Schwarz named co-Freshman of the Year

Collegiate Baseball honored three Florida freshmen hitters on Wednesday.

Florida catcher/designated hitter J.J. Schwarz was named co-Freshman Player of the Year by Collegiate Baseball, splitting the award with Louisville left-hander Brendan McKay.

Catcher Mike Rivera and second baseman Dalton Guthrie, former teammates at Venice High School, were both named to the Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American team.

Schwarz continued his run of honors in recent weeks. The freshman was named SEC Tournament MVP after the Gators won the tournament and the freshman hit .526 (10-19) over five games with six RBI, five runs scored and three doubles. Last weekend, Schwarz was voted as the Gainesville Regional Most Outstanding Player after hitting .538 (7-13) with six RBI, four runs, two doubles, two walks and a home run.

So far this postseason, Schwarz is hitting .531 (17-32) with five doubles, one home run, nine runs scored and 12 RBI.

On the year, Schwarz is hitting .320 with 15 home runs and 66 RBI, which lead the SEC. He would become the first freshman to lead the SEC in RBI since LSU's Todd Walker did it in 1992.

Rivera, a second-team All-SEC selection with Schwarz, is hitting .266 with three home runs and 41 RBI, the fourth most on the team despite hitting in the lower third of the order all year. His defense behind the plate has been the most important thing he brings to Florida.

Guthrie is hitting .290 with 49 runs scored, the third most on the team. He hit leadoff for the first 59 games of the year before a wrist injury kept him out of the lineup for the SEC Tournament final, and Harrison Bader moved into that role. He hit ninth during the Gainesville Regional and likely stays there this weekend. However, getting Guthrie back in the lineup is important because it solidifies the Florida defense, allowing Josh Tobias to stay at third base.

Florida hosts Florida State in a best-of-three Super Regional beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.


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