May 15, 2018 10:28:27 AM
JACKSON -- Jake Mangum will face tough competition as he tries to win the Ferriss Trophy for the second time.
The Mississippi State junior was one of five players announced as finalists for the 15th-annual award, which is given to the best college baseball player in the state of Mississippi.
Delta State's Zach Shannon, Ole Miss' Ryan Olenek and Southern Mississippi's Nick Sandlin and Luke Reynolds will join Mangum in Jackson at a banquet Monday at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. The Ferriss Trophy is named after MSU and Boston Red Sox legend David "Boo" Ferriss.
"Having grown up in Mississippi, I know how much Mr. Ferriss truly means to the sport of baseball and to our state," Mangum said. "Being associated with this award, along with being named a finalist for the second time is truly an honor."
Mangum, who won the award in 2016, leads MSU in batting average (.342), runs (45), hits (76), doubles (19), and on-base percentage (.421). Mangum leads the Southeastern Conference in hits and doubles.
Six Diamond Dawgs have claimed the Ferriss Trophy in the previous 14 years of the award's presentation (Brent Rooker 2017; Mangum, 2016; Hunter Renfroe 2013; Chris Stratton 2012; Ed Easley 2007; and Thomas Berkery 2006).
Olenek, a junior, is having one of the best offensive seasons for the No. 4 Rebels. He's batting .396 with 74 hits and a team-high 17 doubles. He leads the Southeastern Conference in batting average.
Ole Miss outfielder Auston Bousfield took home the honor in 2014, joining previous Rebel winners Stephen Head (2004), Brian Pettway (2005), Scott Bittle (2008), and Drew Pomeranz (2010).
Reynolds, a third baseman from Forest, and Sandlin, a right-handed pitcher from Evans, Georgia, are two of the leaders for the Golden Eagles, who are ranked No. 18 in this week's Baseball America poll.
Tickets for the luncheon are on sale at the Hall of Fame's website www.msfame.com or at their offices at 1152 Lakeland Drive in Jackson. Tables, half tables, and individual tickets are available for the event that begins at 11:30 a.m.
Mississippi Sports Hall of Famer Jay Powell will be guest speaker.
Fans can vote for their Ferriss Trophy selection through noon Saturday at http://www.csopavoting.com/.
Tickets for the banquet are available at msfame.com.
No. 4 Ole Miss will take on Arkansas State
JONESBORO, Ark. -- The No. 4 Ole Miss baseball team will go for its fifth-straight win at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday when it takes on Arkansas State at Tomlinson Stadium.
Ole Miss enters its final midweek game of the season coming off its first Southeastern Conference series sweep of the year. Ole Miss (39-13) took all three games against then-No. 18 Auburn to finish the regular season 28-4 at Swayze Field.
The Rebels are 12-1 in midweek games this season and can tie the program mark for the best midweek record with a win.
Left-hander Jordan Fowler (5-0, 4.08 earned run average) is scheduled to start for Ole Miss.
n In related news, Tyler Keenan was named Monday the SEC Player of the Week.
Keenan was 5-for-9 last week with two home runs and two doubles. He scored four runs and drove in six.
Keenan was named SEC Freshman of the Week on April 2 and April 9. The Rebels have earned five SEC weekly honors this season.
No. 18 Southern Mississippi closes regular-season home schedule against New Orleans
HATTIESBURG -- The No. 18 Southern Mississippi baseball team will play New Orleans at 6 p.m. Tuesday in its final regular-season game of the year at Pete Taylor Park.
Junior right-handers Jarod Wright (3-1, 5.27 earned run average) is scheduled to start for Southern Miss (36-14). The Golden Eagles beat the Privateers (24-28) in February in the Crescent City back in February.
Southern Miss will look to bounce back from a series loss to Louisiana Tech this past weekend.
Following the game against New Orleans, Southern Miss will travel to Beckley, West Virginia, to face Marshall in the final Conference USA regular-season series. The series will start at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.
One win, or a loss by Louisiana Tech and Florida Atlantic, and Southern Miss will win its second-consecutive regular-season league crown, and fifth overall.
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