SEC Award Winners Announced

HOOVER, Ala. (May, 22, 2017)—–The Southeastern Conference on Monday announced its 2017 Baseball Awards and All-SEC Teams, recognizing standout performances from this season. The 2017 SEC Baseball Tournament will be played Tuesday through Sunday at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.

Mississippi State’s Brent Rooker was named the SEC Player of the Year, Kentucky’s Sean Hjelle is the SEC Pitcher of the Year, Texas A&M’s Braden Shewmake is the SEC Freshman of the Year, Kentucky’s Nick Mingione is the SEC Coach of the Year and Kentucky’s Zach Logue is the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Rooker leads the SEC in several offensive categories, including batting average (.415), hits (85), RBI (73), home runs (20), doubles (28), slugging percentage (.873) and total bases (179). He is the first Mississippi State player to reach 20 home runs, 20 doubles, 70 RBI, and the first SEC hitter to do so since 2000.

Hjelle is 9-2 this season with a 3.17 ERA, including a 7-1 mark in SEC action with a 1.90 ERA. His nine wins this season move him into a tie for 6th place on Kentucky’s single-season wins list. Hjelle has allowed one earned run or less in six of his last seven starts and has given up six or fewer hits in his last 12 starts.

Shewmake is a two-time SEC Freshman of the Week honoree, and he is batting .342 with 39 runs, 16 doubles, two triples, 10 home runs and 64 RBI. He ranks second in the SEC in RBI, fourth in hits and fourth in total bases.

Mingione was named SEC Coach of the Year in his first season at the helm of the Wildcats. Kentucky’s 38 wins on the season are the most since 2012, and 38 wins are the most for a first-year Kentucky head coach. Kentucky finished second in the Eastern Division and earned the No. 3 seed in the SEC Tournament.

Logue has earned a 3.96 GPA in Chemical Engineering at Kentucky. He is a two-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, and he is 6-5 with a 5.03 ERA and has 76 strikeouts in 77.0 innings this season.

2017 SEC Baseball Awards
Player of the Year: Brent Rooker, Mississippi State
Pitcher of the Year: Sean Hjelle, Kentucky
Freshman of the Year: Braden Shewmake, Texas A&M
Coach of the Year: Nick Mingione, Kentucky
Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Zach Logue, Kentucky

First-Team All-SEC
C: Grant Koch, Arkansas
1B: Brent Rooker, Mississippi State
2B: Braden Shewmake, Texas A&M
3B: Jordan Rodgers, Tennessee
SS: Ryan Gridley, Mississippi State
OF: Greg Deichmann, LSU
OF: Tristan Pompey, Kentucky
OF: Jeren Kendall, Vanderbilt
DH/UT: Michael Curry, Georgia
SP: Kyle Wright, Vanderbilt
*SP: Sean Hjelle, Kentucky
*SP: Alex Lange, LSU
RP: Logan Salow, Kentucky

Second-Team All-SEC Team
C: Troy Squires, Kentucky
1B: Evan White, Kentucky
2B: Riley Mahan, Kentucky
3B: Colby Bortles, Ole Miss
*SS: Kramer Robertson, LSU
*SS: Jax Biggers, Arkansas
OF: Jonah Todd, Auburn
OF: Jake Mangum, Mississippi State
OF: Chandler Taylor, Alabama
DH/UT: JJ Schwarz, Florida
SP: Alex Faedo, Florida
SP: Brady Singer, Florida
RP: Michael Byrne, Florida

Freshman All-SEC Team
C: Hunter Coleman, Texas A&M
1B: Andre Lipcius, Tennessee
2B: Braden Shewmake, Texas A&M
3B: Josh Smith, LSU
SS: Cam Shepherd, Georgia
OF: Carlos Cortes, South Carolina
OF: Zach Watson, LSU
OF: Dominic Fletcher, Arkansas
DH/UT: Logan Foster, Texas A&M
SP: Ryan Rolison, Ole Miss
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SP: Eric Walker, LSU
RP: T.J. Sikkema, Missouri

SEC All-Defensive Team
C: Michael Papierski, LSU
1B: Evan White, Kentucky
2B: Deacon Liput, Florida
3B: Josh Smith, LSU
SS: Dalton Guthrie, Florida
OF: Jeren Kendall, Vanderbilt
OF: Jonah Todd, Auburn
OF: Jake Mangum, Mississippi State
P: Brigham Hill, Texas A&M

* – Denotes a tie in voting. Ties are not broken.

SEC Baseball Recaps

Florida and LSU both picked up wins on Saturday and in the process earned a share of the 2017 SEC Championship. Florida rallied for a 6-4 win over Kentucky to clinch at least a share of the title. LSU waited out a three-hour and five-minute rain delay and completed a three-game sweep at Miss. State with an 11-7 win. The Tigers will share the league crown with the Gators.

LSU has captured a conference-leading 17 SEC Championships after winning its second league title in the last three years. LSU clinched the 2015 SEC Championship at Founders Park in Columbia, S.C.  LSU has also won 19 SEC Western Division titles.

Florida won its 14 SEC Championship, second only to LSU in league history.  The Gators own an SEC-best 23 SEC Eastern Division titles.

Here is the latest news and notes from Saturday’s SEC baseball action. Continue reading “SEC Baseball Recaps”

SEC Baseball Recaps

Florida, LSU and Kentucky enter the final day of the regular season with a chance to win the 2017 SEC Championship.

LSU clinched the SEC Western Division championship with an 11-5 win at Miss. State on Friday. LSU has won 19 SEC Western Division championships. It is the Tigers fourth division title in the last six years.

Florida has clinched at least a share of the SEC Eastern Division with its 14-3 win over Kentucky on Friday. The Gators have an SEC-record 23 Eastern Division titles.

The path to the SEC Championship is simple.  LSU wins a share of the title with a win at Miss. State.  Florida wins a share of the title with a win over Kentucky. The Wildcats can gain a piece of the trophy with a win at Florida and an LSU loss at Miss. State, creating a three-way tie for first place.

SEC Championship Scenarios
LSU

SEC Outright Champion with win at Miss. State AND Kentucky win at Florida
Share of SEC Championship with win over Miss. State

Florida
SEC Outright Champion with win over Kentucky AND LSU loss at Miss. State
Share of SEC Championship with win over Kentucky AND LSU win at MSU

Kentucky
Share of SEC Championship with win over Florida AND LSU loss at MSU

One the flip side, Alabama can set the all-time SEC with its 25th SEC loss on Saturday at Vanderbilt. With a loss, the Crimson Tide would finish 5-25, the worst 30-game record in conference history. Alabama would also finish the season with 35 losses, tying the 1994 team (21-35) for the most losses in school history. The Crimson Tide would finish with less than 20 wins for the first time since 1980 (18-28).

Here is the latest news and notes from Friday’s SEC baseball action. Continue reading “SEC Baseball Recaps”

SEC Baseball Recaps (May 18)

Kentucky, Florida and LSU are all tied first place in the SEC standings with two games remaining in the regular season. All three teams have identical 19-9 records with two games remaining. Kentucky pounded out 20 hits en route to a 12-4 win over Florida on Thursday. LSU rode the pitching of ace RHP Alex Lange to a 3-1 win at Miss. State.

LSU can clinch the SEC Western Division championship with one more win over MSU. LSU can clinch the overall SEC Championship with two more wins over MSU and a split of the final two games between Kentucky and Florida. Miss. State can still obtain a share of the SEC Western Division title with two wins over LSU and one loss by Arkansas.  The Razorbacks are still mathematically alive in the SEC Western Division race. Arkansas can clinch the West with two more wins at Texas A&M and two wins by MSU over LSU.

Kentucky and Vanderbilt posted lopsided wins on Thursday. UK pounded out 20 hits in its 12-4 win over Florida in Gainesville.  Tristan Pompey blasted a fourth-inning grand slam to give UK a 4-3 lead. The Cats then cruised from there. Seven UK players recorded multi-hit games, including three hits from Evan White, Riley Mahan, Kyle Cottam and Marcus Carson. Vanderbilt steam rolled Alabama 18-1 in Nashville. The Commodores scored five runs in the first inning and added eight runs in the fourth. Six Commodores collected at least two RBIs in the win. Jason Delay led the way with four RBIs.

Thursday night was also filled with dominant pitching performances from Auburn’s Keegan Thompson, Georgia’s Andrew Gist, LSU’s Alex Lange, Missouri’s TJ Sikkema and Vanderbilt’s Patrick Raby.

Thompson hurled six no-hit innings in the win over Ole Miss. The game was interrupted in the seventh inning by a weather delay. Gist held South Carolina scoreless on one hit through six innings. He allowed one run on three hits in eight innings as Georgia clinched a berth in the SEC Tournament. Lange allowed a leadoff home run to Ryan Gridley but settled down and punched out 11 in the win over Miss. State.  Sikkema hurled a complete-game, four-hitter in the 5-0 win at Tennessee. Raby logged seven scoreless innings in the win over Alabama.

Kentucky’s Tristan Pompey and Missouri’s Matt Berler both hit grand slams on Thursday.

Here is the latest news and notes from Thursday’s SEC baseball action. Continue reading “SEC Baseball Recaps (May 18)”

SEC Baseball Community Service Team

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (May 17, 2017)—–The Southeastern Conference on Wednesday announced the Community Service Team for the sport of baseball. The conference names a Community Service Team for each of its 21 league-sponsored sports, looking to highlight an athlete from each school who gives back to his community through superior service efforts. The 2017 SEC Baseball Community Service Team is as follows: Continue reading “SEC Baseball Community Service Team”

SEC Baseball Recaps (May 13)

Four series are up for grabs on Sunday as Miss. State-Georgia, Vanderbilt-Arkansas, Missouri-South Carolina and Texas A&M-Ole Miss all play rubber games tomorrow; LSU swept Auburn in Baton Rouge and Florida (at Alabama) and Kentucky (Tennessee) have securer series wins. Auburn has dropped seven straight games and has suffered back-to-back sweeps at the hands of Alabama and LSU to tumble from No. 1 seed to current No. 8 seed at SEC Tournament.

Florida (37-14, 18-8 SEC) is in sole possession of first place in the SEC standings; the Gators hold a one-half game lead over SEC Western Division leader LSU (35-17, 18-9 SEC) and a one-game cushion over Kentucky (35-16. 17-9 SEC) and Miss. State (33-18, 17-9 SEC). All four teams play one another next week to decide the league race. Miss. State hosts LSU and Florida hosts Kentucky in the final weekend of the regular season.

LSU RHP Eric Walker and Vanderbilt’s Kyle Wright flirted with no-hitters on Saturday. Walker no-hit Auburn for 7.2 innings before Sam Gillikin broke up the no-hit bid with a two-out, solo HR in the eighth inning.  Wright took a no-hitter into the sixth inning at Arkansas before Jax Biggers delivered a one-out single in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Here is the latest news and notes from Saturday’s SEC baseball action. Continue reading “SEC Baseball Recaps (May 13)”

SEC Baseball Recaps (May 12)

Four of the seven games decided in seventh inning or later on Friday night; Florida beats Alabama in classic pitcher’s duel; Alex Faedo and Jake Walters combined for 16 strikeouts and 11 one-pitch outs in a pair of no decisions as the Gators edged the Crimson Tide 2-1; Arkansas gets walk-off win over Vanderbilt; Auburn suffers sixth straight loss at LSU; Kentucky belts four home runs in blowout win over Tennessee; Konnor Pilkington tosses eight scoreless innings; Brent Rooker and Elijah MacNamee homer in win at Georgia; Braden Shewmake hits two home runs as Texas A&M pounds Ole Miss; South Carolina rallies past Missouri on Battle of Columbia; here is the latest news and notes from Sunday’s SEC baseball action. Continue reading “SEC Baseball Recaps (May 12)”