HATTIESBURG, Miss. - >Southern Miss senior first baseman Dylan Burdeaux (West Monroe, La.), junior third baseman/pitcher Taylor Braley (Hattiesburg, Miss.) and freshman outfielder/pitcher Matt Wallner (Forest Lake, Minn.) earned three of the five finalist spots for the 2017 C Spire Ferriss Trophy, which was announced Monday Morning.
The C Spire Ferriss Trophy goes to the Most Outstanding college baseball player in the state each year and the other finalists include Mississippi State's Brent Rooker and Delta State's Zack Shannon.
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 the C Spire site: csopavoting.com.
The fan vote will count for 10 percent of the final tally with the trophy being awarded at a luncheon at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, May 22. The fan voting begins at noon on May, 15th and continues until noon on May 20.
Burdeaux, who currently has a team-best seven-game hitting streak and is in the top 10 in at least seven different categories at the school for his career, holds a season batting average of .352 with a team-best 19 doubles, nine home runs and a C-USA high 60 RBI. The only player to start in every game for the Golden Eagles also leads the country in hits with 86. The team's leadoff hitter also has 15 stolen bases which ranks second in the league as does his doubles total. His team-high 54 runs ranks tied for third in C-USA.
Braley has excelled on both the mound and as a position player. The Oak Grove High School product posts a .335 average with 10 doubles, 11 home runs and 47 RBI. In addition, he has drawn a league-high 49 walks which ranks third on the Golden Eagle single-season chart. On the mound, he has posted a 5-2 record with a 3.48 ERA in 11 starts in 2017. He has thrown six or more innings eight times and is third on the squad in strikeouts with 64 in 67 1/3 innings.
As for Wallner, the freshman enjoys a .330 average with a team-best 15 homers and 49 RBI. His home run total is the most ever by a Southern Miss freshman and his RBI total is just four of tying the school's frosh record. His homer total ranks second in C-USA, while his slugging percentage (.659) ranks second and his on base percentage ranks fourth (.457) in the league. He also has registered a 2-0 pitching record with a 1.84 ERA and three saves in eight relief appearances.
Tickets for the event are on sale at www.msfame.com.