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Ole Miss’ Colby Bortles, Tate Blackman earn preseason All-SEC honors

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.

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)

Eastern Division

Florida (10)

South Carolina (4)

Vanderbilt

T4-Georgia

T4-Kentucky

6. Tennessee

7. Missouri

Western Division

LSU (13)

Texas A&M (1)

Ole Miss

Mississippi State

Arkansas

T6-Alabama

T6-Auburn

 

Preseason All-SEC Teams

First Team

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

Second Team

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