SEC Announces Baseball Honorees
The Southeastern Conference announced its annual post-season awards Tuesday, and Alabama was represented. As expected, the lion's share of honors went to Georgia, winner of the SEC regular season championship.
Alabama had two All-SEC first team performers in outfielder Brandon May and designated hitter Alex Avilla. No Crimson Tide player made the second team.
Shortstop Josh Rutledge was Bama's lone representative on the SEC All-Freshman team.
Third baseman Jake Smith was named to the SEC All-Defensive squad.
The magnitude of Alabama winning two of three games against Georgia in the final series of the year was shown by the awards.
Georgia junior shortstop Gordon Beckham was selected 2008 SEC Baseball Player of the Year, fellow senior closer Joshua Fields was named SEC Pitcher of the Year, and Georgia skipper David Perno was picked as SEC Coach of the Year. Beckham was also named SEC Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Voting was by the 12 SEC head coaches.
Auburn first basemen Hunter Morris was named SEC Freshman of the Year.
The coaches also tabbed Beckham and Fields lead a list of players named to the first and second-team All-SEC squads for this season. Beckham (.401-23-57, 16 SB, .959 FLDG%), a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy, tied the school record for home runs in a season with his 23rd against Alabama. It was an opposite field, game-tying solo shot. On Saturday, he set the Bulldog record for runs scored in a season with 76. Beckham, an Academic All-America candidate too, ranks among the leaders in several NCAA and SEC offensive categories. He is second in the country in home runs, fourth in slugging percentage and sixth in runs scores. In 28 games against ranked opponents, Beckham is batting .380-9-26, and in SEC action, he batted .391-13-33.
Fields, a semifinalist for the Clemens Award, set a school record with his 16th save of the season in a win over Georgia Tech Tuesday at Turner Field in Atlanta. Fields already holds the SEC and school records for career saves with 39. In the Alabama series, Fields went 1-1. For the year, he is 2-2 with a 1.52 ERA and 16 Saves in 29.2 IP. He has 53 strikeouts.
Perno led the Bulldogs to a 20-9-1record in conference play to win the SEC Championship.
Morris, who was named second team All-SEC, had a monster first season at Auburn, finishing the year with a team-best .351 batting average in all games, but was even better in league play, hitting .393. Morris hit safely in 44 of 54 games played.
Coaches are not permitted to vote for their own players, thus a unanimous selection earns 11 of the 12 first-team votes. The complete 2008 All-SEC Team:
SEC PLAYER OF THE YEAR - *Gordon Beckham, Georgia
SEC PITCHER OF THE YEAR - Joshua Fields, Georgia
SEC FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR - Hunter Morris, Auburn
SEC SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR - Gordon Beckham, Georgia
SEC COACH OF THE YEAR - David Perno, Georgia
* unanimous selection
1B - Justin Smoak, South Carolina
2B - Josh Adams, Florida / Ryan Wilkes, Kentucky
3B - Pedro Alvarez, Vanderbilt / Logan Forsythe, Arkansas
SS - *Gordon Beckham, Georgia
C - Bryce Massanari, Georgia
OF - Collin Cowgill, Kentucky
OF - Sawyer Carroll, Kentucky
OF - Matt den Dekker, Florida/ Brandon May, Alabama David Macias, Vanderbilt
DH - Alex Avila, Alabama
P - Patrick Keating, Florida
P - Chris Rusin, Kentucky
RP - Joshua Fields, Georgia
1B - Hunter Morris, Auburn
2B - Alex Feinberg, Vanderbilt
3B - James Darnell, South Carolina
SS - Ryan Flaherty, Vanderbilt / Reese Havens, S. Carolina
C - Yan Gomes, Tennessee
OF - Avery Barnes, Florida
OF - Dominic de la Osa, Vanderbilt
OF - Kentrail Davis, Tennessee
DH - Phil Disher, South Carolina
P - Lance Lynn, Ole Miss
P - Trevor Holder, Georgia / Stephen Dodson, Georgia
RP - Scott Bittle, Ole Miss
ALL FRESHMAN TEAM
1B - *Hunter Morris, Auburn
2B - *Josh Adams, Florida
3B - David Cunningham, Auburn
SS - *Josh Rutledge, Alabama
C - *Micah Gibbs, LSU
OF - *Kentrail Davis, Tennessee
OF - Whit Merrifield, South Carolina
OF - Brian Fletcher, Auburn
DH - P.J. Polk, Tennessee
P - Drew Pomeranz, Ole Miss
P - Grant Dayton, Auburn
RP - Russell Brewer, Vanderbilt
ALL DEFENSIVE TEAM
P - Jared Bradford, LSU
1B - Rich Poythress, Georgia
2B - Ryan Wilkes, Kentucky
SS - Reese Havens, South Carolina
3B - Jake Smith, Alabama
C - Brett Basham, Ole Miss
OF - Matt den Dekker, Florida
OF - Collin Cowgill, Kentucky
OF - David Macias, Vanderbilt
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