Southern Miss Outfielder Matt Wallner earns Baseball America First-Team All-America Honor

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - For the second time in three years, Southern Miss outfielder Matt Wallner (Forest Lake, Minn.) earned All-America honors, Monday, by the publication Baseball America.

Wallner collected the magazine’s 2017 National Freshman of the Year award, while also earning second-team All-America honors that season.

Wallner played in all 189 games over this three-year career for the Golden Eagles, making 188 starts (10 in leftfield, 93 in centerfield, 67 in rightfield and 18 at designated hitter including once as both DH/P).

A co-captain this season as voted on by his teammates, he batted .323 during his junior campaign, with 12 doubles, 23 home runs and 60 RBI, earning Conference USA first-team honors. His home run total is tied with four other former Golden Eagles (Clint King 2003, Jeff King 2003, Bill Selby 1992, Fred Cooley 1989) for the most in a single season at the school.

Wallner became the school's career home run king with 54 on the final day of the regular season with a pair of homers versus UAB (5/18). He added two more round-trippers in the C-USA Tournament and two in the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional to finish with 58 homers for his career.

He earned selection to the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional all-tournament team and was the C-USA Tournament Most Valuable Player, which included a 10th-inning, game-winning two-run homer against Rice in the C-USA opener.

It was his second game-winning homer of his career and third game-winning hit. He also earned C-USA Hitter of the Week (May 19) during the final week of the regular season.

Wallner ranks fifth on the career charts for RBI (190), sixth in slugging percentage (.652), seventh in total bases (449) and first in walks (141). He enjoyed a season-high nine-game hitting streak late in the season, ending in the first LSU regional contest. He finished third in multi-hit games (17 two-hit, 5 three-hit, 1 four-hit) with 23 and first in multi-RBI games (9 two-RBI, 3 three-RBI, 3 four-RBI and 1 five-RBI) with 16.

This award marks the first for Wallner in 2019 and the eighth All-America accolade of his career.

Last week, Wallner became the highest-ever draft pick by a Southern Miss baseball player as the Minnesota Twins took him with the No. 39 pick overall in the Competitive Balance Round A, sandwiched between the first and second rounds.