Five Gators honored by SEC

The league awards came out on Monday and the league honored five different Florida players.

No Gators were named to the first team, but Florida catcher Mike Rivera, designated hitter/catcher J.J. Schwarz and third baseman Josh Tobias were all named Second Team All-SEC. Freshmen Rivera and Schwarz switched off catching duties throughout the season. When one was behind the plate, the other served as the designated hitter most of the time.

Rivera hit .271 with two home runs but made his name with a strong defensive reputation, throwing out 13 of 26 attempting base stealers. Schwarz brought power to the Florida lineup, leading the team with 14 home runs while hitting .286 and a team-high 54 RBI.

Before this year, the last Florida catcher to earn All-SEC honors was Mike Stanley in 1982.

Tobias had a breakout year, leading the team with a .366 average after struggling to hold a starting position over the previous three seasons. Tobias hit five home runs and posted an on-base percentage of .427.

Florida second baseman Dalton Guthrie was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team, joined by Rivera and Schwarz. Guthrie has served as Florida’s leadoff hitter from opening day and hit .298 with two home runs and 45 runs scored.

Florida center fielder Buddy Reed was named to the All-Defensive Team. Despite making one error in 105 chances this season, Tobias did not make the team. Arkansas third baseman Bobby Wernes (4 errors, 125 chances) made the team instead.

The Gators open the SEC Tournament at 9:30 on Wednesday against the winner of Tuesday’s Arkansas-Tennessee game.

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