Six Tigers All-SEC, Morris Player of Year

Auburn placed six players on the All-SEC baseball team on Tuesday including Player of the Year Hunter Morris and Cory Luckie was named SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year.

Hoover, Ala.--Auburn's magical 2010 season continued on Tuesday as the Southeastern Conference announced the baseball honors with six Tigers earning All-SEC honors headlined by SEC player of the year Hunter Morris. Along with Morris on the first team were outfielders Trent Mummey and Brian Fletcher as well as designated hitter Kevin Patterson.

On the second team Auburn had senior catcher Ryan Jenkins as well as junior pitcher Grant Dayton. For a team picked to finish fifth in the Western Division before the year started, the Tigers had a pretty good haul in postseason awards after finishing 39-17 overall and 20-10 in the West to win the division.

"It's unbelievable," Auburn coach John Pawlowski said. "I'm really proud of these guys. It's great to see the hard work that these guys put into it and the effort and now to see the reward. It's a great day for them and for our program for those guys to be recognized."

Becoming just the second player in SEC history to be named the Freshman of the Year and the Player of the Year in a career joining Stephen Head from Ole Miss, Morris put up huge numbers in the regular season for the Tigers to win the honor. Hitting .398 with 20 home runs and 67 RBI, Morris was among the lead leaders in just about every category offensively and improved his defense dramatically as well as a junior. In SEC play he hit .408 with 12 HR and 37 RBI.

"He's had a tremendous year," Pawlowski said of Morris. "Coming into college and being a high draft pick and all the pressure that goes with that, to go through three years and to do what he did this year. He worked so hard off the field. It's just exciting for him. He certainly deserved it and I'm proud of him."

Hunter Morris talks about his honor in this video from Regions Park on Tuesday.

Tied with Morris with 20 home runs and driving in 70 this season, Fletcher backed up his All-SEC Freshman honor by earning it again as a junior. Hitting .361, the left fielder also had 15 doubles and had 82 hits in 2010. In SEC games he was .354 with nine homers and 31 RBI. He said to earn the award is just a huge honor for him and for all of his teammates.

"It's exciting," Fletcher said. "I was hoping for a good season and for the success of the club to be able to go where we are now. It means a lot to be pointed out for what I've accomplished this year. It's a little overwhelming but at the same time it's exciting."

The All-SEC center fielder, Mummey has simply had an amazing season for the Tigers with 15 home runs and 45 RBI in only 28 games played because of an injury that kept him out of half of the season. Hitting .380 for the year, Mummey was also named to the All-Defensive team in the league for his work with the glove. In SEC games only Mummey hit .348 with 12 homers and 34 RBI in just 92 at-bats.

"It's awesome," Mummey said. "Every year you come out and work hard. It's nice to reap the benefits. I think this whole team has reaped the benefits this year. We've all worked hard and it goes to show with all the guys we've got on the first and second team. Every day when we come out to practice and play we give 100 percent. It's nice that we get some accolades to show for it."

Rounding out the first-teamers is Patterson. The big designated hitter made the team despite having just 106 at-bats on the year. Of course despite limited chances he still hit 16 home runs, drove in 31, and had a slugging percentage of .849. In SEC games the Birmingham native hit .407 with 11 HR and 21 RBI in just 54 at-bats. After two rough years where things didn't work out like he expected, Patterson said it's unbelievable to think about being named all-conference this year.

"It's pretty exciting," Patterson said. "I thought I might have an outside chance. I didn't know if I would have enough at-bats. I'm really humbled and just excited that I got selected."

Earning second-team honors were Dayton and Jenkins. With a record of 8-2 on the year, including 7-1 in SEC play, Dayton has been the go-to guy for the Tigers in the final game of a series and has delivered. Sitting out the entire 2009 season because of a broken hand, Jenkins came back for his fifth year and hit .374 with seven homers and 37 RBI. In SEC games Jenkins hit .408 with six homers and 24 RBI in 76 at-bats.

"It's a big honor and it has been a lot of fun," Jenkins said. "It's awesome. Starting off the year I would have never thought that would have been a possibility. It's just awesome."

In addition to the six players named All-SEC, the league also honored pitcher Cory Luckie with the SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year for baseball. Luckie will be the starting pitcher for the Tigers on Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m. as Auburn faces Alabama in the opening game of the SEC Tournament at Regions Park in Hoover.


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