For a Mississippi team to go deep into college baseball’s post-season, somebody is going to have to go on a tear starting soon — like immediately.
The good news: It has happened before. Many times. Recently, the C Spire Ferriss Trophy has seemingly served as a catalyst.
Two years ago, Mississippi State’s Hunter Renfroe won the Ferriss, and then State won 11 of its next 13 games, a regional, a super regional, and then made it to the championship series of the College World Series.
A year ago, Ole Miss’ Auston Bousfield won the Ferriss, and a hot team got hotter, winning a regional and a super regional on its way to Omaha for the CWS.
Mississippi teams have a lot of work to do just to make the NCAA tournament, but several Magnolia State players are having splendid seasons and are prime candidates for the C Spire Ferriss. What follows is a watch list (with help from coaches and scouts who vote for the Ferriss).
In no particular order:
- Melvin Rodriguez, Jackson State second baseman, hits .439, second best in the nation, with 19 doubles, two triples, seven home runs and 62 RBI.
- James McMahon, Southern Miss pitcher, has posted a 9-1 record with a 1.88 earned run average and 44 strikeouts, compared to just 17 walks, in 72 innings. He was national player of the week after pitching 11 innings of shutout baseball against Mississippi State and Rice in the same week.
- Keith Shumaker, Millsaps pitcher and infielder, won Southern Athletic Association Player of the Year for the second time in three years. He led the league in runs scored (48) and walks (23). He was second in the SAA with 62 hits and hit an impressive .417 while slugging at a .598 clip. The right-hander also excelled on the mound, posting an 8-1 record and 2.31 ERA during the regular season.
- Ole Miss third baseman Colby Bortles has knocked in a team-leading 41 runs while hitting .297 with seven home runs.
- Ole Miss’ Scott Weathersby, pitching primarily in relief, has achieved a 4-1 record with 44 strikeouts in 44 innings. His earned run average is 1.84, and teams are hitting .177 against him.
- Mississippi State first baseman Wes Rea is hitting .313, with nine doubles and four home runs.
- Southern Miss first baseman Tim Lynch has hit .331, with nine home runs and 30 RBI.
- Delta State third baseman Ethan Gill hits .339, with 10 home runs, 13 doubles and 49 RBI.
- William Carey pitcher Gavin Culpepper, all 6 feet, 9 inches of him, compiled a 9-2 record with a 2.75 ERA.
- Belhaven University first baseman Adam Kowalczyk hit .329, with 14 home runs, 12 doubles and 66 RBI.
- Blue Mountain College first baseman Seth Davis hit .396, with 17 doubles, two triples and eight home runs.
- Mississippi State center fielder Jacob Robson hits .348, with an on-base percentage of .458, and has stolen 20 bases in 26 attempts.
The C Spire Ferriss Trophy will be presented at a luncheon on Monday, May 18, at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Call 601-982-8264 for tickets or purchase online at msfame.com. Voting is done primarily by college coaches and professional scouts, augmented by fan voting conducted by C Spire.Rick Cleveland (
Rick Cleveland (firstname.lastname@example.org) is executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.