Gators' Preston Tucker among four players named first-team All-SEC
Former Tampa Plant standout Preston Tucker is among four Gators honored as first-team All-SEC selections chosen by the league’s coaches - the most since 1991. It is the third consecutive season the Gators have had a total of five All-SEC selections.
Tucker joined P/DH Brian Johnson, P Steven Rodriguez and C Mike Zunino on the first team. Junior SS Nolan Fontana was a second team selection, and 3B Josh Tobias was selected to the All-Freshman team. Tucker and Fontana have been All-SEC selections three times, joining an elite group of Florida players to achieve that honor including: includes Josh Adams (2008, 2009, 2011), Mike Stanley (1982, 84, 85), Marc Valdes (1991, 92, 93) and Brad Wilkerson (1996, 97, 98).
This season, Tucker hit a team-best .322 with 24 RBI, 20 runs, nine doubles and seven HR’s in conference action. Tucker has a .312 average and is second on the team in hits (73), runs (49), RBI (44), walks (30), doubles (15) and home runs (14).
A semifinalist for the Johnny Bench Award and the Dick Howser Trophy who was the 2011 SEC Player of the Year, Zunino leads the Gators in batting average (.323), total bases (146), RBI (55), doubles (27), sacrifice flies (8) and slugging percentage (.664). Now a two-time first-team All-SEC recipient, he has a .993 fielding percentage, with three errors in 452 chances, and has thrown out almost a third of the runners who have attempted to steal on him.
Fontana becomes the first Gator shortstop to earn All-SEC three seasons in a row and joined outfielder Matt den Dekker (2008-09-10) as the only UF players to be named to the SEC All-Defensive Team three times.