In his first taste of collegiate ball, Southern Miss freshman Slade Wilks proved he has the chops to be a starter from Day 1 during the Golden Eagles’ Fall World Series.
After going 2-for-5 with a double, a single and a walk through the first two games of the black and gold intrasquad series, the Columbia Academy alum stroked an RBI double in Game 3 Nov. 17, even though his Gold squad lost 7-3 as he went 1-for-4 at Pete Taylor Park.
Batting second and starting in right field Friday in Game 4, Wilks extended his hit streak to four games with a single, and the Gold team knotted the series 2-2 with a 6-4 victory. The 6-foot-2 slugger went 1-for-3, drew a walk and was hit by a pitch.
USM finished off the best-of-series Saturday with Wilks’ Gold team falling 5-2 to the Black squad to lose the series. However, Wilks finished off the series with another hit, making him the only Golden Eagle to have at least one base knock in every game. He singled and walked, going 1-for-3 and scoring on an error in the seventh inning.
For the series, Wilks went 5-for-15 (.333 batting average) at the dish with three singles, two doubles, three walks and was hit by a pitch. His .474 on-base percentage was also best on the team.
The Under Armour and Perfect Game All-American went to USM following one of the most impressive prep careers in Mississippi history. Wilks was on pace to break the state’s all-time home run record, but his senior season was cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic. In 140 games with the Cougars, he produced a 418 batting average, .592 on-base percentage, .953 slugging percentage, 1.596 on-base plus slugging percentage, 50 home runs, 150 RBI, 171 runs scored, 46 stolen bases and 85 strikeouts in 57 innings pitched.
The 2021 schedule for the Golden Eagles has not been finalized yet.