Arkansas picked to win SEC West; 4 Hogs named to preseason All-SEC team

By: Matt Jones
Published: Thursday, February 8, 2018
An Arkansas hat and glove sit at Baum Stadium during practice Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, in Fayetteville.
Photo by Ben Goff
An Arkansas hat and glove sit at Baum Stadium during practice Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018, in Fayetteville.

— Arkansas was picked to win the Southeastern Conference Western Division on Thursday in a poll of league coaches.

The Razorbacks were a considerable favorite in the division, receiving 90 points in the balloting. Texas A&M was picked second in the West with 72 points and Ole Miss third with 62.

Defending national champion Florida was picked to win the overall conference championship with 12 of 14 first-place votes. Arkansas and Texas A&M each received one first-place vote in the league champion poll. Coaches are not permitted to vote for their teams, but ballots are not made public.

Arkansas, ranked No. 6 in the preseason USA Today Coaches' Poll, plays at No. 1 Florida on March 23-25.

It is the first time since 2013 that Arkansas has topped the preseason divisional poll. The Razorbacks have not won a division title since 2011.

Arkansas catcher Grant Koch was voted to the preseason All-SEC first team by the coaches, and three players - shortstop Jax Biggers, outfielder Dominic Fletcher and pitcher Blaine Knight - were voted to the second team.

The Razorbacks, who finished 45-17 overall last season, are scheduled to open the 2018 season next Friday at 3 p.m. with the first game in a three-game series against Bucknell at Baum Stadium.

2018 SEC Baseball Coaches' Preseason Poll

Eastern Division

Florida - 91

Kentucky - 74

Vanderbilt - 72

South Carolina - 50

Georgia - 41

Missouri - 32

Tennessee - 25

Western Division

Arkansas - 90

Texas A&M - 72

Ole Miss - 62

LSU - 59

Mississippi State - 44

Auburn - 38

Alabama - 20

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

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