A handful of Ole Miss baseball players named preseason All-SEC

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Ole Miss Athletics) – The Southeastern Conference released the Preseason Coaches Poll and Preseason All-SEC team on Thursday, with five Rebels being named honorees as voted on by the league’s coaches.

Ole Miss came in at tied for second in the SEC West with rival Mississippi State. However, among the six teams to receive a first place vote to win the SEC Championship, the Rebels garnered the most with four.

Additionally, the Rebels led the pack in terms of representatives on the Preseason All-SEC squad, leading the way with five selections. Jacob Gonzalez earned a first team nod, while Hayden DunhurstTim ElkoPeyton Chatagnier and Kevin Graham all landed on the second team.

Gonzalez, who has received preseason All-American laurels from several outlets, started all 67 games at shortstop as a true freshman last season. The second Rebel ever to earn All-American plaudits as a freshman, joining Stephen Head, set single-season freshman school records in games played (67), runs scored (73), RBI (55), total bases (147), and walks (38).

Dunhurst enters his junior season established as one of the nation’s premier backstops, becoming Ole Miss’ first-ever Gold Glove Award recipient in 2021. The Carriere, Mississippi, native batted .280 last season, posting 43 RBIs and 40 runs as well as 20 extra base hits on the way to Second Team All-SEC honors.

Starting off the season as hot at the plate as anyone in the nation, Elko captured the eye of the college baseball world last season with his perseverance battling back from an ACL injury. The Rebel captain returned to the lineup a month after the injury, clobbering seven home runs, including two grand slams during the NCAA Oxford Regional, to spark Ole Miss to Super Regionals.

Chatagnier returns for his third season penciled in at second base in the starting lineup. The native Texan batted .271 in 2021, posting 43 RBIs and 41 runs with 13 doubles and six homers. Part of a dynamic tandem up the middle with Gonzalez, Chatagnier garnered a .976 fielding percentage with 19 double plays.

Second on the team in batting with a .342 average last season, Graham earns second team consideration after being tabbed to the ABCA/Rawlings First Team All-South Region squad in 2021. The O’Fallon, Missouri, product paced Ole Miss with 56 RBIs a season ago, also leading the team in extra base hits with 15 doubles and 14 home runs. Graham finished the season on a 60-game hitting streak, the longest in college baseball.

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