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Matt Wallner Named to 2018 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team

May 10, 2018

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss sophomore outfielder/pitcher Matt Wallner (Forest Lake, Minn.) has accepted an invitation to join the 24-man USA Baseball Collegiate National Team roster this summer.

“It is an absolute honor to represent my country and play alongside the best amateur players in the world,” said Wallner. “None of this would be possible without the help of so many individuals including my parents, coaches and teammates along the way.”

The reigning national Freshman of the Year by Baseball America, D1Baseball.com and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, earned a trip to the team’s training camp last summer following his freshman campaign that saw him collect a .336 average with 19 home runs and 63 RBI. His homer total ranked No. 1 among freshman a year ago, while his RBI number ranked second.

The 2018 Conference USA Preseason Player of the Year holds a .355 batting average with 10 doubles, 11 home runs and 49 runs batted in to go along with a .609 slugging percentage and a .484 on-base percentage. He is one of three players to start in all 47 games for the program that has been ranked all season in the Top 25 and currently holds a 35-12 record. His average, home run and RBI totals each rank second on the club this season.

Of his 11 home runs, three have been grand slams of which he totaled those in a six-game period. In addition, he has made just one error in the outfield in 91 attempts. As a pitcher, Wallner is 1-0 with five saves over eight appearances with a 4.00 earned run average. He has fanned nine in nine innings of work.

Wallner is the second Southern Miss baseball player asked to play for his country as Tony Phillips played on the 1991 Collegiate National Team that participated in the Pan American Games in Cuba that summer.

The USA Baseball Collegiate National Team will participate in three international friendship series in 2018, beginning with the 18th USA vs. Chinese Taipei International Friendship Series that will be held in North Carolina from June 28 – July 2.  The U.S. will then compete in the 42nd USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series from July 3-9 in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina; and the 7th Annual USA vs. Cuba International Friendship Series in Cuba from July 13-18.  Seven Collegiate National Team games will be streamed live on USABaseball.com, as well as Facebook Live and YouTube.

For more information on USA Baseball and the Collegiate National Team, follow @USABaseball on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; and @USABaseballCNT on Twitter.

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