Southern Miss trio sweeps C-USA awards


HATTIESBURG – Luke Reynolds earned Conference USA Player and Newcomer of the Year honors, while Nick Sandlin tallied Pitcher of the Year and Scott Berry garnered Coach of the Year accolades for their respective successful seasons, announced an announcement by the league office.

The vote includes the 12 league head coaches and baseball sports information directors as well as one media member from each league school.

Reynolds, along with Sandlin, were named to the league’s First Team, as was Golden Eagle outfielder Matt Wallner. Fellow outfielder Gabe Montenegro earned a spot on the All-Freshman Team.

Reynolds, the first person to win the Player and Newcomer Award in the same season, leads Conference USA seven different categories, including batting average (.403), on-base percentage (.558), slugging percentage (.749), total bases (143), runs scored (67), home runs (15) and walks (56).  He is tied for the lead in doubles with 19 and third in RBI with 58.  Reynolds, who enters the C-USA Championship having reached base in 28 consecutive games, has 25 multiple-hit and 22 multiple-RBI outings. 

He is the second consecutive Southern Miss player to win the Player of the Year award after Dylan Burdeaux won it last season. Reynolds also becomes the first player in C-USA history to win both Player and Newcomer of the Year.

Sandlin has posted an 8-0 record this season in 13 starts and has fanned 122 batters, while having walked just 14.  His league-leading ERA of 1.25, WHIP and strikeout-to-walk ratios all rank in the Top 10 nationally.  Sandlin, who was 6-0 with a 1.06 ERA and 81 strikeouts in conference games, earned National Pitcher of the week honors five times this season.  He is also a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy, given to the best player in college baseball.

Sandlin is the third different Southern Miss hurler (four times total) to be named C-USA Pitcher of the Year.

After leading Southern Miss to its fifth Conference USA regular season championship and second in a row, Berry earned the Keith LeClair Coach of the Year honor.  The Golden Eagles 23-6 mark in conference play gave them 48 league victories in the last two seasons, becoming the first school to win 23 or more games in back-to-back seasons. 

The Golden Eagles have been ranked in the top 15 of the national polls all season, are the top hitting team in C-USA in eight categories, including average (.305) and runs scored (449) and have the third-lowest team earned run average (3.66). 

Berry is the first skipper to be named the Keith LeClair Coach of the Year in consecutive years since Rice’s Wayne Graham won the award three straight times from 2006-08.  This is his third C-USA Coach of the Year honor, making him the third head coach to accomplish that in C-USA history.

Southern Miss is the first school to win Player, Pitcher and Coach of the Year awards in the same season since Rice in 2007.

Wallner enter the Conference USA Tournament with a .352 batting average with 12 doubles, 13 home runs and a team-high 59 RBI for the Golden Eagles this season, while Montenegro has a.302 average with 11 doubles, a triple, a home run and 36 RBI.

The Golden Eagles continue their season when they open the 2018 C-USA Baseball Tournament at MGM Park in Biloxi, Miss., Wednesday, beginning at 4 p.m.


IF            Tyler Frank, Jr., Florida Atlantic
IF            Ford Proctor, Jr., Rice
IF            Luke Reynolds, Sr., Southern Miss
IF            Eddie Silva, Jr., FIU
OF          David Miranda, Sr., Florida Atlantic
OF          Jacob Rhinesmith, Jr., WKU
OF          Matt Wallner, So., Southern Miss
C             Reynaldo Pastrana, Jr., Marshall
DH          Hunter Wells, So., Louisiana Tech
UT          Austin Dennis, Jr., Middle Tennessee
SP           Logan Bailey, Jr., Louisiana Tech
SP           Matt Canterino, So., Rice
SP           Josh Maciejewski, Sr., Charlotte
SP           Jake Miednik, Sr., Florida Atlantic
SP           Nick Sandlin, Jr., Southern Miss
RP           Jonah Patten, Sr., Charlotte
RP           Zach Schneider, Jr., Florida Atlantic


IF            Aaron Aucker, Sr., Middle Tennessee
IF            Steven Kraft, Sr., WKU
IF            Jackson Mims, Jr., Charlotte
IF            Austin Shenton, So., FIU
OF          Parker Bates, So., Louisiana Tech
OF          Ryan Chandler, Sr., Rice
Of           Reece Hampton, Jr., Charlotte
C             Harris Yett, Jr., Charlotte
DH          Brett Blackwood, Jr., UAB
UT          Logan Allen, Fr., FIU
SP           David Leal, Jr., Louisiana Tech
SP           Andres Nunez, Jr., FIU
SP           Logan Robbins, Jr., Louisiana Tech
SP           Jake Wyrick, Sr., Middle Tennessee
RP           Ben Morrison, Sr., WKU
RP           Drew Peden, Sr., Florida Atlantic


IF            Trei Cruz, Rice
IF            Joshua Lamb, UTSA
IF            Taylor Young, Louisiana Tech
OF          Luke Brown, WKU
OF          Gabe Montenegro, Southern Miss
OF          Dylan Rock, UTSA
C             Jose Garcia, FIU
DH          Steele Netterville, Louisiana Tech
UT          Logan Allen, FIU
UT          Eric Stock, Old Dominion
RHP        Dane Acker, Rice