JACKSON, Miss. (WCBI/Rick Cleveland, MS Sports Hall of Fame) — Four of the five finalists for the C Spire Ferriss Trophy are among 60 semi-finalists for the Golden Spikes Award (nation’s best college baseball player) and the fifth is a finalist Division II national player of the year.
C Spire Ferriss finalists include three pitchers, a catcher and an outfielder. The award, which goes annually to Mississippi’s most outstanding collegiate baseball player, will be presented at a May 20 luncheon at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. A limited number of $35 tickets remain for the 11:15 luncheon. Call 601 982-8264 to order tickets.
The finalists, in alphabetical order:
John Branstetter (Delta State), a senior right handed pitcher, is a finalist for the Tino Martinez Award as Division II’s most outstanding player. He is 9-2 in 13 starts with a 1.68 earned run average and 74-16 strikeouts-to-walks ratio.
Andrew Pierce (Southern Miss), another senior right handed pitcher, is 9-1 on the season with a 2.37 ERA. He has 84 strikeouts in 95 innings of work. USM is 10-3 in games Pierce has started, 16-20 in games he hasn’t pitched.
Hunter Renfroe (Mississippi State), a junior outfielder/designated hitter, leads the Southeastern Conference in home runs with 15 and slugging percentage at .750. He is tied for third in batting average at .390.
Stuart Turner (Ole Miss), a junior catcher, is tied with Renfroe with a .390 average and leads Ole Miss with five home runs, 15 doubles and 46 runs batted in.
Bobby Wahl (Ole Miss), a junior pitcher, never left or finished a game with Ole Miss trailing this season. Wahl is 9-0 with a 1.43 earned run average and opponents hit .177 off him.
All five finalists and their coaches will be present for the luncheon. The award is named for Mississippi baseball legend Boo Ferriss, who pitched at Mississippi State, coached at Delta State and is a Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer. Voters include the state’s collegiate coaches and Major League scouts whose territory includes Mississippi.