While No. 23 Auburn baseball has been on the decline, ace pitcher Casey Mize continues to shine.
The junior right-hander picked up another accolade Thursday morning with the National Pitcher of the Month award, announced by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. The honor comes just days after the Springville, Alabama native was added to the USA Baseball Golden Spikes midseason watch list.
Mize turned in a 4-0 record coupled with a 1.75 ERA in March, including the ninth no-hitter in program history vs. Northeastern March 9. In the victory, the 6-foot-3 pitcher rifled a career-high 13 Ks, a mark he would match a week later in the team's SEC-opening win over Texas A&M.
Mize added a follow-up performance of 12 strikeouts on the road vs. Kentucky, totaling 38 Ks in the three starts since the no-hitter. That mark broke the record for most punch-outs over a three-game period in the Stat Crew era (1993).
On the season, Mize leads the conference in strikeouts with 77, the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio at 19.25 and is second in the country in walks-plus-hits per inning pitched (0.67). His overall ERA in 2018 sits at 2.17 behind a 6-1 record.
BREAKING: The very latest @D1Baseball College Top 150 Prospects list is OUT. There are some big movers, and @AuburnBaseball's Casey Mize takes over the No. 1 spot. Who made our Top 150? Here's the list:https://t.co/pIkGaVre36 pic.twitter.com/j09eGWP9Zu— D1Baseball.com (@d1baseball) April 12, 2018
The top MLB prospect will lead the Tigers on the mound Friday in Game 1 of a home series vs. Mississippi State. The Bulldogs are fresh off a series win over No. 5 Ole Miss, while Auburn has dropped six of its last seven, including a five-game SEC losing streak. First pitch at Plainsman Park is slated for 7:30 p.m. CT.