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.   

ABCA ACADEMIC AWARD WINNERS – NCAA DIVISION I
Arkansas State University
Ball State University
Baylor University
Bradley University
Butler University
Chicago State University
College of the Holy Cross
College of William & Mary
Coppin State University
Davidson College
Duke University
East Carolina University
Eastern Illinois University
Eastern Kentucky University
Gardner-Webb University
Harvard University
High Point University
Hofstra University
Lehigh University
Long Island University Brooklyn
McNeese State University
Mercer University
Michigan State University
Monmouth University
North Dakota State University
Oregon State University
Saint Louis University
Sam Houston State University
Samford University
Southeastern Louisiana University
Southern University
Southern Illinois University
St. John's University
The Citadel
Tulane University
University of Alabama at Birmingham
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
University of Cincinnati
University of Hartford
University of Kentucky
University of Louisville
University of Memphis
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
University of Pennsylvania
University of Portland
University of Toledo
Western Michigan University
Wichita State University
Yale University
Youngstown State University