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Nick Sandlin Wins 2018 C Spire Ferriss Trophy as State’s Top College Baseball Player

Southern Miss pitching ace tops four other finalists; becomes 3rd Golden Eagle to claim honor in award’s history

Jackson, Miss., (May 21, 2018) – Southern Miss pitcher Nick Sandlin, who compiled one of the best season-long pitching performances in Golden Eagle history and the second best in the country, won the C Spire Ferriss Trophy Monday as the Magnolia state’s best college baseball player.

Sandlin, who led the Golden Eagles to a Conference USA championship with an 8-0 record, a 1.24 earned run average, 122 strikeouts and only 14 walks in 86.1 innings, was selected over Delta State’s Zach Shannon, Ole Miss outfielder Ryan Olenek, Mississippi State’s Jake Mangum and Southern Miss teammate Luke Reynolds to win the 2018 award.

The players and coaches were honored at a special awards luncheon co-hosted by C Spire and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in Jackson. This was the second year following the 2016 death of Dave “Boo” Ferriss, the award’s namesake, a Magnolia state baseball legend, a Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer and a long-time Delta State head baseball coach.

Sandlin, a junior from Evans, Georgia, is only the third Golden Eagle to win the coveted award. Pitcher James McMahon won in 2015 and outfielder Tyler Koelling won in 2011. Sandlin is a semifinalist for the 2018 Dick Howser Trophy, which annually honors the top college baseball player. A winner will be named on June 15 by the National College Baseball Writers Association.

Southern Miss head baseball coach Scott Berry said Sandlin has helped lead his team to a Conference USA title and secure a 39-15 winning record, including a 23-6 mark in Conference USA. “There are some players who have the ability to step in and immediately contribute and influence others in how they play the game and Nick is that person. It’s been incredible watching him pitch, perform and win this year,” Berry said.

Voters for the C Spire Ferriss Trophy included Major League Baseball scouts who cover Mississippi in their territory and Mississippi's college baseball coaches. For the fifth time in the award’s history, a weighted 10 percent of the final vote came from fan voting conducted by C Spire last week.

Olenek won the fan voting portion of the award with 5,077 votes. Over 11,200 votes were cast online, via Twitter and text message for the five finalists during the six-day fan voting period, the second highest total since fan voting started in 2014.

Shannon, the Delta State two-time finalist, did not attend Monday’s presentation for the second consecutive year. As in 2017, he is playing for the Statesmen in the NCAA Division II Tournament regional in Lakeland, Florida. Mississippi State outfielder Brent Rooker won the 2017 C Spire Ferriss Trophy.

2018 marks the 23rd anniversary of the Outstanding Player Awards program. C Spire has served as title sponsor for 21 of those years since 1998. The Conerly Trophy in college football, the Howell Trophy in men’s college basketball, the Gillom Trophy in women’s college basketball and the Ferriss Trophy in college baseball comprise the four elements of the series.

“This was an exciting year for college baseball in Mississippi with several of our teams ranked throughout the year and several in post-season play. For its size, Mississippi has some of the best baseball talent in the world and today’s finalists drove that reality home once again,” said Jim Richmond, vice president of Marketing for C Spire. “Our congratulations go out to all the players, their families, the schools and teams who were honored today.”

About C Spire
C Spire is a diversified telecommunications and technology services company that provides world-class, customer-inspired wireless communications, 1 Gigabit consumer Internet access as well as a full suite of dedicated Internet, wireless, IP Voice, data and cloud services for businesses. This news release and other announcements are available at www.cspire.com/news. For more information about C Spire, visit www.cspire.com or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cspire or Twitter at www.twitter.com/cspire.