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Bo's Baseball Bites: Special Mid-season All-Southeastern Conference Honors




DALLAS – I have taken on a huge challenge this week: select mid-season All-Southeastern Conference (East and West Divisions) and All-Sunbelt Conference teams, along with Players and Pitchers of the Year from those groups, who happen to be blessed with a plethora of famed college baseball standouts.


Alternate task: how about re-inventing the wheel or splitting the atom into a million more cells?


Actually, it is not that hard, but just think of the stars that may be left off these distinguished crews, as well as youngsters who may catch fire in the final month of the ’24 season and take their teams into always-interesting postseason activity.


Shall we begin with the SEC, home of the last three D1 National Champions?


For starters (yes, starters) the SEC All-West Division Team might be able to finish second or third in the MLB National League’s somewhat unstable Central Division. There is that much talent there for the SEC outfits.


Though a full listing of teams will follow below, just a few of the highlights from this All-SEC West unit will alert even the casual fan to the depth and prominence of SEC baseball this spring.


There have been 13 of the 14 SEC schools (with the exception of Missouri) ranked or receiving votes in any of the three major Top 25 national polls in 2024.


Among the West stalwarts, Alabama third baseman Gage Miller has been hitting around or above the .400 mark throughout the season and was crucial to the Tide’s 2-of-3 series win over then No. 1 nationally and SEC West power Arkansas in Tuscaloosa last weekend.


Texas A&M OF Braden Montgomery has picked up where he left off in two NCAA World Series seasons at Stanford, while leading the Aggies to the No. 1 national rank on April 15 for the first time this year.


People still marvel how the Madison, MS (suburb of Jackson) resident ever left the long recruiting reach of Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Southern Miss recruiting two years ago. Teammate catcher Jackson Appell is yet another transfer that Aggies head coach Jim Schlossnagle lured off the Ivy League diamonds of Pennsylvania, with critical power numbers and solid defense.


Another All-West star is Mississippi State OF Dakota Jordan who pounded 15 home runs with a team-leading 48 RBI in the Bulldogs first 36 contests. He is a home state product from Canton, MS, via metro-area Jackson Academy, with a terror-striking presence to opposing pitchers when he comes to the dish.


Again, the SEC East Division is so loaded with talent that it might be possible to select a 25-player first team, and that is not an exaggeration.


Probable Dick Howser Trophy presented by The Game Headwear candidates OF Charlie Condon (24 home runs in his first 36 tilts and on pace possibly to become the first NCAA DI star to hit 40 home runs in one season since Lance Berkman of Rice with 41 and LSU’s Brandon Larson with 40 – both in 1997) of Georgia has batted above .500 since the opening week of ’24, Tennessee 1B Blake Burke is not far behind while hitting .400-plus or just below in his first 35 games, and Florida 1B-P Jac Caglianone (a Howser Trophy finalist in ’23) has not disappointed with 53 home runs (33 last spring) in his last 106 games for the Gators along with a career pitching mark of 11-4 since 2023.


The East also has outstanding pitching in the persons of starters Kentucky’s Mason Moore (already seven wins overall) and Tennessee’s Nate Snead and AJ Causey with seven mound triumphs through April 18.


But SEC Westerners have been dominating opposing hitters as well as any mound-men nationally. Arkansas’ sterling lefty Hagen Smith struck out 17 consecutive hitters earlier this year against Top 1-ranked Oregon State in a tourney at Arlington’s Globe Life Field in February, and started ’24 with 89 whiffs in 47 innings (just under two strikeouts each inning).


Fellow starter Ryan Prager of A&M has posted a 1.98 earned run average over 50 frames with seven mound wins. Add in Arkansas’ Colin Fisher and LSU ace Luke Holman with six more victories apiece, and the hits have been few and far between for teams facing these young stalwarts.


So, here goes, and as fans know, things can change drastically from mid-April to the NCAA Regionals, but these are educated guesses:


The BBB/CBC Midseason All-SEC Honors


SEC East –

1B Blake Burke, Tennessee

2B Emilien Pitre, Kentucky

SS Jonathan Vastine, Vanderbilt

3B Billy Amick, Tennessee

OF Charlie Condon, Georgia

OF Kavares Tears, Tennessee

OF Ty Evans, Florida

C Alan Espinal, Vanderbilt

DH Corey Collins, Georgia

UT (tie) Jac Caglianone, Florida; and Nick Lopez, Kentucky

SP Mason Moore, Kentucky

SP Nate Snead, Tennessee

SP AJ Causey, Tennessee

RP Garrett Gainey, South Carolina

Player of the Year – Charlie Condon; Pitcher of the Year - Mason Moore


SEC West -

1B Cooper McMurray, Auburn

2B Bryce Eblin, Alabama

SS Wehiwa Aloy, Arkansas

3B Gage Miller, Alabama

OF Braden Montgomery, Texas A&M

OF Ethan Lege, Ole Miss

OF Dakota Jordan, Mississippi State

C Jackson Appell, Texas A&M

DH Ike Irish, Auburn

UT Connor Hujsak, Mississippi State

SP Hagen Smith, Arkansas

SP Ryan Prager, Texas A&M

SP Colin Fisher, Arkansas

RP Gabe Gaeckle, Arkansas

Player of the Year – Braden Montgomery; Pitcher of the Year – Hagen Smith


Bo Carter is the Executive Director of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) and is a long time professional in sports media and information. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and has plied his trade in the Southeastern Conference, the Southwest Conference, and the Big 12 Conference. In addition to his NCBWA duties, he also serves as a consultant and columnist for the National Football Foundation. Follow the NCBWA, which produces ranking polls for D1, D2, and D3, as well as naming All America teams at both the D1 and D2 levels and the Dick Howser Trophy (presented each year in Omaha at the Men’s College World Series) at @NCBWA. And, if you’re a college baseball fan, you don’t have to be media to be a member, check them out at ncbwa.com and join today!


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