LUBBOCK, TX (WLBT) - Amid an outstanding junior season, Ole Miss baseball’s Grae Kessinger has been named a semifinalist for the 2019 Brooks Wallace Award, given annually to the top shortstop in college baseball.
The award, sponsored by Mizuno, honors the nation’s top shortstop and will be presented this summer by the College Baseball Foundation. It is named for former Texas Tech shortstop Brooks Wallace, who played for the Red Raiders to from 1977 to 1980. Wallace died of leukemia at the age of 27.
Kessinger is one of just two Southeastern Conference shortstops to make the 14-man list, joined by Vanderbilt’s Ethan Paul. A junior out of Oxford, Mississippi, Kessinger recently concluded a 40-game reached-base streak, the longest by a Rebel since Tanner Mathis reached in 41 straight in 2011.
He’s hitting .349 on the season with 55 runs scored, 17 doubles, four home runs and 39 RBI. He’s slugging .482 and boasts a .440 on-base percentage with 32 walks drawn compared to just 25 strikeouts.
In SEC play, Kessinger is slashing .426/.485/.591 with 25 runs scored, 25 RBI and 13 extra-base hits in 27 games. He leads the conference in batting average and hits during league play. Overall this season, Kessinger is No. 3 in SEC in hits, sixth in batting average, doubles and runs scored and seventh in on-base percentage.
Kessinger has been outstanding in the field as well. In addition to numerous spectacular plays that have earned him spots on the SportsCenter Top 10 and the NCAA’s Plays of the Week, Kessinger has made just seven errors with 72 putouts and 118 assists. He has made just two errors in his last 30 games.
Kessinger and the Rebels conclude their regular season with a road series at Tennessee, starting Thursday at 6 p.m. CT.