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Matt Wallner, Taylor Braley Named D1Baseball.com All-Americans

June 15, 2017

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss freshman outfielder Matt Wallner collected his fourth All-America honor, while junior third baseman/pitcher Taylor Braley collected his third nod as D1Baseball.com is the latest media outlet to recognize the pair of Golden Eagle baseball players in an announcement Thursday morning for their outstanding performances in 2017.

Wallner earned first-team honors in the outfield and was the only freshman to garner accolades on the top team. Braley, who was tabbed as a utility player, picked up second team honors.

The Forest Lake, Minn., native added to his already long list of awards, including the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America (NCBWA) Freshman Hitter of the Year as well as earning All-America nods by the NCBWA (first team), Baseball America (second team) and Perfect Game/Rawlings (second team). The C-USA Freshman of the Year also earned Freshman All-America nods by both Collegiate Baseball and the NCBWA.

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). 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. 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, who also received second-team All-America honors by Baseball America and a third-team pick by Perfect Game/Rawlings, batted .313 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, the Hattiesburg, Miss., product 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. Earlier this week, Braley was taken in the sixth round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Miami Marlins.

The duo are the second and third Golden Eagles to earn merit from this media outlet. The other was Tim Lynch, who was a third team selection at first base in 2016.

Here is a complete listing of Golden Eagle Awards during the 2017 season:

C-USA HITTER OF THE WEEK
3/20       Mason Irby
4/3         Matt Wallner
5/1         LeeMarcus Boyd
5/21       Dylan Burdeaux

C-USA PITCHER OF THE WEEK
5/8         Colt Smith

FIRST TEAM ALL-CONFERENCE USA
IF                Dylan Burdeaux, Sr., Southern Miss
UT              Taylor Braley, Jr., Southern Miss
SP              Kirk McCarty, Sr., Southern Miss
RP              Nick Sandlin, So., Southern Miss
RP              Colt Smith, Jr., Southern Miss

 SECOND TEAM ALL-CONFERENCE USA
OF              Mason Irby, Jr., Southern Miss
OF              Matt Wallner, Fr., Southern Miss 

C-USA ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
OF              Matt Wallner, Southern Miss 

C-USA PLAYER OF THE YEAR
OF              Dylan Burdeaux, Southern Miss 

C-USA FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
OF              Matt Wallner, Southern Miss 

C-USA COACH OF THE YEAR
                Scott Berry, Southern Miss

C-USA ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR
                Chad Caillet, Southern Miss 

C-USA ALL-ACADEMIC TEAM
SP              Kirk McCarty, Sr., Southern Miss
RP              Nick Sandlin, So., Southern Miss 

C-USA All-Tournament Team
C             Bryant Bowen
UTIL       Taylor Braley
OF          Matt Wallner
RP          Kirk McCarty

NCAA All-REGIONAL Team
OF          Mason Irby
DH          Taylor Braley

CoSIDA Academic ALL-AMERICAN
P             Kirk McCarty (second team)
P             Nick Sandlin (third team)

COLLEGIATE BASEBALL ALL-AMERICAN
1B           Dylan Burdeaux (second team)
RP           Nick Sandlin (third team)

BASEBALL AMERiCA All-American
UTIL       Taylor Braley (second team)
OF          Matt Wallner (second team)

D1Baseball.cOM All-American
OF          Matt Wallner (first team)
UTIL       Taylor Braley (second team)

NCBWA All-American
OF          Matt Wallner (first team)
RP           Nick Sandlin (second team)

Perfect Game/RAWLINGS All-american
RP           Nick Sandlin (first team)
OF          Matt Wallner (second team)
UTIL       Taylor Braley (third team)

NCBWA FRESHMAN HITTER OF THE YEAR
OF          Matt Wallner

NCBWA FRESHMAN ALL-AMERICAN
OF          Matt Wallner (first team)

COLLEGIATE BASEBALL FRESHMAN ALL-AMERICAN
OF          Matt Wallner

ABCA/Rawlings South All-REGION
OF          Matt Wallner (first team)
3B           Taylor Braley (second team)
RP           Nick Sandlin (second team)

MLB FIRST-YEAR PLAYER DRAFT
RHP/3B Taylor Braley (6th/Miami Marlins)
LHP        Kirk McCarty (7th/Cleveland Indians)
1B           Dylan Burdeaux (20th/Detroit Tigers)
RHP        Hayden Roberts (34th/Colorado Rockies)

(As of 6/15/17, 10 a.m.)

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