BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Feb. 6, 2020)-----Vanderbilt University has been predicted to win the 2020 Southeastern Conference baseball championship as voted by the league's 14 head coaches in the annual preseason poll released Thursday. The Preseason All-SEC First and Second Teams, as determined by the head coaches, were also announced.
Vanderbilt garnered eight first place votes, Florida had two, while Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia and Mississippi State each had one. The Commodores were predicted to win the SEC Eastern Division, while Arkansas was the favorite to win the SEC Western Division.
Since 1996, the SEC has named a regular season champion as well as a tournament champion. Prior to 1996, the tournament champion was considered the SEC champion.
Points were compiled on a descending basis for each division. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team, and each coach also voted for one team as an overall conference champion.
For the sixth consecutive year, two Preseason All-SEC Teams were selected by the SEC head coaches. Thirteen schools were represented on the All-SEC teams with Mississippi State and Vanderbilt leading the way with five selections. Arkansas garnered four selections, while Auburn had three. Arkansas claimed an SEC-best four first-team accolades.
The 2020 regular season for SEC teams begins Feb. 14, with conference play set to begin March 13.
The SEC led the nation with 10 selections to the NCAA Baseball Tournament in 2019, six teams in the Super Regionals and four teams in the College World Series.
2020 SEC Baseball Coaches Preseason Poll
1. Vanderbilt (9) - 87
2. Florida (3) - 77
3. Georgia (2) - 76
4. Tennessee - 50
5. South Carolina - 48
6. Missouri - 32
7. Kentucky - 22
1. Arkansas (5) - 82
2. Mississippi State (4) - 73
T3. Auburn (2) - 67
T3. LSU (3) - 67
5. Texas A&M - 44
6. Ole Miss - 38
7. Alabama - 21
() - First place votes
SEC Champion: Vanderbilt (8), Florida (2), Arkansas (1), Auburn (1), Georgia (1), Mississippi State (1)
2020 SEC Baseball Coaches Preseason All-SEC Team
- C: Casey Opitz, Arkansas
- 1B: Cade Beloso, LSU*
- 1B: T.J. Collett, Kentucky*
- 2B: Justin Foscue, Mississippi State
- 3B: Austin Martin, Vanderbilt
- SS: Casey Martin, Arkansas
- OF: Daniel Cabrera, LSU
- OF: Alerick Soularie, Tennessee
- OF: Heston Kjerstad, Arkansas
- DH/UTL: Matt Goodheart, Arkansas
- SP: Emerson Hancock, Georgia
- SP: Asa Lacy, Texas A&M
- RP: Tyler Brown, Vanderbilt
- C: Ty Duvall, Vanderbilt
- 1B: Josh Hatcher, Mississippi State*
- 1B: Rankin Woley, Auburn*
- 2B: Noah Campbell, South Carolina*
- 2B: Harrison Ray, Vanderbilt*
- 2B: Riley King, Georgia*
- 3B: Tyler Keenan, Ole Miss
- SS: Jordan Westburg, Mississippi State
- OF: Jud Fabian, Florida
- OF: Tyler Gentry, Alabama
- OF: Rowdey Jordan, Mississippi State*
- OF: Zach DeLoach, Texas A&M*
- DH/UTL: Tanner Allen, Mississippi State
- SP: Kumar Rocker, Vanderbilt
- SP: Tanner Burns, Auburn
- RP: Cody Greenhill, Auburn
*Tie (ties are not broken)