BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – With just eight days until the opening of the 2017 Razorback baseball season, junior outfielder Luke Bonfield has received some early recognition from the league coaches as he was named to the preseason All-SEC team Thursday afternoon.
The New Jersey native, who is coming off his best season as a Razorback, was named to the All-SEC second team after compiling a .304 batting average with eight home runs and a team-leading 39 RBIs last year. His bat quickly became one of the best in the league as he notched 14 multi-hit games and tied for the team high with nine multi-RBI games.
The 2016 season was a breakout year for Bonfield as he started Opening Day as the left fielder and held that spot throughout the year. He had at least one hit in 35 of 48 games and was one of only two Razorbacks to hit over .300 for the season.
Bonfield is expected to start in left field again this year and will be one of the key returnees for head coach Dave Van Horn. With 2017 marking the 15th season under Van Horn, the Razorbacks return eight position starters and 12 pitchers from a year ago.
While Bonfield earned preseason All-SEC accolades, the Razorbacks were picked to finish fifth in the SEC West behind LSU, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State. Florida and LSU were picked to win their divisions and tied in votes to capture the 2017 conference championship.
The 2017 Razorback baseball team will begin its season against Miami (Ohio) with a three-game series on Feb. 17. First pitch for game one of the opening series will be at 3 p.m. The conference portion of the schedule will begin on March 17 against last year's SEC regular season champion, Mississippi State.
Season tickets, mini-plans and single-game tickets are available at ArkansasRazorbacks.com or by calling the Razorback Ticket Office at 1-800-982-HOGS.
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2017 SEC Baseball Coaches Preseason Poll
(First place votes in parentheses)
SEC Champion: Florida (6), LSU (6), South Carolina (2)
2017 SEC Baseball Coaches Preseason All-SEC Team
C – Mike Rivera, Florida
1B – Evan White, Kentucky
2B – Cole Freeman, LSU
SS – Dalton Guthrie, Florida
3B – Jonathan India, Florida
OF – Jake Mangum, Mississippi State
OF – Jeren Kendall, Vanderbilt
OF – Antoine Duplantis, LSU
DH/UTL – JJ Schwarz, Florida
SP – Alex Faedo, Florida
SP – Kyle Wright, Vanderbilt
RP – Tyler Johnson, South Carolina