JACKSON, Miss., May 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Mississippi State outfielder Jake Mangum, who became the all-time SEC hits leader earlier this year, was the top vote getter and winner of the fan voting segment of the 2019 C Spire Ferriss Trophy, which annually honors the top college baseball player in Mississippi, it was announced Saturday.
Mangum, a senior from Pearl, Miss., received 3,923 votes from fans, which counts for a weighted 10 percent of the total award. Mississippi State pitcher Ethan Small, one of the top hurlers in the SEC this year, finished second with 2,273 votes and Ole Miss shortstop Grae Kessinger finished third with 1,841 votes.
Finalists and the ultimate winner of the award are chosen by the state's college baseball coaches and a panel of Major League Baseball professional scouts. This year's overall winner will be announced at a special awards luncheon on Monday at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in Jackson, Miss.
Over 8,500 votes were cast for the five finalists online during the six-day fan voting period, the third highest total since fan voting was allowed for the first time in 2014. The past two winners of the award sponsored by C Spire and the MSHOF have been Southern Miss pitcher Nick Sandlin (2018) and Mississippi State outfielder Brent Rooker (2017).
Mangum, who is ranked 24th in hitting in all of Division 1 college baseball with a .387 average, is the Diamond Dawgs undisputed leading hitter with 94 hits, 20 doubles, 3 home runs, 38 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. He is one of the leading fielders on the team with only four errors on the season, a .969 fielding average and 122 put outs.
The other two finalists who received fan votes were Ole Miss third baseman Tyler Keenan and Southern Miss outfielder Matt Wallner. Keenan received 302 votes while Wallner, a two-time finalist, garnered a total of 244 votes.
Mangum, a three-time finalist, won the 2016 award, which is named for the late Dave "Boo" Ferriss, a Magnolia State baseball legend, a Boston Red Sox and Mississippi Sports Hall of Famer and long-time Delta State head baseball coach.
2019 marks the 24th anniversary of the Outstanding Player Awards Program. C Spire has served as title sponsor for 22 of those years since 1998. The Conerly Trophy in college football, the Howell Trophy in men's college basketball, the Gillom Trophy in women's college basketball and the Ferriss Trophy in college baseball comprise the four elements of the C Spire Outstanding Player Award series, which are jointly presented by the company and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.
Former long-time MLB manager "Buck" Showalter will be the guest speaker at the C Spire Ferriss Trophy luncheon, which begins at 11:30 a.m. Showalter, who guided the Orioles, Yankees, Diamondbacks and Rangers, played his collegiate ball at Mississippi State where he hit .459 in 1977. He also served two stints as an ESPN baseball analyst.
Advance tickets are on sale, including full tables seating 8 persons for $350 each along with reserved seating, half tables and individual tickets. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the MSHOF offices at 601.982.8264, stop by at 1152 Lakeland Drive in Jackson or go online at http://msfame.com/c-spire-ferriss-trophy/.
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SOURCE C Spire