A&M Baseball Picked to Finish Third in SEC West

Credit to Kyle Stafford | Associate Director, Athletics Communications – 12thman.com

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. –Texas A&M baseball standouts Jace LaViolette and Braden Montgomery have earned Preseason All-SEC honors, as announced by the league office Thursday.

In the SEC Preseason Coaches Poll, the Aggies were picked to finish third in the SEC Western Division behind defending national champion LSU and Arkansas. Defending national runner-up Florida was selected to claim the crown in the Eastern Division.

LaViolette, a unanimous Preseason All-American, was named to the first team after slashing .287/.414/.632 as a freshman a season ago. The Katy, Texas, native led the Aggies in home runs (21), RBI (63) and stolen bases (18) in 2023 en route to earning Freshman All-America honors from four different publications. LaViolette’s 21 homers set a Texas A&M freshman single-season record.

In SEC play, the 2023 USA Collegiate National Team member led all players with an .835 slugging percentage. Overall, LaViolette ranked inside the Top 10 in the SEC in homers, RBI and walks (48).

Montgomery, a unanimous Preseason All-American, earned a spot on the second team after transferring from Stanford in the offseason. The junior led the Cardinal to back-to-back College World Series appearances and is one of the nation’s top two-way players. In 2023, Montgomery hit .364 with 17 homers and 61 RBI in 64 games. On the mound, the Madison, Mississippi, native made 10 appearances and struck out 19 hitters in only 14.0 innings of work.

Among the Pac-12, the junior ranked inside the top 10 in runs scored (70), hits (82), RBI, home runs, total bases (149) and walks (51). Montgomery, who garnered ABCA All-America honors in 2023 and was a member of the USA Collegiate National Team, also registered 27 multi-hit games, 16 multi-RBI contests and closed the season with a 28-game on-base streak.

2024 SEC Baseball Preseason Coaches Poll

Eastern Division

1. Florida (11) – 88

2. Tennessee (2) – 75

3. Vanderbilt (1) – 73

4. South Carolina – 50

5. Kentucky – 44

6. Georgia – 36

7. Missouri – 19

Western Division

1. Arkansas (9) – 87

2. LSU (5) – 82

3. Texas A&M – 68

4. Alabama – 47

5. Auburn – 46

6. Ole Miss – 32

7. Mississippi State – 23

SEC Champion: Arkansas (9), LSU (3), Florida (2)

() – First place votes

2024 SEC Baseball Coaches Preseason All-SEC Team

First Team

C: Cole Messina, South Carolina

1B: Jac Caglianone, Florida

2B: Cade Kurland, Florida

3B: Tommy White, LSU

SS: Colby Shelton, Florida

OF: Jace LaViolette, Texas A&M

OF: Ethan Petry, South Carolina

OF: Kendall Diggs, Arkansas

DH/UTL: Ike Irish, Auburn

SP: Hagen Smith, Arkansas

SP: Drew Beam, Tennessee

RP: Brandon Neely, Florida

Second Team

C: Devin Burkes, Kentucky

1B: Charlie Condon, Georgia

2B: Christian Moore, Tennessee

3B: Billy Amick, Tennessee

SS: Jonathan Vastine, Vanderbilt

OF: Braden Montgomery, Texas A&M

OF: Dakota Jordan, Mississippi State

OF: Bobby Peirce, Auburn

DH/UTL: Hayden Travinski, LSU

SP: Jac Caglianone, Florida

SP: Carter Holton, Vanderbilt

RP: Alton Davis II, Alabama