Eierman named finalist for top shortstop in nation

Missouri State sophomore Jeremy Eierman was honored as one of the top collegiate shortstops in the nation Wednesday when the College Baseball Foundation announced its five finalists for the 2017 Brooks Wallace Award.

The lone underclassman selected for the honor, Eierman joined a distinguished list of Division I standouts that included Louisville’s Devin Hairston, Texas Tech’s Orlando Garcia, Old Dominion’s Zach Rutherford and North Carolina’s Logan Warmoth. 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 from 1977 to 1980. Wallace died of leukemia at the age of 27.

Eierman was named a semifinalist for the NCBWA’s Dick Howser Trophy, as well as a First-Team All-Missouri Valley Conference choice after turning in a breakthrough spring for the Bears, both at the plate and in the middle of the MSU infield as one of the Valley’s top defenders. The Warsaw, Mo., product ranks 10th nationally with 19 home runs this season, joining forces with Bears third baseman Jake Burger to form the top power combination in the country with 41 homers to date. Eierman led the Valley in RBIs (26) and runs scored (27) during conference play, while ranking second in slugging, on-base percentage and home runs in helping the Bears to their fifth MVC regular-season title with an 18-1 league mark.

Overall, Eierman is hitting .311 on the season with top 10 MVC totals in nine major offensive statistical categories. He has been one of the league’s top defensive standouts as well, with just 10 errors in 242 total defensive chances at shortstop, good for a .959 fielding percentage.

Missouri State (40-17) enters NCAA Championship play as the No. 2 seed in the Fayetteville Regional, where they will square off against No. 3 Oklahoma State (30-25) Friday (June 2) at 2 p.m. (CDT) at Baum Stadium to open postseason play.