MSU's Mangum leads three from state on Perfect Game All-America teams

 

Jake Mangum

Jake Mangum

 

Parker Caracci

Parker Caracci

 

Matt Wallner

Matt Wallner

 

 

From Special Reports

 

 

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Southern Mississippi's Matt Wallner, Ole Miss' Parker Caracci, and Mississippi State's Jake Mangum were named to the Perfect Game preseason All-America teams on Tuesday. 

 

Wallner, a junior outfielder/pitcher, and Caracci, a junior closer, were named first-team All-Americans, while Mangum, a senior center fielder, was named a third-team All-American. 

 

Wallner, the 2017 National Freshman of the Year by most national media organizations, posted a .351 batting average with 13 doubles and a team-high 16 home runs and 67 RBIs. He added 48 walks for an on-base percentage of .474, while his slugging percentage was .618. 

 

The Forest Lake, Minnesota, product played in four games with the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team last summer before joining the Falmouth Commodores in the Cape Cod League. He hit .250 with two doubles, four home runs, and 11 RBIs in 23 games in the summer wood bat league, which is widely regarded as the nation's top destination. 

 

Wallner appeared in 12 games as a pitcher and had a 1-0 record with six saves. 

 

Last season, Wallner earned second-team All-America accolades from the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) in the outfield. He was a third-team selection at designated hitter by D1Baseball.com and a third-team pick by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA). 

 

Last month, Wallner earned preseason honors from Collegiate Baseball. 

 

Southern Miss will open the season at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, when it plays host to Purdue at Pete Taylor Park.  

 

Caracci joins Stanford's Jack Little as relievers on the first team. He is one of two Southeastern Conference players on the first team (Arkansas outfielder Heston Kjerstad) and the only pitcher. 

 

The SEC placed 11 players on the three All-America squads, including three pitchers. 

 

The Toronto Blue Jays selected Caracci in the 37th round of the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player draft, but he elected to return to Oxford for 2019. The Jackson Prep product was named a second-team All-American by Baseball America and D1Baseball and an honorable mention All-American by Perfect Game after a breakout redshirt-sophomore campaign. 

 

He also was named second-team All-SEC and was a midseason All-American. 

 

Caracci was 5-2 with a 2.25 earned run average and 10 saves in 27 appearances last season. He allowed 38 hits in 48 innings and struck out 73. His 10 saves tied him for seventh most in a season in program history.  

 

Caracci a spot on the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team for the summer, where he posted a 0.00 ERA in 9 2/3 innings. He posted two saves and limited hitters to a .094 batting average. 

 

Ole Miss will play host to Wright State at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, its season opener. 

 

In December, Mangum earned first-team All-America laurels from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. He was the lone SEC position player selected to the first or second team squads. 

 

The active career leader in hits among NCAA baseball student-athletes, Mangum enters the season with 275 hits. With 154 career runs scored, Mangum sits No. 4 among returning student-athletes for the 2019 season, while his .356 batting average is No. 4 among returners in Division I with at least 400 at bats in their career. 

 

Mangum will enter the season needing 61 hits to move past Jeffrey Rea (335; 2004-07) as MSU's all-time hits leader. He needs 77 hits to displace LSU's Eddy Furniss (352; 1995-98) as the SEC's career hits leader. He also can become MSU's all-time leader in games played with 56 appearances in 2019. 

 

Mangum was drafted in 2017 (New York Yankees) and in 2018 (New York Mets). 

 

MSU will open the season at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, against Youngstown State.

 

 

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