Trio Of Tigers Earn All-SEC Honors

Auburn, Ala.--A trio of Auburn baseball players have been named to the All-Southeastern Conference team chosen by the league's coaches.

Senior catcher Josh Bell and senior reliever John Madden are first team selections. Junior outfielder Clete Thomas is a second team selection.

Bell finished the regular season with a .339 batting average with a team-leading 11 home runs. He ha 15 doubles and 55 runs batted in.

Bell is expected to be taken in the Major League Baseball Draft in June.

Auburn head coach Tom Slater said. "He made a commitment to be our starting catcher this year and as the year went on he improved tremendously both at the plate and behind it. He did a really nice job of handling our pitching staff all year long."

If Auburn makes the NCAA Tournament field, which will be announced on Monday, Madden will have played a major role in that bid. He has the conference's best earned run average at 1.64. He has a 6-2 record with seven saves and has allowed just six extra base hits in 76 2/3 innings.

John Madden's senior season has been by far his finest as a collegian.

"John did a great job for us this year as our stopper," Slater says. "He has been tremendous for us all year long out of the bullpen and has been a guy we have been able to rely on all year."

Thomas hit .327 and leads the SEC with five triples. He has 21 stolen bases and has scored 62 runs, which is fourth in the conference. He is expected to be selected in the June draft.

Thomas was rewarded for his season by being voted onto the second team. One of only three players to start every game this season for the Tigers, he hit .327 as AUG everyday right fielder. His 62 runs scored is a career-high, and fourth in the conference, while his nine outfield assists leads AUG outfielders. He also leads the league with five triples and is second on the team with 21 stolen bases.

"Clete has done a great job this year and I am really proud of him," Slater says. "He has come to the park everyday and been a key component to our team all year."

Clete Thomas has been a key player for Auburn in recent seasons.

Auburn, which missed a spot in this week's SEC Tournament, has posted a 32-24 record this season. Auburn is 13-17 in conference games.

The Tigers are practicing on campus this week in anticipation of receiving an at-large NCAA Tournament bid thanks to a very high RPI built by playing one of the nation's toughest schedules. However, losing the tiebreaker to get into the SEC Tournament this week in Hoover was not helpful to AU's NCAA hopes.

Matt LaPorta of Florida has been named SEC Player of the Year and Luke Hochevar of Tennessee is the SEC Pitcher of the Year. UT's J.P. Arencibia won the award as the league's top freshman and Pat McMahon of Florida is the league's coach of the year.

All-SEC First Team

1B--Matt LaPorta, Florida

2B--Adam Davis, Florida

3B--Chase Headley, Tennessee

SS--Steven Tollesen, South Carolina

C--Josh Bell, Auburn

OF--Ryan Patterson, LSU

OF--Brian Pettway, Ole Miss

OF--Eli Iorg, Tennessee

OF--Gabe Scott, Alabama

DH--Stephen Head, Ole Miss

P--Luke Hochevar, Tennessee

P--Greg Smith, LSU

RP--John Madden, Auburn

All SEC Second Team

1B--Steve Pearce, South Carolina

2B--John Shelby, Kentucky

3B--Chris Coghlan, Ole Miss

SS--Justin Tordi, Florida

C--Brian Jeroloman, Florida

OF--Jeff Corsaletti, Florida

OF--Clete Thomas, Auburn

OF--Nick Stavinoha, LSU

DH--Blake Gill, LSU

P--Clay Dirks, LSU

P--Jensen Lewis, Vanderbilt

RP--Connor Falkenbach, Florida

All SEC Freshman Team

1B--Justin Henry, Ole Miss

2B--Ryan Wilkes, Kentucky

2B--Cale Iorg, Alabama

3B--Brandon McArthur, Florida

3B--Chris Jackson, LSU

SS--Zack Cozart, Ole Miss

C--J.P. Arencibia, Tennessee

OF--Julio Borbon, Tennessee

OF--Antone DeJesus, Kentucky

OF--Clint Arnold, Arkansas

DH--Jordan Mayer, LSU

DH--Joshua Fields, Georgia

P--James Adkins, Tennessee

P--Nick Schmidt, Arkansas

RP--David Robertson, Alabama

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