University of Georgia junior Aaron Schunk, senior LJ Talley and redshirt sophomore Mason Meadows have been named to the preseason All-Southeastern Conference baseball squad while the Bulldogs were picked third in the Eastern Division by league coaches, the SEC announced Thursday.
Schunk, a two-way standout as an infielder and closer, made the first team as a third baseman and the second team as a utility player. Meadows and Talley were second team selections at catcher and second base. Last month, Schunk earned preseason All-America recognition from Baseball America. In 2018, Schunk batted .299 with three home runs, 12 doubles and 38 RBI plus had a 22-game hitting streak. On the mound, he posted eight saves while going 2-2 with a 3.00 ERA in 30 innings with five walks and 31 strikeouts. Meadows, a Freshman All-America selection last year, hit .289-3-25 and set a school record fielding percentage by a catcher at .998. Talley, a three-year starter who owns the school record for best fielding percentage by a second baseman in a season, enjoyed a career year in 2018, batting .276-6-30. All three Bulldogs are annual members of the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Vanderbilt, preseason ranked as high as No. 1 nationally, was predicted to win the 2019 SEC as voted by the league’s 14 baseball coaches. Georgia, preseason ranked as high as No. 9 by D1Baseball.com, was picked to finish third in the Eastern Division behind the Commodores and Florida. LSU was picked to win the Western Division. The Commodores, Gators and Tigers all visit Foley Field this year.
Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team or players. For the team voting, points were compiled on a 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis for each division. Each coach also voted for one team as an overall conference champion. Conference play will begin Friday, March 15. Eight SEC teams are ranked in at least one poll to begin the 2019 campaign. An NCAA-record 10 SEC teams qualified for NCAA Regionals in 2018 with six making a Super Regional and three advancing to the College World Series.
The Bulldogs, under the direction of Ike Cousins head baseball coach Scott Stricklin, are a consensus top 15 team in the 2019 preseason rankings. Georgia opens the season Friday, Feb. 15 with a series against Dayton at Foley Field. Season tickets are available to purchase now online at www.georgiadogs.com.