Wallner, Sandlin Named to NCBWA All-America Teams
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss freshman outfielder Matt Wallner collected first-team All-America honors, while sophomore relief pitcher Nick Sandlin garnered a second-team nod by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA), the organization announced Wednesday.
Wallner, the NCBWA Freshman Hitter of the Year as well as a member of the organization’s Freshman All-America team, notches his second spot on an All-America squad as he also earned second-team honors by Baseball America. He also earned a spot on the Freshman All-America squad by Collegiate Baseball.
This is Sandlin’s second All-America accolade, after being named second team by Collegiate Baseball.
Wallner, the Conference USA Freshman of the Year, hit .336 for the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, while setting school freshman records with 19 home runs and 63 runs batted in. The outfielder also added 14 doubles, two triples and four stolen bases, helping Southern Miss post a school-record 50-16 overall mark and finish first in the 2017 Conference USA standings with a 25-5 mark.
Sandin, from Evans, Ga., registered a 10-2 record with eight saves and a 2.38 earned run average for the Golden Eagles this season. Sandlin fanned 80 and walked just 29 in 56 2/3 innings of work as he appeared in 29 games. He and teammate Kirk McCarty share the top spot in Conference USA for wins.
Sandlin last season earned multiple Freshman All-American honors, and was named to the Conference USA All-Academic Team for his 4.0 GPA while majoring in construction engineering technology. He also garnered a third-team CoSIDA Academic All-American nod. His 20 career saves places him sixth and 10 behind the all-time record holder at the school.
This the first time that Southern Miss has had two players represented by the NCBWA on the All-American teams since 2005 when Brad Wilcutt (C, first team) and Daniel Best (relief pitcher, third team) were selected. Wallner is the first, first-team pick since reliever Tyler Conn garnered the honor in 2008.
Twenty-one different conferences are represented with nine conference championship teams included. The three All-America squads are also made up of 14 conference players of the year, 12 conference pitchers of the year winners and 12 first-round draft picks in the recent Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.
Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. For more information about the NCBWA, visit the association's official Web site, www.ncbwa.com.