LSU outfielders Duplantis, Watson named preseason All-SEC by coaches

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Antoine Duplantis

BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU junior outfielder Antoine Duplantis and sophomore outfielder Zach Watson were named Thursday to the 2018 Coaches Preseason All-SEC Team.

Duplantis was voted to the first team by the coaches, and Watson was a second-team selection.

Duplantis, a member of the 2017 SEC Academic Honor Roll as a sports administration major, has a .321 (179-for-557) cumulative batting average in his first two seasons at LSU with 23 doubles, seven triples, four homers, 100 RBI, 95 runs and 32 stolen bases. LSU’s starting rightfielder in 2016 and its starting leftfielder in 2017, he has a  career .989 fielding percentage with 11 outfield assists.

A member of the 2017 College World Series All-Tournament team, he helped lead the Tigers to the CWS Finals, batting .316 (90-for-285) on the year with 14 doubles, two triples, two homers, 61 RBI, 50 runs and 19 steals. Duplantis finished No. 2 in the SEC in stolen bases, No. 4 in the league in base hits and No. 8 in the league in RBI. He collected seven hits in the CWS, including a homer, four RBI, four runs and one steal.

Duplantis, a product of Lafayette, La., was named National Player of the Week and SEC Player of the Week on March 20 after batting .615 (8-for-13) in LSU’s three-game sweep of Georgia with one double, one homer, 10 RBI, six runs and a .688 on-base percentage. He set the LSU single-game record for hits on March 17 versus Georgia when he went 6-for-6 at the plate with one double and a career-high seven RBI.

Watson, a 2017 Freshman All-America and Freshman All-SEC selection, hit a team-best .317 last season with nine doubles, three triples, nine homers, 37 RBI, 42 runs and 12 stolen bases. He led the Tigers in NCAA Tournament play by batting .333 (16-for-48) in 12 games with one double, five homers, 10 RBI, 12 runs and four steals.

The Ruston, La., product was named to the 2017 College World Series All-Tournament team after batting .346 (9-for-26) in seven games with one double, one homer, two RBI, five runs and two steals.

Watson launched two home runs in consecutive games against Texas Southern and Southeastern Louisiana in the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional, becoming the first LSU player to homer four times in a regional since 2001. Watson batted .357 (5-for-14) in the regional with four homers, seven RBI and five runs.

LSU was picked to finish fourth in the SEC Western Division in the preseason coaches poll. Florida was the coaches’ choice to win the SEC East and the overall league title.

2018 SEC Baseball Coaches Preseason All-SEC Team

First Team

C: Grant Koch, Arkansas

1B: Julian Infante, Vanderbilt

2B: Cobie Vance, Alabama

SS: Braden Shewmake, Texas A&M

3B: Jonathan India, Florida

OF: Antoine Duplantis, LSU

OF: Tristan Pompey, Kentucky

OF: Jake Mangum, Mississippi State

DH/UTL: Michael Curry, Georgia

SP: Brady Singer, Florida

SP: Casey Mize, Auburn

RP: Michael Byrne, Florida

Second Team

C: JJ Schwarz, Florida

1B: Kameron Misner, Missouri

2B: Luke Becker, Kentucky

SS: Jax Biggers, Arkansas

3B: George Janca, Texas A&M

OF: Dominic Fletcher, Arkansas

OF: Zach Watson, LSU

OF: Carlos Cortes, South Carolina

DH/UTL: JJ Schwarz, Florida

SP: Sean Hjelle, Kentucky

SP: Blaine Knight, Arkansas

RP: Dallas Woolfolk, Ole Miss

2018 SEC Baseball Coaches Preseason Poll

Eastern Division

  1. Florida (13) – 91
  2. Kentucky (1) – 74
  3. Vanderbilt – 72
  4. South Carolina – 50
  5. Georgia – 41
  6. Missouri – 32
  7. Tennessee – 25

Western Division

  1. Arkansas (12) – 90
  2. Texas A&M (1) – 72
  3. Ole Miss (1) – 62
  4. LSU – 59
  5. Mississippi State – 44
  6. Auburn – 38
  7. Alabama – 20

() – First place votes

SEC Champion: Florida (12), Arkansas (1), Texas A&M (1)

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