22 Apr

down the stretch

Ferriss Trophy voters have a tough decision to make in the coming weeks, which says a lot about the depth of talent, especially among hitters, in the state’s four-year colleges. The Ferriss Trophy, named for former big league pitcher and Delta State coach Boo Ferriss, is given annually to the state’s best college player by the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. The winner will be named in a ceremony four weeks from today. With a chunk of season still to be played, Mississippi State’s Dakota Jordan has some big numbers (.378, 15 homers, 51 RBIs, 42 runs) and is the top-rated 2024 MLB draft prospect among the state’s college crop. Southern Miss’ Slade Wilks, a 2023 Ferriss finalist, is having another strong year (.292, nine homers, 37 RBIs, 31 runs) for the Golden Eagles, as is Dalton McIntyre (.404), though he recently suffered an injury. At Ole Miss, Ethan Lege (.348, 12 homers, 37 RBIs, 38 runs) has been a consistent offensive force, and Jackson State has gotten great production from Joseph Eichelberger (.379). Not to be overlooked are small college players R.J. Stinson (William Carey), Arderrius “Peeko” Townsend (Blue Mountain Christian), Dylan Coleman (Delta State), J.T. Vance (Mississippi College) and Malik Berrien (Rust). Stinson is batting .427, while Townsend ranks among the NAIA leaders with 22 bombs. There hasn’t been a truly dominant pitcher in the state this season, but MSU’s Khal Stephen, USM’s Billy Oldham, Carey’s John Snyder and Belhaven University’s Colton Sylvester and Brett Sanchez, among others, have had shining moments.

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