Mere days after being named co-SEC regular-season champions, the Florida Gators baseball team had 6 players earn all-conference teams honors on Tuesday. None of them, however, were first-team selections.
Four Florida players earned All-SEC second-team honors: starting pitchers Alex Faedo and Brady Singer, relief pitcher Michael Byrne and utility/DH JJ Schwarz. Second baseman Deacon Liput and shortstop Dalton Guthrie were also honored as members of the conference’s all-defensive team.
Faedo and Singer served respectively as Florida’s Friday and Saturday starters this season. Faedo finished the regular season with a 7-2 record to go along with a 2.89 ERA in 90 1/3 innings. His 106 strikeouts ranked second in the conference.
Singer led the SEC in innings pitched (97 2/3) and total strikeouts looking (38). The hard-throwing right-hander tossed 3 complete games in conference play, including back-to-back 9-inning wins against LSU and Missouri. He is 7-3 on the year with a 2.67 ERA.
Byrne became the Gators’ closer 2 weeks into conference play and quickly became the most trusted player in Kevin O’Sullivan’s bullpen. He is tied for the single-season school record for saves with 13 and has 56 strikeouts to just 11 walks in 51 1/3 innings.
Schwarz started the season in a slump but has gone on a tear over the final month of the season to bring his batting average up to .286 to go along with his team-leading marks in RBI (46), total bases (93), home runs (9) and runs scored (35). Since hitting a season-altering grand slam in the series finale against South Carolina on April 22, Schwarz is batting .404 (21-for-52) with 4 home runs, 16 RBI and 14 runs scored. He is on a season-long 9-game hit streak heading into the SEC Tournament.
As for the defensive team members, Liput has committed just 1 error in the field in 235 chances while helping turn 32 defensive plays. Guthrie, despite having 8 errors, has made a bevy of web-gem plays in the field this season.
Florida’s top hitters in conference play — outfielders Nelson Maldonado (.400 batting average, .544 on-base percentage, .644 slugging) and Ryan Larson (.339 batting average, .429 on-base percentage, .505 slugging) — did not make the all-conference teams. Starting pitcher Jackson Kowar, who is a perfect 10-0 on the year as the Gators’ No. 3 starter and the only SEC pitcher with double-digit wins, also did not receive a nod.