Gators picked to finish 3rd in SEC; 2nd in SEC East

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Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan. [File]

Special to The Sun

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.–The coaches have voted and the Florida Gators are once again expected to finish near the top of the Southeastern Conference baseball standings.

The league’s 14 coaches voted in the 28th SEC preseason poll, released Thursday, and selected Vanderbilt as the 2019 favorite. LSU received four first-place votes and Florida received two first-place votes. UF was picked to finish second in the SEC Eastern Division behind the Commodores.

In addition, junior Tyler Dyson was voted as a Second Team Preseason All-SEC selection. Dyson enters the year with a 9-3 career record and 3.93 earned run average. He’s expected to take over as the Friday night starter following the departure of first round MLB Draft picks Brady Singer and Jackson Kowar.

Florida will open its season with a three-game series against Long Beach State beginning Friday, Feb. 15 at 6:30 p.m.

Season and single-game tickets for the 2019 Gator Baseball season are on sale and can be purchased online through FloridaGators.com or by calling the Gator Ticket Office at 1-800-34-GATOR.

SEC Baseball Coaches Preseason Poll

Eastern Division

1. Vanderbilt (9) – 87

2. Florida (4) – 81

3. Georgia (1) – 68

4. South Carolina – 53

5. Tennessee – 40

6. Kentucky – 30

7. Missouri – 26

Western Division

1. LSU (10) – 88

2. Ole Miss (1) – 65 

3. Arkansas (1) – 59

4. Auburn (1) – 57

5. Texas A&M (1) – 48 

6. Mississippi State – 47 

7. Alabama – 21

 SEC Champion: Vanderbilt (6), LSU (5), Florida (2), Arkansas (1)

() – First place votes

SEC Baseball Coaches Preseason All-SEC Team

First Team

C: Philip Clarke, Vanderbilt

1B: Cole Zabowski, Ole Miss

2B: Austin Martin, Vanderbilt*

2B: Noah Campbell, South Carolina*

3B: Aaron Schunk, Georgia

SS: Casey Martin, Arkansas

OF: Heston Kjerstad, Arkansas

OF: Dominic Fletcher, Arkansas

OF: Jake Mangum, Mississippi State

DH/UTL: T.J. Collett, Kentucky

SP: Tanner Burns, Auburn

SP: Zack Thompson, Kentucky

RP: Matt Cronin, Arkansas

 Second Team

C: Mason Meadows, Georgia

1B: Tanner Allen, Mississippi State

2B: LJ Talley, Georgia

3B: Tyler Keenan, Ole Miss

SS: Braden Shewmake, Texas A&M

OF: JJ Bleday, Vanderbilt

OF: Antoine Duplantis, LSU

OF: Daniel Cabrera, LSU

DH/UTL: Aaron Schunk, Georgia*

DH/UTL: Chase Cockrell, Ole Miss*

SP: John Doxakis, Texas A&M

SP: Tyler Dyson, Florida

RP: Parker Caracci, Ole Miss

*Tie (ties are not broken)