Baseball — Student-Athlete of the Year Kyle Swanson headlines trio of Southland All-Academic selections

Kyle Swanson earned Southland Conference Baseball Student-Athlete of the Year honors Thursday. Credit: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services

As an undergraduate, Kyle Swanson topped the College of Arts and Sciences graduates in grade point average.


As a graduate student, Swanson found himself in a similar position on the Southland Conference All-Academic Team, earning Student-Athlete of the Year honors and leading a trio of Demons on the two 12-player teams announced by the conference office Thursday morning.


“Kyle has been the epitome of this award ever since he stepped on campus,” fourth-year head coach Bobby Barbier said. “The work ethic it takes to compete in the classroom as well as compete on the field is what makes Kyle receiving this award so special. I’m very proud of Kyle and all he has done for our school.”


A 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher from Montgomery, Texas, Swanson went 0-1 with a 1.04 ERA and four saves in Northwestern State’s abbreviated 16-game season that was shortened by the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. His eight career saves place him in a tie for seventh in school history. Before the shutdown, Swanson was on pace to threaten the school’s single-season mark of 10 saves, held by Chad Sheppard (twice) and Daniel Desclouds.


Swanson carried a 4.0 GPA into his final semester of graduate school and completed his master’s degree in health and human performance with a concentration in health promotion in May. He has been accepted into the first class of Sam Houston State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, beginning in the fall of 2020.


Swanson joins Cort Brinson (2015) and Eric DeBlanc (2010) as Demons who have earned the SLC Baseball Student-Athlete of the Year designation.


Joining Swanson as Northwestern State representatives on the first team is first baseman Peyton Davis, a redshirt junior from Bossier City.


Davis batted .273 with a team-leading three home runs and 14 RBIs, which tied for the team lead, and was a magna cum laude graduate in business administration earlier this month. Davis carried a 3.83 grade point average into his final semester of undergraduate study.


Senior catcher Marshall Skinner rounds out the Demons’ selections, earning second-team honors.


Skinner hit safely in the first nine games of 2020, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games dating to the 2019 season. A Cypress, Texas, product, Skinner batted .333 with a home run and 13 RBIs. A business administration major with a 3.38 grade point average, Skinner shared the team lead with 20 hits.


“Marshall and Peyton always have been great ambassadors for NSU,” Barbier said. “Their achievements and their inclusion on this team represent what we try to instill in all of our guys. I am very proud of their leadership in our program.”

2020 Southland Conference Baseball Student-Athlete of the Year: Kyle Swanson, Northwestern State