SEC coaches pick Florida, LSU to win division titles

Florida’s J.J. Schwarz was named by SEC coaches two two positions on the preseason All-SEC team, designated hitter and first base. (floridagators.com). SEC baseball coaches were deadlocked between Florida and LSU in predicting the winner of the 2017 SEC championship in preseason predictions released on Thursday.

Each team received six votes in the preseason poll, with South Carolina getting the other two. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.

Ten coaches picked the Gators to win the SEC East, with South Carolina receiving four votes. All but one coach predicted LSU to win the West, with Texas A&M getting one vote.

Georgia was predicted to finish in a tie for fourth with Kentucky in the East.

Florida led with six preseason All-SEC selections, with catcher Mike Rivera, shortstop Dalton Guthrie, third baseman Jonathan India, designated hitter J.J. Schwarz and pitcher Alex Faedo named to the first team. Schwarz was picked to the second team as a first baseman.

LSU receiving five preseason All-SEC selections and Vanderbilt four.

The Gators open their season on Feb. 17 with a three-game series against William & Mary, then play a home-and-home set on consecutive nights against Jacksonville, playing at John Sessions Stadium on Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. and then at McKethan Stadium on Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m.

Florida is ranked third in both preseason polls, by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.

2017 SEC Baseball Coaches Preseason Poll

Eastern Division

(First-place votes in parentheses; points awarded on a 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis)

1. Florida (10) 70

2. South Carolina (4) 613. Vanderbilt 52T4. Georgia 29T4. Kentucky 296. Tennessee 207. Missouri – 12 Western Division 1. LSU (13) 722. Texas A&M (1) 553. Ole Miss 514. Mississippi State 365. Arkansas 27T6. Alabama 16T6. Auburn 16SEC Champion: Florida (6), LSU (6), South Carolina (2) 2017 SEC Baseball Coaches Preseason All-SEC Team First Team C: Mike Rivera, Florida1B: Evan White, Kentucky2B: Cole Freeman, LSUSS: Dalton Guthrie, Florida3B: Jonathan India, FloridaOF: Jake Mangum, Mississippi StateOF: Jeren Kendall, VanderbiltOF: Antoine Duplantis, LSUDH/UTL: JJ Schwarz, FloridaSP: Alex Faedo, FloridaSP: Kyle Wright, VanderbiltRP: Tyler Johnson, South Carolina Second Team C: Jason Delay, Vanderbilt1B: JJ Schwarz, Florida2B: Tate Blackman, Ole MissSS: Kramer Robertson, LSU3B: Colby Bortles, Ole MissOF: Greg Deichmann, LSUOF: Brent Rooker, Mississippi StateOF: Luke Bonfield, ArkansasDH/UTL: Alex Destino, South CarolinaSP: Alex Lange, LSUSP: Tanner Houck, MissouriRP: Matt Ruppenthal, Vanderbilt