Matt Wallner Named NCBWA Freshman Hitter of the Year
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss outfielder Matt Wallner has been named the 2017 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association National Freshman Hitter of the Year, as announced by the organization today.
"This is a most deserving award for an outstanding young man who works on his game, day in and day out," said Southern Miss baseball coach Scott Berry. "It's been fun to watch him develop and grow throughout the entire year. His better days of baseball are still ahead of him."
Wallner, the Conference USA Freshman of the Year, hit .336 for the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, while setting school freshman records with 19 home runs and 63 runs batted in. The outfielder also added 14 doubles, two triples and four stolen bases, helping Southern Miss post a school-record 50-16 overall mark and finish first in the 2017 Conference USA standings with a 25-5 mark.
A second team All-Conference USA selection, Wallner collected a .463 on base percentage and a .655 slugging percentage, as Southern Miss hosted a NCAA Regional for the first time since 2003 and reached the top 10 in the national polls in May. The Forest Lake, Minn., native tallied 26 multiple-hit games and drove in two or more runs a team-high 18 times. He registered a 12-game hitting streak during the season.
Wallner has also been named a Baseball America second-team All-American and selected to the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's Freshman All-American first team. Later this month, Wallner will join the USA Baseball Collegiate Team Training Camp to compete for a spot on this summer's 24-man roster. The outfielder also was selected to the 2017 Conference USA All-Tournament team and was named the Conference USA Hitter of the Week during the season.
Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. For more information about the NCBWA, visit the association's official Web site, www.ncbwa.com. For more information, contact Ryan Bomberger (firstname.lastname@example.org).