Braley, Wallner Earn Second-Team All-America Honors by Baseball America
This is the first time since 2003 that the school has had two players recognized by the publication in the same year.
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss junior third baseman/pitcher Taylor Braley and freshman outfielder Matt Wallner each earned second-team All-America honors by Baseball America in a release by the publication Thursday.
Braley earned the utility spot on the second team based on his .313 batting average with 12 doubles, 17 home runs and 61 runs batted in, to go along with a single-season school record 63 walks. He posted a .461 on base percentage and a .587 slugging percentage for the season.
On the mound, he appeared in 14 games and started 13 to post a 7-2 record to go along with a 3.40 earned run average. He fanned 78 over 82 innings of work and allowed just 22 walks.
Wallner, who earned Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-America honors on Wednesday, was one of only two freshmen to be recognized by the publication as he garnered an outfield spot. Braden Shewmake of Texas A&M was the other freshman honored.
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.
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.
Braley and Wallner represent just the seventh and eighth Golden Eagles to earn Baseball America All-America honors, as they are the first Southern Miss players to receive this honor since Barry Bowden collected a third-team nod in 2008. This is also the second time that they have had two players recognized the same year, since Jeff Cook and Clint King grabbed third-team accolades in 2003.
Southern Miss was one of six schools to have two players honors, including Florida, LSU, Missouri State, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest.