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The league’s 14 coaches voted in the 26th annual preseason SEC poll, released on Thursday, and Florida and LSU are the favorites to win the regular season title as both teams earned six votes.
In addition, a league-high five Gators were voted to the Preseason All-SEC First Team.
Head coach Kevin O'Sullivan, entering his 10th season, leads the Gators into 2017 with a squad that returns 18 letter winners and six position starters from last season's NCAA College World Series team.
Catcher Mike Rivera, shortstop Dalton Guthrie and third baseman Jonathan India make up three of the five First Team infielders. Junior JJ Schwarz was selected as the First Team DH/Utility player and right-hander Alex Faedo was chosen as one of two starting pitchers.
Schwarz also earned Second Team honors at first base, where he is expected to see more playing time in 2017.
In addition to picking a preseason SEC Champion, the league's head coaches voted a predicted order of finish in the SEC's Eastern and Western Divisions. In the East, the Gators were the favorite with 70 points and 10 first place votes. South Carolina came in second with 61 points.
Points were compiled on a 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis for each division. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team. Each coach also voted for one team as an overall conference champion.
Florida will open its season with a three-game series against William & Mary beginning Friday, Feb. 17 at 6:30 p.m.
Season and single-game tickets for the 2017 Gator Baseball season are on sale and can be purchased online through FloridaGators.com or by calling the Gator Ticket Office at 1-800-34-GATOR.
2017 SEC Baseball Coaches Preseason Poll
1. FLORIDA (10) – 70
2. South Carolina (4) – 61
3. Vanderbilt – 52
T4. Georgia – 29
T4. Kentucky – 29
6. Tennessee – 20
7. Missouri – 12
1. LSU (13) – 72
2. Texas A&M (1) – 55
3. Ole Miss – 51
4. Mississippi State – 36
5. Arkansas – 27
T6. Alabama – 16
T6. Auburn – 16
SEC Champion: FLORIDA (6), LSU (6), South Carolina (2)
2017 SEC Baseball Coaches Preseason All-SEC Team
C: MIKE RIVERA, FLORIDA
1B: Evan White, Kentucky
2B: Cole Freeman, LSU
SS: DALTON GUTHRIE, FLORIDA
3B: JONATHAN INDIA, FLORIDA
OF: Jake Mangum, Mississippi State
OF: Jeren Kendall, Vanderbilt
OF: Antoine Duplantis, LSU
DH/UTL: JJ SCHWARZ, FLORIDA
SP: ALEX FAEDO, FLORIDA
SP: Kyle Wright, Vanderbilt
RP: Tyler Johnson, South Carolina
C: Jason Delay, Vanderbilt
1B: JJ SCHWARZ, FLORIDA
2B: Tate Blackman, Ole Miss
SS: Kramer Robertson, LSU
3B: Colby Bortles, Ole Miss
OF: Greg Deichmann, LSU
OF: Brent Rooker, Mississippi State
OF: Luke Bonfield, Arkansas
DH/UTL: Alex Destino, South Carolina
SP: Alex Lange, LSU
SP: Tanner Houck, Missouri
RP: Matt Ruppenthal, Vanderbilt