HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) _ After shining during his first two seasons with the University of Southern Mississippi, outfielder/pitcher Matt Wallner remains in the national spotlight heading into his junior season.
Wallner was selected first-team preseason All-America as a utility player by Collegiate Baseball this week.
Selected Freshman of the Year two years by most national media organizations, Wallner followed with a stellar sophomore season that saw him selected second-team All-America by one organization (National Collegiate Baseball Sportswriters Association) and third-team All-America by two others (DivisionIBaseball.com and American Baseball Coaches Association.
Wallner hit .351 for the Golden Eagles in 2018, with team-highs of 18 home runs and 67 runs batted in. He hit 13 doubles and walked 48 times, finishing with an on-base percentage of .474 and a slugging percentage of .618.
Wallner also played in four games with the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team this past summer before heading north to play for the Falmouth Commodores in the Cape Cod League. In 23 games in the prestigious wooden bat league, Wallner hit .250 with four home runs, two doubles and 11 RBIs
Collegiate Baseball also ranked the Golden Eagles No. 30 in the publication’s “2019 Fabulous 40 Preseason Baseball Poll.”
USM, which finished 44-18 last season, was the lone Conference USA ranked in the by Collegiate Baseball.
The Golden Eagles host Purdue University in a three-game series in February to open the season.