Garvin, Kemp pick up SEC honors


May 24, 2011

Birmingham, Ala. - The Southeastern Conference released the league's annual honors today with seven Commodores being named, including SEC Pitcher of the Year Grayson Garvin and SEC Freshman of the Year Tony Kemp.

Garvin has been the model of consistency for the Dores this season leading the league with 11 wins and going 9-0 in 10 SEC starts. He is the first Vanderbilt pitcher to earn the honor since David Price in 2007. The junior's season started with a dominating start at San Diego when the lefty flirted with a no hitter and fanned a career-best 10 batters. Garvin proved to be the team's stopper winning four of his five starts after Vanderbilt took the loss in the first game of a series. He was named the SEC Pitcher of the Week for his eight-inning performance at Arkansas when he allowed one run on two hits with six strikeouts. The Suwanee, Ga. native's nine-game win streak earlier this season ranks among the leaders this season across the country. He enters the postseason 11-1 with a 2.54 ERA and 79 strikeouts over 89.1 innings.

Tony Kemp has played in 52 of the Dores' 53 games this year and hit leadoff for Tim Corbin in 48 games as a true freshman. He is the first Commodore to earn the honor since Mike Minor in 2007. The speedy outfielder has been a spark plug for the offense since his arrival on campus and enters the post-season with 21 multi-hit games. The Commodores' left fielder was tabbed SEC Freshman of the Week for his work at Auburn when he went 8-for-14 with five runs scored. However, his most memorable play came against Alabama late in the game with the bases loaded he made an all-out diving catch on the warning track in left field for the third out to end the Crimson Tide threat. Kemp enters the postseason riding a 13-game hitting streak after posting four hits at Georgia in the regular season finale. In his first collegiate campaign he hit .342 with 12 extra-base hits and scored 48 runs.

"Although there are many ingredients in having a successful team, I am happy that the conference coaches recognized several of our players for their outstanding seasons," Head Coach Tim Corbin said. "To have two individuals stand out among their peers as the top performing freshman and top pitcher in the SEC is particularly gratifying to our program."

Aaron Westlake joins Garvin and Kemp on the All-SEC first team. The big first baseman has paced the Vanderbilt offense all season leading the team in home runs with 13 and batting average (.360). Jason Esposito, Conrad Gregor and Sonny Gray have all been named All-SEC second team. Esposito led the team in RBI with 48 while moving into third place all-time at Vanderbilt with 58 career doubles. Gregor also earned SEC All-Freshman honors along with Kemp and Kevin Ziomek. Gregor has been a key contributor to the offense since taking over the designated hitter spot in the lineup hitting .341 with 10 extra-base hits. Gray earned SEC accolades for the third time in his career also being named to the All-Defensive team with Esposito. The right-hander from Smyrna, Tenn. finished second in the league with 105 strikeouts and his batting average against led the league at .193. Ziomek was counted on in the VU bullpen all year and the lefty did not disappoint, posting a 1.82 ERA in 22 games with 43 strikeouts in 39.2 innings.

The Commodores begin SEC Tournament play tomorrow night against Georgia in the final game of the day. Freshman T.J. Pecoraro gets the ball for Vanderbilt against Bulldogs' right-hander Michael Palazzone. The game will begin approximately 30 minutes after the South Carolina-Auburn game and be televised on CSS.

SEC PLAYER OF THE YEAR - Mike Zunino, Florida
SEC PITCHER OF THE YEAR - Grayson Garvin, Vanderbilt
SEC FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR - Tony Kemp, Vanderbilt
SEC COACH OF THE YEAR - Ray Tanner, South Carolina

1B - Aaron Westlake, Vanderbilt
2B - Scott Wingo, South Carolina
3B - Thomas McCarthy, Kentucky
SS - Casey McElroy, Auburn
C - Mike Zunino, Florida
OF - Mikie Mahtook, LSU
OF - Preston Tucker, Florida
OF - Tony Kemp, Vanderbilt
DH - Brian Johnson, Florida
P - Grayson Garvin, Vanderbilt
P - Michael Roth, South Carolina
RP - Matt Price, South Carolina

1B - Christian Walker, South Carolina
2B - Josh Adams, Florida
2B - Alex Yarbrough, Ole Miss
3B - Jason Esposito, Vanderbilt
SS - Nolan Fontana, Florida
C - Tony Caldwell, Auburn
OF - Taylor Dugas, Alabama
OF - Mason Katz, LSU
OF - Chad Wright, Kentucky
DH - Conrad Gregor, Vanderbilt
P - DJ Baxendale, Arkansas; Hudson Randall, Florida
P - Sonny Gray, Vanderbilt; Alex Meyer, Kentucky
RP - Caleb Reed, Mississippi State

1B - Dominic Ficociello, Arkansas
2B - JaCoby Jones, LSU
3B - Zack Powers, Florida
SS - Adam Frazier, Mississippi State
C - Ty Ross, LSU
OF - Tony Kemp, Vanderbilt
OF - C.T. Bradford, Mississippi State
OF - Andrew Toles, Tennessee
DH - Conrad Gregor, Vanderbilt
P - Karsten Whitson, Florida
P - Forrest Koumas, South Carolina
RP - Kevin Ziomek, Vanderbilt

P - Sonny Gray, Vanderbilt
1B - Dominic Ficociello, Arkansas
1B - Christian Walker, South Carolina
2B - Scott Wingo, South Carolina
SS - Nolan Fontana, Florida
3B - Jason Esposito, Vanderbilt
C - Mike Zunino, Florida
OF - Taylor Dugas, Alabama
OF - Mikie Mahtook, LSU
OF - Zach Cone, Georgia
OF - Jackie Bradley Jr., South Carolina



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