Georgia buses to SEC tourney with Scholar-Athlete of the Year, All-SEC pitcher, will face Alabama

Georgia outfielder Ben Anderson (44) during a game against Missouri at Foley Field in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, May 21, 2022. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Tony Walsh

ATHENS —Georgia baseball headed to Birmingham on Monday with the 2022 SEC Baseball Scholar-Athlete of the Year and a First-Team All-SEC pick on board the bus.

Graduate centerfielder Ben Anderson, who is from LaGrange, Ga., won the scholar-athlete award with a degree earned in Biochemistry with plans to attend medical school after next season.

Pitcher Jonathan Cannon, from Alpharetta, was one of only two pitchers selected first-team All-SEC in a vote of the league coaches. Cannon is 9-3 with a 3.62 ERA in 12 starts with 65 strikeouts and 10 walks in 74.2 innings.

RELATED: Georgia closes out regular season with thriller win over Missouri

The No. 6-seed Bulldogs (35-20) are headed to play in the SEC Baseball Tournament at 10:30 a.m. (eastern) on Tuesday at the Hoover Met against No. 11-seed Alabama (29-25) in a loser-out game.

UGA took two out of three against the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa earlier this season, winning 4-2 and 3-0 before dropping a Sunday contest, 3-0.

Georgia coach Scott Stricklin said the Bulldogs are looking to make a run in the SEC tourney.

Stricklin, in his ninth season leading the team, has hopes his team’s No. 11 RPI will impress the NCAA Tournament selection committee enough to host an NCAA Regional.

Alabama will be playing in front of a partisan crowd and is coming off an impressive series win over No. 5-ranked Arkansas, taking two of three from the Razorbacks.

The Tide is expected to throw staff ace Garrett McMillian (4-5, 3.83) against Georgia on short rest, while UGA will start Luke Wagner (5-1, 5.11) on Tuesday.

“We feel good where we are, we have to try to navigate through this tournament and stay healthy,” Stricklin said on Monday.

“We have to win every game we can, we still are in the conversation to host. We have to have a good week and make a run here.”

Georgia has never won the SEC Baseball Tournament, but it has finished twice three times (1985, 1986 and 1989).

The Bulldogs would play SEC tourney No. 3-seed Arkansas with a win over Alabama at 10:30 .m. on Wednesday. Georgia didn’t play Arkansas this season.

The Bulldogs won an 11-10 battle with Missouri on Saturday to cap their regular season with a win and finish with a 15-15 league mark.

2022 SEC Baseball Awards

Co-Player of the Year: Dylan Crews, LSU

Co-Player of the Year: Sonny DiChiara, Auburn

Pitcher of the Year: Chase Dollander, Tennessee

Freshman of the Year: Drew Beam, Tennessee

Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Ben Anderson, Georgia

Coach of the Year: Tony Vitello, Tennessee

First Team All-SEC

C: BT Riopelle, Florida

1B: Sonny DiChiara, Auburn

2B: RJ Yeager, Mississippi State

3B: Trey Lipscomb, Tennessee

SS: Jacob Gonzalez, Ole Miss

OF: Enrique Bradfield Jr., Vanderbilt

OF: Dylan Crews, LSU

OF: Drew Gilbert, Tennessee

SP: Chase Dollander, Tennessee

SP: Jonathan Cannon, Georgia

RP: Tyler Guilfoil, Kentucky

DH/UT: Dominic Keegan, Vanderbilt

Second Team All-SEC

C: Logan Tanner, Mississippi State

1B: Tim Elko, Ole Miss

2B: Ryan Targac, Texas A&M

3B: Jacob Berry, LSU

SS: Josh Day, Missouri

OF: Wyatt Langford, Florida

OF: Spencer Jones, Vanderbilt

OF: Dylan Rock, Texas A&M

SP: Chase Burns, Tennessee

SP: Drew Beam, Tennessee

RP: Blake Burkhalter, Auburn

DH/UT: Brandt Belk, South Carolina*

DH/UT: Austin Bost, Texas A&M*

*Ties (Ties are not broken)

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