The Florida Gators baseball team spent most of the 2016 season ranked as the No. 1 team in the country. Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan is the first to tell you that good players makes coaches look good, and it’s no surprise that the team which spent most of the season atop the standings had seven players named to coaches’ All-SEC teams released on Monday.
Junior pitcher Logan Shore (10-0, 2.33 ERA) was named the SEC Pitcher of the year as well as a First Team All-SEC selection. Reliever Shaun Anderson joined Shore on the First Team All-SEC. Mike Rivera, Pete Alonso and Dalton Guthrie were named Second Team All-SEC and infielders Jonathan India and Deacon Liput were Freshman All-SEC.
Shore, as he has done since his freshman year, was the tone setter for the Gators on Friday night. The junior has posted a 10-0 heading into the SEC Tournament and set a school record with 15 consecutive decisions resulting in a win. Florida has not lost a game that Shore has started in more than a year. Shore’s 2.33 ERA is fifth best in the SEC and his 10 wins are second only to teammate Alex Faedo (11) in the SEC. Shore was a First Team All-SEC selection in 2014 as a freshman, as well as being named the conference’s Freshman of the Year.
After working mainly as a starter this past summer in the Cape Cod League, Anderson made a move to the bullpen and assumed the role as closer for the Gators. Anderson made 28 appearance (third most in the league) and his 10 saves come in second in the conference. Anderson was as steady as they come for Florida this season, showing it once again in his most recent outing against LSU at Alex Box Stadium. This is the first All-SEC nomination for Anderson.
Before a Jordan Sheffield fastball broke Pete Alonso’s hand the junior first baseman was having a great season. Alonso led the Gators in batting (.352), doubles (14), home runs (9), RBI (47), total bases (104), slugging (.581) and on base percentage (.455). The Gators have missed his bat in the lineup, but they’ve also missed his defense. Alonso has improved leaps and bounds as a defensive first baseman during his career at Florida and the Gators hope to have him back in the lineup for Regionals. Alonso was previously named to the 2014 SEC All-Freshman.
This is the second year in a row that Mike Rivera was named to the Second Team All-SEC. Rivera has been a brick wall behind the plate and the job he does handling Florida’s deep pitching staff is understated. The sophomore also has found his power stroke this year, tied for the team lead with nine home runs. He has 45 RBI on 47 hits to go along with a .260 batting average and .470 slugging percentage.
Guthrie made the move from second base to shortstop this season to replace Richie Martin and has been as dependable as they come. Guthrie has played in and started every game but one this season and is second on the team with a .329 average. Guthrie was named to the SEC All-Freshman team in 2015.
Deacon Liput started his freshman campaign off with a bang. The freshman reached base safely in the first 21 games of the season. He’s been one of the Gators’ best defensive players at second base. Liput is hitting .284 with 31 RBI and 12 stolen bases this season.
Jonathan India has played a rock solid third base this season and has come on in the second half of the season at the plate. India is hitting .313 against SEC opponents, second only to Pete Alonso. India’s bases clearing, three-RBI double on Saturday against LSU gave him 35 on the season.