Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Ole Miss Shortstop Jacob Gonzalez Earns D1Baseball’s Freshman of the Year

Ole Miss shortstop Jacob Gonzalez was named D1Baseball’s Freshman of the Year on Monday.

This season, Gonzalez was also named First Team Freshman All-America honors, joined by teammate TJ McCants, who earned a Second Team Freshman All-America nod.

The honors continue to roll in for Gonzalez, who earlier this offseason joined Stephen Head as just the second player in program history to be named an All-American as a freshman. He also joined Don Kessinger, Jimmy Yawn, Steve Dillard, Zack Cozart, Grae Kessinger and Anthony Servideo as the seventh Rebel All-American shortstop. This marks the third consecutive season the Rebels have had an All-American at the position.

Gonzalez has earned All-America honors this season from D1Baseball and NCBWA, in addition to Freshman All-America nods from D1Baseball, NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball. Gonzalez was also named ABCA First Team All-South Region and to the SEC All-Freshman team. He representing the Rebels this summer with the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team.

Gonzalez started every game at shortstop and led Ole Miss in batting average (.355), runs scored (73) and hits (93). The freshman out of Glendora, California, set single-season freshman records in games played (67), runs scored, RBI (55), total bases (147), and walks (38). Gonzalez led the SEC in hits and runs scored when his season came to a close, ranking fourth in the nation in those categories. He led all true freshmen nationally in both hits and runs scored.

McCants becomes the 26th Freshman All-American in program history. This marks the sixth consecutive season in which Ole Miss has had multiple Freshman All-Americans. McCants is the first Rebel outfielder to be named Freshman All-American since J.B. Woodman in 2014.

The freshman out of Cantonment, Florida, spent the fall and early spring as a middle infielder, but he took on the role of starting center fielder three weeks into the season. By season’s end, he was one of the SEC’s most productive players.

McCants led Ole Miss and tied for fifth in the conference with a .351 batting average in SEC play, including four doubles, a triple and five home runs. He was also top-10 in the SEC in runs  scored (29), hits (39) and stolen bases (9-for-9), multi-hit games (12) in league games. McCants notched the second-longest hitting streak in SEC play this season at 14 games. His 28-game reached base streak was good for fourth in the conference.

McCants closed his stellar freshman year with a .300 batting average, 47 runs scored, 65 hits, 10 doubles, two triples, five home runs, 35 RBI and was 11-for-13 on stolen bases.


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