Gamecocks Picked Fourth in the East

Gamecocks Picked Fourth in the East
Courtesy: USC Athletics

COLUMBIA, SC - Sophomore Carlos Cortes was named to the Preseason All-SEC second team while the University of South Carolina was picked to finish fourth in the East Division in the SEC Preseason poll, the conference office announced this morning (Feb. 8).

Cortes, who also was named to the Baseball America Preseason All-America third team, played in 50 games with 43 starts and hit .286 with a team-high 12 home runs and 41 RBI last season. Cortes also had a .565 slugging percentage to go along with a .368 on-base percentage. He was named to the SEC All-Freshman team and earned SEC All-Tournament team honors after hitting three home runs, driving in eight, scoring five runs and walking eight times in the five tournament games.

The Gamecocks earned 50 points in the preseason poll, good for fourth in the division. Florida was picked to win the East, picking up 13 first-place votes and 91 points. The Gators were followed by Kentucky, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Georgia, Missouri and Tennessee. Arkansas was picked to win the West Division, earning 12 first-place votes and 90 points. Texas A&M and Ole Miss earned one first-place vote apiece. South Carolina plays the top-four teams in the West Division preseason poll this year (Arkansas, Texas A&M, Ole Miss and LSU).

Florida was picked to be the SEC champion, earning 12 of 14 votes. Arkansas and Texas A&M earned one vote apiece.

South Carolina opens the 2018 season next Friday (Feb. 16) against VMI. First pitch at Founders Park is set for 4 p.m.

2018 SEC Baseball Coaches Preseason Poll

Eastern Division
1. Florida (13) - 91
2. Kentucky (1) - 74
3. Vanderbilt - 72
4. South Carolina - 50
5. Georgia - 41
6. Missouri - 32
7. Tennessee - 25

Western Division
1. Arkansas (12) - 90
2. Texas A&M (1) - 72
3. Ole Miss (1) - 62
4. LSU - 59
5. Mississippi State - 44
6. Auburn - 38
7. Alabama - 20

() - First place votes

SEC Champion: Florida (12), Arkansas (1), Texas A&M (1)

2018 SEC Baseball Coaches Preseason All-SEC Team

First Team
C: Grant Koch, Arkansas
1B: Julian Infante, Vanderbilt
2B: Cobie Vance, Alabama
SS: Braden Shewmake, Texas A&M
3B: Jonathan India, Florida
OF: Antoine Duplantis, LSU
OF: Tristan Pompey, Kentucky
OF: Jake Mangum, Mississippi State
DH/UTL: Michael Curry, Georgia
SP: Brady Singer, Florida
SP: Casey Mize, Auburn
RP: Michael Byrne, Florida

Second Team
C: JJ Schwarz, Florida
1B: Kameron Misner, Missouri
2B: Luke Becker, Kentucky
SS: Jax Biggers, Arkansas
3B: George Janca, Texas A&M
OF: Dominic Fletcher, Arkansas
OF: Zach Watson, LSU
OF: Carlos Cortes, South Carolina
DH/UTL: JJ Schwarz, Florida
SP: Sean Hjelle, Kentucky
SP: Blaine Knight, Arkansas
RP: Dallas Woolfolk, Ole Miss