Southern Miss hauls in C-USA baseball awards

Published: May. 24, 2022 at 11:26 PM CDT
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Southern Miss Sports Information

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

For the third time in program history, three Southern Miss pitchers enjoyed 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 earn first-team honors in 2017 (Kirk McCarty, Nick Sandlin, Colt Smith) and 2010 (Scott Copeland, Todd McInnis, Collin Cargill).

Sophomore infielder Dustin Dickerson (Laurel, Miss.) earned second-team honors and freshman outfielder Carson Paetow (Vancleave, Miss.) earned all-freshman honors.

Hall, who posted a 7-2 record with a 2.68 earned run average, was also named the C-USA Pitcher of the Year. It’s the second-straight year a Southern Miss pitcher earned such honors after Walker Powell garnered pitcher of the year honors in 2021. It’s sixth overall pitcher of the year honor for the Golden Eagles and third under the guidance of pitching coach Christian Ostrander. Hall enjoyed five games with 10-plus strikeouts and fanned a career-high 14 batters against Old Dominion. The sophomore fanned 13 in a win against Mississippi State at Trustmark Park. Hall is a Dick Howser Award finalist and on Monday was named the winner of the Ferriss Trophy, an award given annually to the best collegiate baseball player in Mississippi.

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

It’s the fourth time a Southern Miss assistant coach collected top assistant honors in the eight times that they have awarded it.

After guiding the Golden Eagles to their sixth-straight 40-win season, head coach Scott Berry was named the Keith LeClair Coach of the Year. It’s Berry’s fourth coach of the year honor and program’s fifth during the C-USA era. Southern Miss earned its highest-ever rankings in most of the 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 the Baseball America polls all during the week of April 25. Berry became Southern Miss’ all-time winningest coach in a win against UAB on May 1. He also guided the Golden Eagles to their fifth C-USA Regular Season titles since taking over in 2010.

Waldrep posted a 6-1 record as Southern Miss’ Sunday starter and recorded a 2.85 earned run average. The sophomore had 10-plus strikeouts on seven occasions and fired a season-high 13 strikeouts in a win against WKU. Waldrep ranks first in C-USA hits allowed 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 .97 WHIP. Harper went four innings twice and recorded a combined 10 strikeouts over those two outings.

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

The Golden Eagles landed a player on the all-freshman team for the eighth-straight season (not including the 2020 COVID season) after Paetow earned all-freshman honors. The Vancleave native batted .282 during the regular season and blasted 13 home runs. Paetow drove in 42 runs, including a grand slam against Rice in the seventh inning to help the Golden Eagles to a run-rule win. The freshman is slugging a team-high .559 and has an on-base percentage of .393.

The Golden Eagles open The First C-USA Tournament, Wednesday, as the No. 1 seed and will play No. 8 UAB. Game time is set for 4 p.m. at Pete Taylor at Hill Denson Field.

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