By Adam Brown
On Monday the Mississippi Sports Hall Fame tabbed junior Grae Kessinger and sophomore Tyler Keenan as finalists for the C Spire Ferriss Trophy Award. The award will be presented on May 20.
The C Spire Ferriss Trophy is awarded annually to the most outstanding college baseball player in the state of Mississippi. Southern Miss’ Matt Wallner and Mississippi State’s Ethan Small and Jake Mangum will join Keenan and Kessinger as the five finalists. The honorees are chosen by coaches and professional scouts.
The winner will be named at a luncheon banquet held at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum beginning at 11:30 a.m. May 20. Players and coaches will be available for interviews at the event.
Fans will be able to vote for their favorites by going to www.cspire.com/ferriss and casting a vote. C Spire will start fan voting at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 14, and will continue through noon on Saturday, May 18. The fan vote is a weighted 10% of the final vote.
Kessinger and Keenan have each enjoyed a strong 2019 seasons for the Rebels.
Kessinger is currently on a 40-game reached-base streak, the longest active streak in the SEC and one of the longest in the nation. He’s hitting a team-best .355 on the season with 55 runs scored, 17 doubles, 39 RBIs while starting all 52 games this season at shortstop. He has walked 32 times compared to just 24 strikeouts. He’s also 14-of-16 on stolen base attempts.
The junior out of Oxford, Mississippi, has also shown his best at shortstop. He boasts a .964 fielding percentage and has made just two errors in the last 29 games.
Kessinger has been an offensive powerhouse, hitting .426 with 49 hits in 27 games with 25 runs scored, 10 doubles, three home runs and 25 RBIs. He leads the SEC in hits and batting average during league play and is top-five in doubles, total bases and on-base percentage.
Keenan has started all 52 games at third base for the Rebels after entering the year as a preseason All-SEC second team selection. He’s hitting .299 and leads the team with 11 home runs and 55 RBIs.
The sophomore out of Clayton, North Carolina has spent most of the season near the top of the nation’s RBI charts. He’s currently third in the SEC with 55 runs driven in. His 11 home runs are good for ninth in the conference.
Keenan is no stranger to earning awards. He was a freshman All-American in 2018, in addition to earning SEC Player of the Week once and SEC Freshman of the Week twice.
The diamond Rebels return to the field on Thursday to face the Tennessee Volunteers.