Two Dawgs named First Team All-Americans

ATHENS - Georgia senior pitcher Joshua Fields and junior shortstop Gordon Beckham have been named First Team All-Americans by Collegiate Baseball newspaper, the publication announced Thursday.

It marks the first time in school history that a pair of Bulldogs have earned first team honors in the same year as they were among the 17-man team chosen by Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball. The first team features 10 conference players or pitchers of the year. The first team includes six starting pitchers and one reliever (Fields) along with nine position players plus a utility player.

Fields, a senior right-hander from Hull, Ga., was honored as the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Year for 2008 after tallying 16 saves with a 2-2 record and a 1.52 earned run average. The SEC career saves leader, he helped guide Georgia to the 2008 SEC title and a No. 8 national seed in the upcoming NCAA Baseball Tournament in Athens, Ga. This season, he has totaled 53 strikeouts in 28 appearances. He has allowed five earned runs in 29-2/3 innings and held opponents to a .092 batting average. Fields was a second team All-American in 2006 along with former Bulldog outfielder Joey Side and first baseman Josh Morris.

Along with being an Academic All-American as a real estate major, Beckham is a National Player of the Year candidate. A 6-0, 185-pound native of Atlanta, he was a unanimous pick for SEC Player of the Year by the league coaches last week and was named the SEC baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He ranks among the national leaders in several offensive categories. He is batting .394 with 23 home runs, 78 runs scored, 57 RBI while fielding .961 in 255 total chances. Beckham was a consensus Freshman All-American in 2006.

Also, Fields and Beckham are semifinalists for the Golden Spikes Award. Fields is among the five finalists for the fourth annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award too while Beckham is a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Player of the Year Award. Baseball America projects Beckham and Fields as first round selections in next week's amateur draft.

"Joshua and Gordon have been two of our leaders on an off the field this year, and they have had All-America-caliber seasons" said Georgia coach David Perno. "This is a huge honor for them and our program, and we look forward to them leading us now in the post season too."

The eight-ranked Bulldogs are the national number eight seed in the NCAA Tournament. They are playing host to an NCAA Regional beginning Friday at Foley Field. Georgia will face the Lipscomb Bisons at 3:06 p.m, and the game as well as the entire regional will be televised by CSS.

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