The Atlantic Coast and Southeastern Conferences each announced their baseball awards on Monday with both USC & Clemson represented. The two conference tournaments begin Tuesday with the Tigers kicking off the ACC championship at 11am versus Louisville and the Gamecocks meeting Alabama in “Game Two” of the first round of the SEC baseball tourney.
USC junior Wes Clarke was named to the All-Southeastern Conference second team while freshman pitcher Will Sanders was selected to the SEC’s All-Freshman Team. Clarke, who leads the nation with 21 home runs heading into this week, is South Carolina’s first all-conference selection since Gene Cone and Clarke Schmidt were named to the second team in 2016. Clarke is hitting .274 with 52 runs scored, eight doubles, 52 RBI and is a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy, awarded annually to the national college player of the year.
Meantime, Sanders is the second straight Gamecock pitcher to earn All-Freshman honors after Brett Kerry received the award in 2019. The Atlanta, Ga., native is 6-3 with a 3.63 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 52 innings pitched compared to just 11 walks. He was named the SEC Freshman of the Week on March 1st after back-to-back wins over Clemson and the Co-Freshman of the Week on April 5th.
For Clemson, first-baseman Caden Grice and sophomore shortstop James Parker earned Second-Team All-ACC honors. Grice and right-handed pitcher Mack Anglin received All-ACC Freshman honors as well.
Grice is hitting .316 with 13 homers, a triple, nine doubles, 49 RBIs, 38 runs, a .428 on-base percentage and two steals in 49 games. While Parker is hitting .317 with seven homers, 12 doubles, 34 RBIs, and 30 runs scored. Also Parker, who has committed only 12 errors, is the only Tiger to start all 50 games in 2021.
Anglin has a 3.31 ERA, .215 opponents’ batting average and 71 strikeouts in 54.1 innings pitched over 12 appearances (eight starts).