Baseball Picked to Win West; Four on Preseason Teams

by Bill Franques
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Baseball Picked to Win West; Four on Preseason Teams

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – LSU is the favorite to win the 2015 SEC Western Division title as determined by the league’s 14 baseball coaches in the 24th annual preseason SEC poll. The Preseason All-SEC First and Second Teams, as determined by the head coaches, also were announced on Thursday.

Vanderbilt was selected as the favorite to win the overall league title. The Commodores garnered 10 votes, while Florida earned two and LSU one. Vanderbilt was predicted to win the SEC Eastern Division, while LSU was the unanimous favorite to win the SEC Western Division.

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.

For the first time, two 12-person Preseason All-SEC Teams were selected by the SEC head coaches, and ties were not broken. Eleven of the 14 SEC schools were represented on the All-SEC teams with Vanderbilt leading the way with five total selections. Florida, LSU and South Carolina each garnered four selections. The Commodores also claimed a SEC-best three first-team accolades.

The 2015 regular season for SEC teams begins Friday, February 13, with conference play set to begin Friday, March 13. The 2014 SEC Baseball Tournament drew 120,386 fans, and nine times in the last 12 years, the tournament has surpassed the six-digit mark in total attendance.

An NCAA-record 10 SEC teams qualified for NCAA Regionals in 2014 and 10 SEC teams are ranked in at least one poll to begin the 2015 campaign.

2015 SEC BASEBALL COACHES PRESEASON POLL

Eastern Division
1. Vanderbilt (11) – 89
2. Florida (3) – 80
3. South Carolina – 67
4. Tennessee – 51
5. Georgia – 42
6. Kentucky – 36
7. Missouri – 20

Western Division
1. LSU (13) – 91
2. Alabama – 62
3. Texas A&M (1) – 60
4. Arkansas – 59
5. Mississippi State – 52
6. Ole Miss – 42
7. Auburn – 19

SEC Champion: Vanderbilt (11); Florida (2); LSU (1).

2015 SEC BASEBALL COACHES PRESEASON ALL-SEC TEAMS

First Team
C – Gavin Collins, Mississippi State
1B – Sikes Orvis, Ole Miss
2B – Kyle Overstreet, Alabama *
2B – Max Schrock, South Carolina *
SS – Alex Bregman, LSU
3B – DC Arendas, South Carolina
OF – Christin Stewart, Tennessee
OF – Bryan Reynolds, Vanderbilt
OF – Andrew Stevenson, LSU
DH/UT – A.J. Puk, Florida
SP – Carson Fulmer, Vanderbilt
SP – Logan Shore, Florida
RP – Hayden Stone, Vanderbilt

Second Team
C – Kade Scivicque, LSU
1B – Kyle Martin, South Carolina
2B – Nick Senzel, Tennessee
SS – Dansby Swanson, Vanderbilt
3B – Josh Tobias, Florida
OF – Nick Banks, Texas A&M
OF – Mark Laird, LSU
OF – Harrison Bader, Florida
DH/UT – Taylor Widener, South Carolina
SP – Walker Buehler, Vanderbilt
SP – Robert Tyler, Georgia
RP – Thomas Burrows, Alabama *
RP – Jacob Stone, Arkansas *

* – Ties were not broken