Matt Wallner Named Freshman All-American By Collegiate Baseball
The first-year player set Golden Eagle freshman records for home runs and RBI.
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss freshman outfielder Matt Wallner earned Freshman All-American honors Wednesday by the publication Collegiate Baseball.
Wallner, from Forest Lake, Minn., 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). 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 66 games this season, Wallner tallied 26 multiple-hit games, which tied for second best on the club, and knocked in two-or-more runs a team-high tying 18 times. In addition, he registered a 12-game hitting streak at one point during the campaign.
Defensively, Wallner made just two errors in 131 fielding chances for a .985 percentage in the outfield, while also posting a 2-0 record with a 1.84 earned run average over nine appearances on the mound. Over 14 2/3 innings, Wallner allowed five runs (three earned) on eight hits with seven walks and 15 strikeouts.
Later this month, Wallner will join the USA Baseball Collegiate Team Training Camp to earn a chance to make this summer’s roster. Training camp invitees will compete for a spot on the final 24-man roster, which will be announced on July 1. The players will train at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina, and play games with teams in the Coastal Plains League from June 20-25.
This is the third-straight season a Southern Miss player has garnered this honor as Nick Sandlin won this accolade in 2016 and Taylor Braley was a 2015 recipient. In all, 17 Golden Eagles have earned Freshman All-America honors from the publication since 1992 and five have come under current coach Scott Berry.