Press Release from Southern Miss Athletics
Southern Miss outfielder Matt Wallner earned his third national Freshman of the Year award Thursday by being named to that honor by D1Baseball.com.
The Forest Lake, Minn., also garnered the Freshman Hitter of the Year accolade by the National Collegiate Baseball Association (NCBWA) and Freshman of the Year award by Baseball America. In addition, he made the Freshman All-America teams by Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game/Rawlings and earned the Conference USA’s Freshman of the Year nod.
“To be honored by three different media outlets as their Freshman of the Year is quite an accomplishment for Matt,” said Southern Miss coach Scott Berry. “There were so many good freshmen in the country this season and to see Matt’s body of work honored as the top one is quite a tribute to the hard work that this young man put in all year long.”
He also has earned spots on five All-America teams, which also includes first-team honors by D1Baseball.com and the NCBWA and second-team nods by Baseball America and Perfect Game/Rawlings and third team accolades by American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings.
Wallner registered a .336 batting average during his initial season with the Golden Eagles while putting together Southern Miss freshman records for home runs (19) and runs batted in (63). His home run total was the most by any freshman in country while his RBI total ranked second. The 6-foot-5 outfielder/pitcher also added 14 doubles, two triples and four stolen bases.
His offensive numbers included a .463 on base percentage along with a .655 slugging percentage for a Golden Eagle squad that won a school-record 50 games in 2017 that included a C-USA regular season championship and the school hosting just their second-ever NCAA regional.
Wallner was the only freshman selected to the All-America first team last month.
Here is a list of Wallner’s 2017 honors:
• C-USA Hitter of the Week – 4/3
• Second Team All-Conference USA
• C-USA All-Freshman Team
• C-USA Freshman of the Year
• C-USA All-Tournament Team
• Baseball America Freshman of the Year
• D1Baseball.com Freshman of the Year
• NCBWA Freshman Hitter of the Year
• D1Baseball.com All-American (first team)
• NCBWA All-American (first team)
• Baseball America All-American (second team)
• Perfect Game/Rawlings All-American (second team)
• ABCA/Rawlings All-American (third team)
• Baseball America Freshman All-American (first team)
• Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American
• NCBWA Freshman All-American (first team)
• ABCA/Rawlings South All-Region (first team)
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