State’s Brent Rooker, congratulated by teammates after a home run, is among national leaders in several categories.

Three Southern Miss standouts, Mississippi State’s Brent Rooker and Delta State’s Zach Shannon are the five finalists for the C Spire Ferriss Trophy, chosen by Major League baseball scouts and college coaches.

USM’s Taylor Braley, Dylan Burdeaux and Matt Wallner, who have helped their team to a 40-12 record and a Conference USA championship, are the three Golden Eagles selected among finalists for the award that goes annually to the most outstanding college baseball player in Mississippi.


The Ferriss Trophy will be presented at a luncheon Monday, May 22, at 11:30 a.m. at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Former Ole Miss and Major League standout Donnie Kessinger, a Mississippi Sports Hall of Famer, will be the featured speaker.

Scouts and coaches will vote again from among the finalists. There will also be fan voting at

The finalists, and their accomplishments, in alphabetical order:


Braley, a junior from Oak Grove, has excelled both on the mound, at third base and at the plate. As a starter, Braley has a 5-2 record and a 3.48 earned run average. At the plate, he is hitting ..335 with 11 home runs and 47 runs batted in.



Burdeaux, a senior first baseman from West Monroe, La., leads the nation in hits with 86. He is hitting .352 with 19 doubles, nine home runs, 60 runs batted in and 15 stolen bases.




Rooker, a junior from Germantown, Tenn., is among national leaders in nearly all offensive categories. He is hitting .409 with 25 doubles, 3 triples and 20 home runs while knocking in 68 runs. His slugging percentage is a remarkable .898.




Shannon a junior from Cincinnati, hits .452 with 11 doubles and 18 home runs. He has a .795 slugging percentage and has also pitched, making five appearances in relief with one save. Opponents have hit .182 against him




Wallner, a leading candidate for college baseball freshman of the year, hails from Forest Park, Minn. He hits .324 with 11 doubles, two triples and 15 home runs. On the mound, Wallner has a 2-0 record, with three saves and a 1.84 earned run average. He has hit 97 mph several times on radar guns.

Tickets for the event are on sale at

Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Take our 2023 reader survey

Rick Cleveland, a native of Hattiesburg and resident of Jackson, has been Mississippi Today’s sports columnist since 2016. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s in journalism, Rick has worked for the Monroe (La.) News Star World, Jackson Daily News and Clarion Ledger. He was sports editor of Hattiesburg American, executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. His work as a syndicated columnist and celebrated sports writer has appeared in numerous magazines, periodicals and newspapers.
Rick has been recognized 13 times as Mississippi Sports Writer of the Year, and is recipient of multiple awards and honors for his reporting and writing.