Southern Miss

Two Southern Miss baseball players pick up All-American honors

Southern Mississippi pitcher Taylor Braley throws out a South Alabama runner during the second inning of their NCAA Regional baseball game at Pete Taylor Park in Hattiesburg on Sunday.
Southern Mississippi pitcher Taylor Braley throws out a South Alabama runner during the second inning of their NCAA Regional baseball game at Pete Taylor Park in Hattiesburg on Sunday. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com File

A pair of Southern Miss standouts earned All-American recognition from Baseball America on Thursday.

Junior pitcher/third baseman Taylor Braley and freshman outfielder Matt Wallner were both named second-team All-American from the publication.

Braley earned the utility spot after batting .313 with 17 homers, 12 doubles and 61 runs batted in. He also record a single-season school record of 61 walks.

As a pitcher, Braley was 7-2 with a 3.40 ERA in 14 games (13 starts). He struck out 78 over 82 innings while walking just 22.

Wallner, who was named Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American on Wednesday, was one of only two freshmen honored on Thursday by Baseball America. He batted .336 and hit a USM freshman record of 19 home runs. He also had 63 RBIs, 14 doubles and a pair of triples.

Later this month, Wallner will join the USA Baseball Collegiate Team Training Camp with a goal of making the team's 24-man roster. He will be joined there by Mississippi State junior pitcher Konnor Pilkington, a former East Central standout.

Southern Miss beat Charlotte 6-5 Saturday to stay alive in the C-USA tournament in Biloxi.

Braley and Wallner are the seventh and eighth Golden Eagles to earn Baseball America All-American honors. They are the first to be honored since former pitcher Barry Bowden was named to the third team in 2008. The last time USM had two players honored by Baseball America was in 2003 when Jeff Cook and Clint King earned third-team accolades.

USM was one of six schools to have two players honored, joining LSU, Florida, Missouri State, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest.

The Southern Miss baseball team finished 50-16 this season to set a new school record in victories.

Southern Miss freshman outfielder/pitcher Matt Wallner has become an immediate star in Hattiesburg. - Video courtesy Southern Miss

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