C Spire Ferriss Trophy Finalists Announced
The five finalists for the 2017 C Spire Ferriss Trophy were announced this morning. The C Spire Ferriss Trophy goes to the Most Outstanding college baseball player in the state each year. The finalists include three University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles, a Mississippi State Bulldog and one Statesman from Delta State. Representing USM are Taylor Braley, Matt Wallner and Dylan Burdeaux. Brent Rooker is the candidate from MSU and Zack Shannon represents Delta State.
This year’s presentation will be the 14th in the series. Finalists are chosen by the state’s college coaches and a panel of professional scouts. Fans get the opportunity to help in the selection of the winner through C Spire site: csopavoting.com. The fan vote will count for 10% of the final tally with the trophy being awarded at the luncheon at the Mississippi Sports Hal of Fame and Museum beginning at 11:30 am on Monday, May 22nd. The fan voting begins at noon on May, 15th and continues until noon on May 20th.
2017 has been an exciting year in college baseball in Mississippi. Several teams have been nationally ranked in their respective divisions. Delta State eclipsed the 40 win plateau again this year and USM, MSU, and William Cary and Jackson State could yet reach that lofty number. (All stats are through Friday, May 12th.)
Three of the finalists showed their versatility by performing both on the mound as well as at the plate. Zack Shannon of Delta State topped the hitters with a .451 batting average while compiling 11 doubles, 1 triple and 18 home runs. He also totaled 84 RBI and had a .795 slugging percentage. In five mound appearances, Zack picked up one save with an 0-1 record, 7 strikeouts only 3 walks and a paltry .182 batting average against.
All three of the USM candidates were outstanding batters. Wallner his .324 with 11 doubles, 2 triples and 15 home runs. Braley batted .326 with 10 doubles and 11 homers. Burdeaux posted a .349 mark with 18 doubles and 9 round-trippers. Both Braley and Wallner pitched for the Eagles this spring with Braley making 10 starts and going 4-2 with a 3.88 earned run average over 60.1 innings. Wallner hurled eight times going 2-0 with 3 saves in relief for Scott Berry’s club. He posted a 1.84 earned run average.
Brent Rooker of MSU has been among the national leaders in several offensive categories all season long. Thru the 12th, he was hitting .409 with 25 doubles, 3 triples and 20 home runs while knocking in 68 runs. His slugging percentage was other worldly at .898.