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Vanderbilt picked to win league behind five preseason all-conference selections

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The No. 2 Vanderbilt Commodores are favored to repeat as SEC champions as five Commodores were recognized on the coaches’ preseason all-conference team, the league office announced Thursday.

Vanderbilt matched Mississippi State for the most preseason honorees as third baseman Austin Martin and relief pitcher Tyler Brown were recognized on the first team. Catcher Ty Duvall, second baseman Harrison Ray and starting pitcher Kumar Rocker were tabbed second-team honorees.

Eight of the league’s 14 coaches chose the Commodores as the league’s preseason favorite. Vanderbilt garnered 87 total points followed by Arkansas (82), Florida (77) and Georgia (76).

Points were compiled on a descending basis for each division. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team and each coach also voted for one team as an overall conference champion. For the fifth consecutive year, two preseason all-SEC teams were selected by league head coaches.

Vanderbilt opens its season Feb. 14 at the MLB4 Collegiate Baseball Tournament in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Commodores will face Michigan at 6 p.m. CT on the MLB Network in a rematch of the College World Series finals. Vanderbilt’s SEC opener takes place March 13 at Hawkins Field against Kentucky.