmingham at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the first round of the Conference USA Baseball Championship at MGM Park in Biloxi.
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