Walt Beazley

Quartet Named To Preseason All-SEC First Team

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – With only one week remaining until the Opening Day and after being named to nearly every single preseason All-America list, Arkansas’ quartet of Casey Martin, Heston Kjerstad, Matt Cronin and Dominic Fletcher were all selected by the league coaches to the Preseason All-SEC First Team.

The four first team selections are the most of any team in the league and it ties with Ole Miss and Georgia for the most selections combined on either Preseason All-SEC team. Fletcher and Kjerstad make up two of the three outfield positions, while Martin is considered the top shortstop in the league and Cronin is considered the top reliever by the 14 head coaches.

Kjerstad is the reigning SEC Freshman of the Year after hitting .332 with 87 hits, 14 home runs and 58 RBIs, while Fletcher is coming off his second-straight year with 10 or more homers, becoming the first Razorback to achieve that in his first two years since Rodney Nye (1998-99).

Martin is also fresh off a freshman All-America season and hit .357 in the College World Series, totaling 10 of his 19 postseason hits in Omaha. The Lonoke, Arkansas native was named to the CWS All-Tournament Team and take over the shortstop position for the 2019 season.

Finally, on the mound, Cronin enters the year as, arguably, the best closer in the nation after setting a UA single-season saves record (14), tying for the second-most in the SEC and 14th in the nation. Cronin held opponents to a .154 batting average, the lowest of any Razorback pitcher for the second consecutive year.

As for the poll, the 14 coaches in the SEC voted in the 28th annual preseason SEC poll and the Razorbacks were picked to finish third in the Western Division, but did pick up one vote to win the division. Arkansas also received one vote to win the SEC overall and received 59 points for the overall conference finish, which is sixth-most in the league.

Points were compiled on a 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis for each division. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team. Each coach also voted for one team as an overall conference champion.

Arkansas will open the 2019 season against Eastern Illinois on Feb. 15 at Baum-Walker Stadium. Tickets are now on sale through the Razorback Ticket Office

For more information on Razorback Baseball, follow @RazorbackBSB on Twitter.

2019 SEC Baseball Coaches Preseason Poll

Eastern Division
1. Vanderbilt (9) – 87
2. Florida (4) – 81
3. Georgia (1) – 68
4. South Carolina – 53
5. Tennessee – 40
6. Kentucky – 30
7. Missouri – 26

Western Division
1. LSU (10) – 88
2. Ole Miss (1) – 65
3. Arkansas (1) – 59
4. Auburn (1) – 57
5. Texas A&M (1) – 48
6. Mississippi St. – 47
7. Alabama – 21

() – First place votes

SEC Champion: Vanderbilt (6), LSU (5), Florida (2), Arkansas (1)
2019 SEC Baseball Coaches Preseason All-SEC Team

First Team
C: Philip Clarke, Vanderbilt
1B: Cole Zabowski, Ole Miss
2B: Austin Martin, Vanderbilt*
2B: Noah Campbell, South Carolina*
3B: Aaron Schunk, Georgia
SS: Casey Martin, Arkansas
OF: Heston Kjerstad, Arkansas
OF: Dominic Fletcher, Arkansas
OF: Jake Mangum, Mississippi State
DH/UTL: T.J. Collett, Kentucky
SP: Tanner Burns, Auburn
SP: Zack Thompson, Kentucky
RP: Matt Cronin, Arkansas

Second Team
C: Mason Meadows, Georgia
1B: Tanner Allen, Mississippi State
2B: LJ Talley, Georgia
3B: Tyler Keenan, Ole Miss
SS: Braden Shewmake, Texas A&M
OF: JJ Bleday, Vanderbilt
OF: Antoine Duplantis, LSU
OF: Daniel Cabrera, LSU
DH/UTL: Aaron Schunk, Georgia*
DH/UTL: Chase Cockrell, Ole Miss*
SP: John Doxakis, Texas A&M
SP: Tyler Dyson, Florida
RP: Parker Caracci, Ole Miss

*Tie (ties are not broken)