Cone Makes All-SEC First Team

Gene Cone Smiling Podium

COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) — Junior outfielder Gene Cone earned first-team All-SEC honors, sophomore right-handed pitcher Clarke Schmidt earned second-team All-SEC accolades and catcher Chris Cullen, first baseman LT Tolbert and right-handed pitchers Adam Hill and Braden Webb were named to the SEC All-Freshman team, as the league announced its annual baseball honors on Monday afternoon.

Junior outfielder Gene Cone continues to lead the Gamecocks in hitting with a .348 average (63-for-181) with 22 RBI and 43 runs scored as well as a .460 on-base percentage and a .481 slugging mark.  Cone ranks third in the SEC in on-base percentage and ninth in batting average.  Cone and teammate Clarke Schmidt are semifinalists for the Gregg Olson Award, presented by Toolshed Sports and awarded to college baseball’s breakout player of the year.  Cone saved his best for league play as he has hit .391 (43-for-110) in 29 SEC games with 13 RBI and 30 runs scored.  He led the conference with 27 walks to nine strikeouts and was second in the SEC with a .514 on-base percentage in SEC games.  His 30 runs scored in league games were the most by a SEC player this season.  He also ranked third in hitting and tied for sixth in hits.

Schmidt has been named a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy, presented by Easton Foundations and awarded by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. The award is given to the top player in collegiate baseball.  Schmidt continues to be among the top pitchers in the conference and the country as he is 9-2 with a 2.72 ERA.  He has allowed 34 runs, 29 earned, on 86 hits in 96.0 innings pitched. He has 108 strikeouts to just 20 walks with opponents batting .236 against him.  He became the first Gamecock pitcher since Michael Roth in 2011 to reach the single-season 100-strikeout total.  Schmidt is second in the SEC behind teammate Braden Webb with 108 strikeouts, is tied for fourth in wins, fifth in innings pitched and ninth in ERA. Schmidt has been strong in SEC games with a 5-2 record and a 3.72 ERA in the league.  He has 76 strikeouts in 67.2 innings pitched in the league.  His 76 league strikeouts are second-best among the league pitchers behind teammate Braden Webb, with his win-total tied for fifth-most and innings pitched ranked sixth in the conference.

Webb became the 31st pitcher in school history to reach 10 or more wins with a victory in the 4-2 win over Alabama on May 20.  He allowed just one run on seven hits in six innings with two walks and nine strikeouts. Webb is 10-4 with a 3.33 ERA.  He has allowed 37 runs, 31 earned, on 65 hits in 83.2 innings pitched.  He also reached the single-season 100-strikeout total and has 109 strikeouts to 42 walks.  Opponents are batting .212 against him.  Webb is tied for second in the SEC in wins and is leads the SEC with his 109 strikeouts.  He is sixth in opposing batting average and 12th in innings pitched.  In SEC games, Webb is 7-3 with a 3.82 ERA and has 88 strikeouts in 63.2 innings with opponents batting .232 against him in league play.  Webb’s seven wins tie him with Alex Faedo of Florida and Dakota Hudson of Mississippi State with the most victories in league play.  His 88 strikeouts are also the most by a SEC pitcher in league contests.

Both Webb and Schmidt’s SEC numbers are some of the best in school history.  Webb’s seven wins in league play are tied for third-highest in school history and are the most by a Gamecock pitcher since Blake Cooper went 7-1 in the 2010 season.  Webb’s 88 league strikeouts are the most-ever by a Carolina pitcher with Schmidt’s 76 strikeouts in league play tied for second all-time as well.

Cullen has seen most the action behind the plate for the Gamecocks this year with 37 starts and 45 games played.  He is hitting .261 (35-for-134) with 17 runs scored and 22 RBI.  Cullen has driven in 11 of his 22 runs with two outs.  He also owns 11 doubles on the year.

Hill is 6-0 with a 3.64 ERA.  He has allowed 24 runs, all earned, on 46 hits in 59.1 innings.  He has 66 strikeouts to 24 walks; opponents are batting .217 against him.  That opposing batting average is 10th-best in the SEC.

Tolbert has seen action in 49 games with 47 starts.  He has hit .215 (38-for-177) with 24 RBI and 26 runs scored including five doubles, a triple and three homers.

2016 SEC Baseball Awards

Player of the Year: Boomer White, Texas A&M
Pitcher of the Year: Logan Shore, Florida
Freshman of the Year: Jake Mangum, Mississippi State
Coach of the Year: John Cohen, Mississippi State
Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Derek Lance, Tennessee

First-Team All-SEC
C: Henri Lartigue, Ole Miss
1B: Nathaniel Lowe, Mississippi State
2B: Ryne Birk, Texas A&M
3B: Boomer White, Texas A&M
SS: Kramer Robertson, LSU
OF: Jake Mangum, Mississippi State
OF: J.B. Woodman, Ole Miss
OF: Gene Cone, South Carolina
*DH/UT: Jack Kruger, Mississippi State
*DH/UT: Bryce Jordan, LSU
SP: Logan Shore, Florida
SP: Dakota Hudson, Mississippi State
RP: Shaun Anderson, Florida

Second-Team All-SEC Team
C: Mike Rivera, Florida
*1B: Peter Alonso, Florida
*1B: Evan White, Kentucky
2B: Tate Blackman, Ole Miss
3B: Nick Senzel, Tennessee
SS: Dalton Guthrie, Florida
OF: Anfernee Grier, Auburn
OF: Bryan Reynolds, Vanderbilt
OF: Jeren Kendall, Vanderbilt
DH/UT: Brent Rooker, Mississippi State
SP: Kyle Wright, Vanderbilt
SP: Clarke Schmidt, South Carolina
RP: Mark Ecker, Texas A&M

Freshman All-SEC Team
*C: Chris Cullen, South Carolina
*C: Michael Curry, Georgia
1B: LT Tolbert, South Carolina
2B: Deacon Liput, Florida
3B: Jonathan India, Florida
SS: Connor Kaiser, Vanderbilt
OF: Jake Mangum, Mississippi State
OF: Antoine Duplantis, LSU
OF: Chandler Taylor, Alabama
DH/UT: Ethan Paul, Vanderbilt
SP: Braden Webb, South Carolina
SP: Adam Hill, South Carolina
RP: Sean Hjelle, Kentucky

SEC All-Defensive Team
C: Mike Rivera, Florida
1B: Evan White, Kentucky
*2B: Cole Freeman, LSU
*2B: Ryne Birk, Texas A&M
3B: Nick Senzel, Tennessee
SS: Dalton Guthrie, Florida
OF: Buddy Reed, Florida
OF: Anfernee Grier, Auburn
OF: J.B. Woodman, Ole Miss
*P: Jordan Sheffield, Vanderbilt
*P: Kyle Simonds, Texas A&M
*P: Dustin Beggs, Kentucky

* – Denotes a tie in voting. Ties are not broken.

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