JACKSON, Miss. -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Auston Bousfield, a junior outfielder from Ole Miss who led the Southeastern Conference in hits this season, won the 2014 C Spire Ferriss Trophy Monday as the top college baseball player in Mississippi this season.
Bousfield, a 5-foot, 11-inch junior from Oakland, Florida, had one of the best overall seasons in school history, finishing third in the conference in batting average (.353), sixth in runs scored (47) and fourth in total bases (117). He stole 16 bases in 17 attempts and made only one error over the past two seasons.
The finalists were honored at a special luncheon co-hosted by C Spire and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Bousfield edged out four other finalists in one of the strongest fields since the award’s inception in 2004, including pitcher-first baseman Tyler Akins of Belhaven, Ole Miss pitcher Chris Ellis and the Mississippi State pitching duo of Jacob Lindgren and Ross Mitchell.
Preliminary voting was done by a panel of 24 experts, including Major League scouts and college coaches. They selected the five finalists. The same panel then voted again, accounting for 90 percent of the final vote. For the first time in the award’s history, ten percent of the final vote came from fan voting conducted by C Spire. Mitchell finished first in the fan voting.
Bousfield led Ole Miss to a 40-16 regular season record and first place in the SEC's Western Division in what was a banner regular season for Magnolia State teams. Mississippi State finished in second place in the SEC West, a game behind the Rebels. Belhaven won 42 games and hosted an NAIA Regional. Delta State, nationally ranked all season, won the Gulf South Conference regular season title. Southern Miss finished third in Conference USA.
“This was a very special year for baseball in Mississippi. All of our teams had really good seasons. For its size, Mississippi has some of the best baseball talent in the world and this year’s performance and today’s award finalists drove that reality home once again,” said Jim Richmond, vice president of Corporate Communications for C Spire. “Our best wishes and congratulations go out to all the players, their families, the schools and teams who were honored today.”
Akins led his Belhaven team in hitting and led the nation in saves with 17. Ellis had a perfect 9-0 record as Ole Miss' Friday night starter. Lindgren struck out nearly two batters an inning out of the bullpen for State. And Mitchell was 8-4 with a 1.85 earned run average.
“Thanks to all of my teammates and coaches for helping me win this award,” Bousfield said in accepting the award. He becomes the fifth Ole Miss player to win the Ferriss Trophy, which is named after Mississippi baseball legend Dave “Boo” Ferriss, who played for Mississippi State and the Boston Red Sox and was the long-time head baseball coach at Delta State. MSU outfielder Hunter Renfroe, who now plays professionally for the San Diego Padres, won the award in 2013.
2014 marks the 18th anniversary of the Outstanding Player Awards presentation. C Spire has served as title sponsor for 15 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 Wireless Outstanding Player Award series.
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