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SEC coaches pick Ole Miss to win West, MSU to finish 2nd

Photo courtesy of SECsports.com

While the weather may not feel like it, we’re just one week away from the beginning of the college baseball season, and in a loaded SEC, two of the conference’s top teams reside right here in Mississippi. 

Top 10 teams in each of the rankings, Ole Miss has been picked by the league’s 14 coaches to take the SEC West while the Bulldogs of Mississippi State are right behind the Rebels in the projected order of finish. 

West:

1. Ole Miss (7) – 78
2. Mississippi State (3) – 73
3. Arkansas (2) – 72
4. LSU (2) – 63
5. Texas A&M – 36
6. Auburn – 32
7. Alabama – 31

As for the SEC East and the conference overall, the top-ranked Florida Gators were selected as the preseason favorite. 

East:

1. Florida (13) – 91
2. Vanderbilt (1) – 79
3. Tennessee – 58
4. South Carolina – 55
5. Georgia – 51
6. Missouri – 28
7. Kentucky – 23

*Points were compiled on a descending basis for each division. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team, and each coach also voted for one team as an overall conference champion.

Several Rebels and Bulldogs were also selected to preseason All-SEC teams. From Ole Miss, both senior 3B Tim Elko and sophomore catcher Hayden Dunhurst landed on the second team. 

For the Bulldogs, junior OF Tanner Allen earned a spot on the first team while seniors 1B Josh Hatcher and OF Rowdey Jordan were placed on the second team. 

First Team

C: Casey Opitz, Arkansas
1B: T.J. Collett, Kentucky
2B: Robert Moore, Arkansas
3B: Rankin Woley, Auburn
SS: Ryan Bliss, Auburn
OF: Jud Fabian, Florida
OF: Christian Franklin, Arkansas
OF: Tanner Allen, Mississippi State
DH/UTL: Matt Goodheart, Arkansas
SP: Kumar Rocker, Vanderbilt
SP: Connor Prielipp, Alabama
RP: Devin Fontenot, LSU

Second Team

C: Hayden Dunhurst, Ole Miss
1B: Josh Hatcher, Mississippi State
2B: Max Ferguson, Tennessee
3B: Tim Elko, Ole Miss
SS: Josh Rivera, Florida
OF: Rowdey Jordan, Mississippi State
OF: Owen Diodati, Alabama
OF: Cade Beloso, LSU
DH/UTL: Wes Clarke, South Carolina
SP: Jack Leiter, Vanderbilt
SP: Tommy Mace, Florida
RP: Ben Specht, Florida

Both Ole Miss and Mississippi State will open the 2021 campaign next Friday at the State Farm College Baseball Showdown at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas—the home of Texas Rangers. 

Mississippi State faces Texas next Friday morning before Ole Miss takes on TCU. 

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