Tim Casey / UAA Communications

Gators Picked to Win SEC; 5 on Preseason SEC 1st Team

GAINESVILLE, Fla.--The coaches have voted and selected the Gators as preseason favorites to win the 2017 Southeastern Conference title.

COUTESY OF UAA COMMUNICATIONS

 

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

Eastern Division

1. FLORIDA (10) – 70

2. South Carolina (4) – 61

3. Vanderbilt – 52

T4. Georgia – 29

T4. Kentucky – 29

6. Tennessee – 20

7. Missouri – 12

 

Western Division

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

First 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

 

Second Team

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

 


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