South Carolina’s Clarke, Sanders Earn All-SEC Honors

Head coach Mark Kingston was ejected following an exchange with the home plate umpire in the...
Head coach Mark Kingston was ejected following an exchange with the home plate umpire in the bottom of the 7th.(WIS)
Published: May. 25, 2021 at 1:31 AM EDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Junior Wes Clarke of the University of South Carolina baseball team was named to the All-Southeastern Conference second team while freshman Will Sanders was selected to the SEC’s All-Freshman Team, the conference office announced this afternoon.

Clarke, who leads the nation with 21 home runs heading into this week, is South Carolina’s first all-conference selection since Gene Cone and Clarke Schmidt were named to the second team in 2016. Clarke is hitting .274 with 52 runs scored, eight doubles, 52 RBI and 48 walks this season and is a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy. Clarke had a pair of home runs in a win over Clemson on Feb. 28 and had three home runs in a midweek win over Winthrop on Feb. 23. He was the SEC Co-Player of the Week on Feb. 23 and March 1 and was the Player of the Month of February by the NCBWA.

Sanders was named to the All-Freshman team, becoming the second straight Gamecock pitcher to earn that honor after Brett Kerry did in 2019. The Atlanta, Ga., native is 6-3 with a 3.63 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 52 innings pitched compared to just 11 walks. Sanders pitched eight innings, striking out four in a win over Georgia on April 4 and did not allow a run in six innings of work in a win at LSU on April 17. Sanders had a career high 10 strikeouts in five innings in a win over The Citadel on March 23. He was named the SEC Freshman of the Week on March 1 after back-to-back wins over Clemson (Feb. 27 and 28) and the Co-Freshman of the Week on April 5.

In other specialty awards, Mississippi State’s Tanner Allen was named Player of the Year, while Arkansas’ Kevin Kopps earned Pitcher of the Year honors and Jack Leiter of Vanderbilt was named the Newcomer of the Year. Vanderbilt’s Enrique Bradfield Jr., was named the Freshman of the Year, Arkansas’ Dave Van Horn earned Coach of the Year and Ole Miss’ Tim Elko was the Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Carolina is the seventh seed in the SEC Tournament and will face 10th-seeded Alabama on Tuesday afternoon (May 25) at approximately 2 p.m. Eastern time at the Hoover Met in Hoover, Ala.

2021 All-SEC Awards

Player of the Year: Tanner Allen, Mississippi State

Pitcher of the Year: Kevin Kopps, Arkansas

Newcomer of the Year: Jack Leiter, Vanderbilt

Freshman of the Year: Enrique Bradfield, Jr.

Coach of the Year: Dave Van Horn, Arkansas

Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Tim Elko, Ole Miss

First Team All-SEC

C: Sam Praytor, Alabama

1B: Will Frizzell, Texas A&M

2B: Robert Moore, Arkansas

3B: Jake Rucker, Tennessee

SS: Liam Spence, Tennessee

OF: Tanner Allen, Mississippi State

OF: Enrique Bradfield Jr., Vanderbilt

OF: Jud Fabian, Florida

DH/UT: Matt Goodheart, Arkansas

SP: Kumar Rocker, Vanderbilt

SP: Doug Nikhazy, Ole Miss*

SP: Jack Leiter, Vanderbilt*

RP: Kevin Kopps, Arkansas

Second Team All-SEC

C: Hayden Dunhurst, Ole Miss

1B: Tre’ Morgan, LSU

2B: Peyton Wilson, Alabama

3B: Justin Bench, Ole Miss

SS: Ryan Bliss, Auburn

OF: Dylan Crews, LSU

OF: Christian Franklin, Arkansas

OF: Rowdey Jordan, Mississippi State

DH/UT: Wes Clarke, South Carolina

SP: Landon Marceaux, LSU

SP: Patrick Wicklander, Arkansas

RP: Landon Sims, Mississippi State

Freshman All-SEC Team

Tre’ Morgan, LSU

Enrique Bradfield Jr., Vanderbilt

Dylan Crews, LSU

Cayden Wallace, Arkansas

Jacob Gonzalez, Ole Miss

TJ McCants, Ole Miss

Blade Tidwell, Tennessee

Will Sanders, South Carolina

Jordan Thompson, LSU

Jaden Woods, Georgia

Corey Collins, Georgia

Jack Bulger, Vanderbilt*

Sterlin Thompson, Florida*

Newcomer All-SEC Team

Jack Leiter, Vanderbilt

Robert Moore, Arkansas

Landon Sims, Mississippi State

Hayden Dunhurst, Ole Miss

Zane Denton, Alabama

Will Bednar, Mississippi State

Hunter Barco, Florida

Peyton Wilson, Alabama

Logan Tanner, Mississippi State

Carter Young, Vanderbilt

Nathan Hickey, Florida

Peyton Pallette, Arkansas

SEC All-Defensive Team

C: Hayden Dunhurst, Ole Miss

1B: Tre’ Morgan, LSU

2B: Robert Moore, Arkansas

3B: Zane Denton, Alabama

SS: Ryan Bliss, Auburn*

SS: Liam Spence, Tennessee*

OF: Enrique Bradfield Jr., Vanderbilt

OF: Christian Franklin, Arkansas

OF: Jud Fabian, Florida

P: Tyler Ras, Alabama*

P: Kevin Kopps, Arkansas*

*Tie (Ties are not broken)