Ole Miss’ Colby Bortles, Tate Blackman earn preseason All-SEC honors
Published 5:04 pm Thursday, February 9, 2017
The preseason All-Southeastern Conference baseball teams were released Thursday with Colby Bortles and Tate Blackman each getting the nod for Ole Miss.
Bortles was tabbed as the second-team third baseman while Blackman was also a second-team selection at second base. The teams were selected by the league’s 14 head coaches.
Coaches also picked Ole Miss to finish third in the Western Division in the league’s preseason poll. LSU was picked to win the division followed by defending conference champion Texas A&M while Florida was the favorite to win the East.
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It’s the latest preseason honor for Bortles, who earned third-team All-America honors from College Baseball. One of just two seniors on the roster, The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Bortles is entering his third season as the Rebels’ full-time third baseman after hitting .269 last season with a team-best 21 doubles, 50 RBIs and eight home runs, the most among returning players.
Blackman, a junior, will join Bortles in the middle of the Rebels’ order after rebounding from a disappointing freshman season a year ago. He hit .322 in his first season as a full-time starter with three home runs, 13 doubles, 38 RBIs and 48 runs while reaching base in 58 of the Rebels’ 62 games.
Ole Miss opens the season at home Feb. 17 against East Carolina.
2017 SEC Baseball Coaches Preseason Poll (first-place votes in parentheses)
South Carolina (4)
Texas A&M (1)
Preseason All-SEC Teams
C – Mike Rivera, Florida
1B – Evan White, Kentucky
2B – Cole Freeman, LSU
SS – Dalton Guthrie, Florida
3B – Jonathan India, Florida
OF – Jake Mangum, Mississippi State
OF – Jeren Kendall, Vanderbilt
OF – Antoine Duplantis, LSU
DH/UTL – JJ Schwarz, Florida
SP – Alex Faedo, Florida
SP – Kyle Wright, Vanderbilt
RP – Tyler Johnson, South Carolina
C – Jason Delay, Vanderbilt
1B – JJ Schwarz, Florida
2B – Tate Blackman, Ole Miss
SS – Kramer Robertson, LSU
3B – Colby Bortles, Ole Miss
OF – Greg Deichmann, LSU
OF – Brent Rooker, Mississippi State
OF – Luke Bonfield, Arkansas
DH/UTL – Alex Destino, South Carolina
SP – Alex Lange, LSU
SP – Tanner Houck, Missouri
RP – Matt Ruppenthal, Vanderbilt