Southern Mississippi’s McMahon wins Ferriss Trophy

JACKSON- After three mostly mediocre seasons at Southern Mississippi, James McMahon’s final year with the Golden Eagles has been one to remember.

JAMES MCMAHON

JAMES MCMAHON

The 6-foot-1, 212-pound senior from Hattiesburg, continued a dream spring on Monday by winning the Ferriss Trophy, which is given annually to the state’s top college baseball player.

“This is really awesome,” McMahon said. “Being from Mississippi I understand the tradition of this award and how good the college baseball is in this state so it means a lot.”

0519 Ferriss TrophyMcMahon, a right-hander, has been a surprise star for the Golden Eagles, moving from the bullpen to the starting rotation this spring. The senior has an 11-1 record with a 1.72 ERA and he’s held opposing hitters to a .203 batting average.

He had two long scoreless streaks this season – one that lasted 23 2/3 innings and another that stretched 18 2/3 innings. He’s been named the Conference USA pitcher of the week twice.

The success was hard to envision after three mostly non-descript seasons with the Golden Eagles. He came into his senior year with 37 relief appearances, a handful of saves and a 6.04 career ERA.

McMahon said he was never able to get into a comfortable in the bullpen, but the move to the starting rotation allowed him to have a routine that he trusts. He also started throwing a two-seam fastball that’s been able to coax consistent ground ball outs.

“Mentally and physically I’m able to trust the work that I do in between starts and I’m able to hold onto that when I get on the mound,” McMahon said.

McMahon is one of many reasons Southern Miss closed the regular season on a 13-game winning streak, which tied a school record. The Golden Eagles, who have jumped into NCAA Tournament contention thanks to their recent winning ways, face UAB on Wednesday in the opening round of the Conference USA Tournament in Hattiesburg.

“These past few weeks have been a blast,” McMahon said. “We have a lot of confidence and a little swagger. The pitchers and hitters have really been complimenting each other.”

McMahon is the second Southern Miss player to win the Ferriss Trophy since its inception in 2004.

The other finalists were Jackson State infielder Melvin Rodriguez, Ole Miss pitcher Scott Weathersby, Mississippi State first baseman Wes Rea and Millsaps pitcher/infielder Keith Shumaker.

The Ferriss Trophy is sponsored by C Spire Wireless.

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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