Maldonado, Calilao receive SEC season honors

Florida's Nelson Maldonado (27) celebrates at home plate Friday after hitting a two-run home run to help the Gators take the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning during the opening game of the weekend series against Tennessee at McKethan Stadium. The Gators won 10-9 after trailing 9-2. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

Special to
HOOVER, Ala.—Senior Nelson Maldonado and freshman Kendrick Calilao were recognized by the leagues’ coaches with postseason Southeastern Conference Honors, announced on Monday by the SEC office.

Maldonado, one of two captains on the 2019 squad, was named the First Team All-SEC Designated Hitter. It is the first time winning All-SEC honors in his four years at Florida. The Tampa native had the best season of his career, hitting .335 with 10 home runs and 40 RBI. He had 20 multi-hit games and tied for the team lead with 11 multi-RBI games on the year.

Entering the 2019 SEC Tournament, Maldonado has played in 254 career games, third-most in school history, with 242 career starts, fourth in UF history. In addition, he is a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll selection.

Calilao earned Freshman All-SEC honors in his first year on campus. He broke onto the scene early in the season, hitting .333 with three home runs and 32 RBI in the first two months of the season. He had 18 multi-hit games and 10 games with multiple RBI.

The Kissimmee native had two games with six RBI. He had a grand slam and six RBI against Winthrop on March 3 and went 4-for-6 with another grand slam and six RBI in his first game against Florida State on March 12.

Through the regular season, Calilao is hitting .278 with four home runs and 43 RBI, second most on the team.

Florida opens play in the 2019 SEC Tournament on Tuesday against No. 6 seed Texas A&M at 10:30 a.m. ET on SEC Network.


Player of the Year: JJ Bleday, Vanderbilt

Pitcher of the Year: Ethan Small, Mississippi State

Freshman of the Year: JT Ginn, Mississippi State

Coach of the Year: Tim Corbin, Vanderbilt

Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Garrett Stallings, Tennessee

First-Team All-SEC

C: Philip Clarke, Vanderbilt

1B: Tanner Allen, Mississippi State

2B: Justin Foscue, Mississippi State

3B: Austin Martin, Vanderbilt

SS: Grae Kessinger, Ole Miss

OF: JJ Bleday, Vanderbilt

OF: Jake Mangum, Mississippi State

OF: Alerick Soularie, Tennessee

DH/UT: Nelson Maldonado, Florida

SP: Ethan Small, Mississippi State

SP: Emerson Hancock, Georgia

RP: Tyler Brown, Vanderbilt

Second-Team All-SEC Team

C: Cooper Johnson, Ole Miss

1B: Trevor Ezell, Arkansas

2B: LJ Talley, Georgia

3B: Aaron Schunk, Georgia

SS: Casey Martin, Arkansas

OF: Dominic Fletcher, Arkansas

OF: Heston Kjerstad, Arkansas

OF: Antoine Duplantis, LSU

DH/UT: Matt Goodheart, Arkansas

SP: TJ Sikkema, Missouri

SP: Zack Thompson, Kentucky

RP: Matt Cronin, Arkansas

Freshman All-SEC Team

JT Ginn, SP, Mississippi State     

Kumar Rocker, SP, Vanderbilt    

Doug Nikhazy, SP, Ole Miss        

Cole Henry, SP, LSU       

Cole Wilcox, SP, Georgia

Patrick Wicklander, SP, Arkansas              

Connor Noland,                SP, Arkansas     

Ryan Bliss, 2B, Auburn  

Christian Franklin, OF, Arkansas                

Joseph Menefee, RP, Texas A&M           

Kendrick Calilao, 1B, Florida        

Brett Kerry, RP, South Carolina

SEC All-Defensive Team

C: Cooper Johnson, Ole Miss

1B: Trevor Ezell, Arkansas*

1B: Julian Infante, Vanderbilt*

2B: LJ Talley, Georgia

3B: Austin Martin, Vanderbilt

SS: Cam Shepherd, Georgia

OF: Dominic Fletcher, Arkansas

OF: Jake Mangum, Mississippi State

OF: Zach Watson, LSU

P: Garrett Stallings, Tennessee

*Tie (Ties are not broken)