Photo by Courtesy MSU
Mississippi nearly always has an abundance of college baseball talent. Each year the best college baseball player is awarded the C Spire Ferriss Trophy at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. Five finalists for this year's trophy will be in Jackson on Monday, May 20, when a group of college coaches and pro scouts will announce the winner at a luncheon.
The Ferriss Trophy is named after legendary Mississippi baseball player and coach Dave Meadow "Boo" Ferriss. Born in Shaw, Miss., Ferris pitched for Mississippi State University in college and the Boston Red Sox in the majors.
He became coach at Delta State University, where he won 639 games and led the Statesmen to three Division II College World Series appearances before retiring in 1988. Ferriss is a member of the Mississippi State Hall of Fame, Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, Delta State Hall of Fame and the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame.
This year's Ferriss finalists include three pitchers, one outfielder/designated hitter and one catcher. Two finalists are from Ole Miss. They are up against three other finalists, one each from Mississippi State, the University of Southern Mississippi and Delta State.
Four of the five finalists for the C Spire Ferriss Trophy are also among the 60 semi-finalists for the Golden Spikes Award, given to the nation's best college baseball player.
The five finalists for the Ferris Trophy are Bobby Wahl, a junior pitcher for the University of Mississippi; Stuart Turner, a junior catcher for Ole Miss; Andrew Pierce, a senior pitcher for Southern Miss; Hunter Renfroe, a junior outfielder/designated hitter for Mississippi State; and Josh Branstetter, a senior pitcher for Delta State.
Wahl is from Springfield, Va., and is 9-0 this season with a 1.43 earned run average. Ole Miss opponents are hitting a scant .177 against him.
Junior catcher Turner is from Eunice, La., and is batting .390 with five home runs, 15 doubles and 46 runs batted in. He leads the team in batting average, doubles, home runs and RBI's.
Pierce is a senior pitcher from Stringer, Miss., and is the most solid starter on the Southern Miss pitching staff. USM is 10-3 when Pierce pitches and 116-20 when he doesn't pitch. Pierce has a 2.37 ERA with 84 strikeouts and has a 9-1 record.
Renfroe is from Crystal Springs, Miss. He is batting .390 with 15 home runs, 51 RBIs, and a .750 slugging percentage.
Branstetter is a senior pitcher from Pensacola, Fla., and has a 9-3 record with 1.68 ERA and 74 strikeouts. He is the only non-Division I to be a Ferris finalist and finalist for the Division II Player of the Year award.
All five finalists and their coaches will be present for the 11:15 a.m. luncheon. A limited number of $35 tickets are available for the luncheon at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame (1152 Lakeland Dr.). Call 601-982-8264 to order tickets.