HUNTSVILLE – The Sam Houston State baseball squad has earned the 2018 ABCA Team Academic Excellence Award, making it one of just 50 programs at the NCAA Division I level to earn the distinction for the 2017-18 school year from the American Baseball Coaches Association.  

The honor comes as no surprise after the Kats placed a Southland-best six players on the Southland Conference all-academic team following the 2018 season. Dakota Mills, who was named the league’s Relief Pitcher of the Year, led the charge in the classroom while also earning the distinction as the co-Student Athlete of the Year from the league.

Also earning SLC all-academic honors were first-teamer Blake Chisolm, along with second-team nods to Seth Ballew, Riley Gossett, Hayden Wesneski and Nick Mikolajchak.  

The Bearkats were joined by fellow conference members McNeese and Southeastern Louisiana in earning the distinction.  

Teams from every level of college and high school baseball were recognized with this year's award, which highlights programs coached by ABCA members that posted a GPA over 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the entire 2017-18 academic year.  

Coaches were able to nominate their teams for the ABCA Team Academic Excellence Award following the conclusion of their spring semesters prior to the nomination deadline of July 18. To be honored, teams had to meet the following criteria:

  • - Must be a high school or college team.
  • - Head coach must be a current ABCA member.
  • - Team must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 on a 4.0 scale during the 2017-18 academic year.

The American Baseball Coaches Association has a long tradition of recognizing the achievements of baseball coaches and student-athletes. The ABCA/Rawlings All-America Teams are the nation's oldest, founded in 1949, and the ABCA's awards program also includes the ABCA/Rawlings All-Region Awards, the ABCA/Diamond Regional & National Coaches of the Year and several other major awards such as the ABCA Hall of Fame and the Dave Keilitz Ethics in Coaching Award.   

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