LSU baseball picked to finish 4th in the West

LSU baseball picked to finish 4th in the West
Zack Watson scored the winning run in the thrilling come-from-behind victory. (Source: WAFB)

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WAFB) - LSU has been picked to finish fourth in the West and the Florida Gators are the popular pick to win the 2018 SEC baseball championship as voted by the league's head coaches.

The Tigers lost to Florida in the 2017 CWS championship 4-3 and 6-1.

LSU outfielder Antoine Duplantis was named first-team preseason All-SEC and Zach Watson received second team honors.

The Tigers will have to replace several key members from last year's squad, including right fielder Greg Deichmann, shortstop Kramer Robertson, second baseman Cole Freeman, catcher Michael Papierski and starting pitchers Alex Lange and Jared Poché.

Starters returning this season are third baseman Josh Smith, outfielders Watson and Duplantis, pitchers Zack Hess and Caleb Gilbert.

Also returning for Tigers: Bryce and Beau Jordan, Jake Slaughter, Chris Reid, Nick Coomes, Todd Peterson and Austin Bain.

SEC Coaches Preseason Poll:
Western Division
1. Arkansas: 90 
2. Texas A&M: 72  
3. Ole Miss: 62 
4. LSU: 59
5. Mississippi State: 44  
6. Auburn: 38  
7. Alabama: 20

Eastern Division
1. Florida: 91
2. Kentucky: 74
3. Vanderbilt: 72
4. South Carolina: 50
5. Georgia: 41
6. Missouri: 32
7. Tennessee: 25

LSU begins this year's journey to the College World Series against Notre Dame on Friday, Feb. 16 at Alex Box Stadium.

Copyright 2018 WAFB. All rights reserved.