Sophomore pitcher Nick MacDonald to become ace for Panthers

Photo Courtesy of FIU Athletics

By Brett Shweky/Sports Director


In his first season for Panthers, right-hander Nick MacDonald not only established himself as one of the best pitchers on the FIU roster, but one of the best pitchers in Conference USA.

MacDonald was one of three players for the Panthers to earn Freshman All-American honors. The other two players being right-hander Tyler Myrick and infielder Javier Valdes.

The right-hander managed to post a (7-3) record in his freshman season, while also earning a 4.29 ERA. In nine of his thirteen starts, he held opposing batters to three runs or less.

Throughout the season, he pitched in 71 1/3 innings, allowed 67 hits, 34 earned runs, walked only 30 and struck out 68.

MacDonald explained how earning the accolade was special, however he doesn’t believe it raised expectations for himself.

“It was an honor. It was a good year for the team and me last year,” MacDonald said. “But, I wouldn’t say I have high expectations. Just got to get out there and do my job.”

In his first ever collegiate win against Manhattan on March 5, 2017, MacDonald pitched a season-high 7 2/3 innings, only allowing one run, two hits and struck out a season-high nine opposing batters.

Following his stellar performance, the right-hander was named Conference USA Pitcher of the Week.

With the game being one of MacDonald’s first collegiate starts, he acknowledged that the award had some greater meaning.

“Of course it’s special, it was special because it really was my second start in my collegiate career” explained MacDonald. “It doesn’t happen however, if my team doesn’t play at the high-level they’ve been playing at.”

Against Stetson on March 14, MacDonald pitched six shutout innings in a 9-0 victory. He concluded the game only allowing three hits and struck out six opposing batters.

The Freshman All-American managed to secure a 6-0 start to the season, before losing his first game against the Marshall Thundering Herd on March 21, 2017.

The right-hander continued his success in the FIU Blue and Gold Fall Series, where he pitched in four innings. He restricted the Blue squad to just two hits, one run and struck out seven batters to earn the win.

Looking towards the upcoming season, MacDonald explained how one of his most important goals is to bulk up and get stronger. As a freshman, the right-hander listed in at 6’2 and 145 lbs.

“My biggest priority is to get bigger and stronger. I came in as a young skinny freshman, so making sure I eat and get stronger is my goal,” said MacDonald.

With the 2018 season less than one month away from commencing, the Panthers will begin to prepare for their three-game series against the Missouri Tigers on Feb. 16 through Feb. 18. In 2017, Missouri posted a (36-23) overall record, while also posting a (14-16) conference record.

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