Southern Miss Wins C-USA Baseball Awards

Miss South Sports Information

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) — Five Southern Miss players and two coaches were recognized as All-Conference USA baseball honorees Tuesday in a statement from the league office. The awards were announced following a vote by the league’s 12 head coaches.

For the third time in program history, three Southern Miss pitchers earned first-team honors, including sophomore right-hander Tanner Hall (Zachary, La.), sophomore right-hander Hurston Waldrep (Thomasville, Ga. ) and sophomore right-hander Landon Harper. Southern Miss also had three pitchers who earned first-team honors in 2017 (Kirk McCarty, Nick Sandlin, Colt Smith) and 2010 (Scott Copeland, Todd McInnis, Collin Cargill).

Sophomore Dustin Dickerson (Laurel, Miss.) took second-team honors and freshman outfielder Carson Paetow (Vancleave, Miss.) took first-year honors.

Hall, who went 7-2 with a 2.68 ERA, was also named C-USA pitcher of the year. This is the second straight year a Southern Miss pitcher has won such honors after Walker Powell won pitcher of the year honors in 2021. He is the sixth pitcher of the year for the Golden Eagles and the third under pitching coach Christian Ostrander. Hall played five games with 10-plus strikeouts and whipped up a career-high 14 batters against Old Dominion. The second stoked 13 in a win over Mississippi State at Trustmark Park. Hall is a finalist for the Dick Howser Award and was named Monday the winner of the Ferriss Trophy, an award given annually to Mississippi’s top college baseball player.

Ostrander, in his fifth season with the Golden Eagles, was named Assistant Coach of the Year for the second straight season. Its staff ranks second in the nation in ERA (3.08), second in strikeout ratio (4.48) and second in WHIP (1.11). The Golden Eagle pitching staff leads C-USA in averages in runs earned, hits allowed per nine innings (7.48), shutouts (6), strikeouts on walk ratio, strikeouts per nine innings (11.3) and WHIP.

This is the fourth time a Southern Miss assistant coach has won top assistant honors in eight times.

After guiding the Golden Eagles to their sixth consecutive 40-win season, head coach Scott Berry was named coach of the year by Keith LeClair. This is Berry’s fourth coach of the year and the program’s fifth during the C-USA era. Southern Miss earned its highest ranking in most polls this season, holding a No. 3 in Perfect Game, No. 4 in, No. 4 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, No. 5 in the coaches and No. 6 in Baseball America’s polls throughout the week of April 25. Berry became Southern Miss’s all-time winningest coach in a win over UAB on May 1. He also guided the Golden Eagles to their fifth C-USA regular season. titles since taking office in 2010.

Waldrep went 6-1 as a Southern Miss starter on Sunday and had a 2.85 ERA. The second had 10-plus strikeouts seven times and fired a season-high 13 strikeouts in a win over WKU. Waldrep ranks first in hits allowed in C-USA per nine innings (6.56), second in strikeouts per nine innings (13.50) and third in strikeouts (109). Harper posted a 2-1 record out of the bullpen and an impressive 0.97 WHIP. Harper went four innings twice and recorded a total of 10 strikeouts in those two outings.

Dickerson, a native of Laurel, Miss., is batting .350 with a team-best 79 hits heading into the conference tournament. The second scored 22 doubles, 27 walks, six stolen bases and scored 42 times. On the field, Dickerson has a .946 fielding percentage and has helped make 20 double plays. Dickerson’s batting average ranks seventh in the C-USA and his 22 doubles ranks first.

The Golden Eagles landed a player on the freshman team for the eighth straight season (not including the 2020 COVID season) after Paetow earned freshman honors. The Vancleave native hit .282 at bat during the regular season and hit 13 homers. Paetow had 42 runs, including a grand slam against Rice in the seventh inning to help the Golden Eagles to a victory. The freshman is hitting a team-high .559 and has a .393 on-base percentage.

The Golden Eagles open the first C-USA tournament on Wednesday as the No. 1 seed and will face No. 8 UAB. Game time is 4 p.m. at Pete Taylor at Hill Denson Field.

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