Ferriss Trophy finalists announced


College baseball in Mississippi is at an all-time high to the point that winning the Ferriss Trophy has never been harder. That award goes to the best player in Mississippi which could be subject to opinion.

Today, the five finalists were announced, headlined by the pair from Southern Miss: Nick Sandlin and Luke Reynolds. The latter leads Conference USA in average, runs, home runs, total bases, slugging, walks and on-base percentage and yet the former is having an even better season.

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Through 78 and a third innings, Sandlin is by far and away the league’s best pitcher with a 1.15 ERA, 114 strikeouts, and an opposing batting clip of just .148. No one else with more six innings of work can compare.

Here’s a look at the other finalists:

Mississippi State center fielder and 2016 Ferris Trophy winner Jake Mangum, batting .342 with 14 stolen bases.

Ole Miss right fielder Ryan Olenek, hitting at a clip of .396 to lead the SEC and the fourth-ranked Rebels.

Delta State standout Zach Shannon, batting .425 with 29 homeruns, 86 RBIs, and a slugging percentage of .989.

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A native of Pass Christian and a St. Stanislaus alum, Jeff Haeger comes to News 25 from right in our backyard. He most recently spent more than three years working as the sports reporter for WHLT-TV in Hattiesburg, where he provided extensive coverage of his alma mater, The University of Southern Mississippi. At Southern Miss, Jeff was a member of the Honors College and graduated with a B.A. degree in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Spanish. He also wrote for USM's award-winning school newspaper, The Student Printz, where he won first place for Best Sports Story in 2013. Jeff loves to travel, and is excited to get back on the water to reunite with his family. In his spare time you can find Jeff spending time with his friends, and maybe even winning a fantasy football league. For sports stories contact Jeff at jhaeger@wxxv25.com.