BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - In a continuing effort to recognize the accomplishments of student-athletes beyond the field of competition, the Southeastern Conference has highlighted a Community Service Team for baseball for the 2020 season. The conference names a Community Service Team for each of its 21 league-sponsored sports, looking to highlight an athlete from each school who gives back to his community through superior service efforts.
The 2020 SEC Baseball Community Service Team follows:
LSU – Matthew Beck, Sr., RHP, Alexandria, La.
Matthew Beck is a two-time member of the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll as a finance major … throughout his four seasons at LSU, he has been heavily involved in the Tigers’ community service program … on February 27 of this year, he was presented with the Shriners Hospital for Children College Classic Service Award in recognition of his philanthropic activity … he has been active in flood relief efforts in the Baton Rouge metro area, assisting residents in the clean-up of their homes and neighborhoods … he has worked as a volunteer for Boys Hope Girls Hope, an organization in Baton Rouge that helps at-risk children to meet their full potential by providing value-centered, family-like homes, opportunities and education … he participates in LSU’s annual Halloween Boo-zar, where student-athletes distribute candy to children in the Baton Rouge community … he has also engaged in Thanksgiving with the Tigers, a program in which LSU student-athletes deliver food to families in need.
Alabama – Brock Guffey, Jr., LHP, Hoover, Ala.
The junior has contributed double-digit service hours during his time at the Capstone … Spread his volunteer hours across four separate community service projects during the 2019-20 academic year … Visited The Miracle League of Tuscaloosa in September, giving him and the Tide baseball players an opportunity to teach and play baseball with the members of the Miracle League … Took part in the Alabama Athletics Department’s Halloween Extravaganza, an annual event that welcomes the children of Tuscaloosa and their families inside the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility for Halloween fun and games … Assisted with the Alabama Athletics Department’s “Thank-A-Thon” … Attended “A Night to Shine” – an event that is an unforgettable prom night experience for people with special needs and is hosted simultaneously around the world in more than 720 host churches across 50 states and 34 countries … One of Alabama baseball’s SAAC representatives
Arkansas – Casey Opitz, Jr., C, Centennial, Colo.
Junior catcher Casey Opitz has been a positive influence for both the Arkansas baseball program and in the Fayetteville community during his time as a Razorback. From Centennial, Colorado, Opitz is a consistent leader in giving back, volunteering to go Christmas shopping and delivering toys for kids at Greenland Elementary during the holiday season. He was one of the biggest smiles at the annual Fan Day Event, bringing laughter and fun to everyone he interacted with at the event. Opitz also used his baseball talents and knowledge to participate in the Miracle League Baseball game, which is a league that is designed to be inclusive for everyone, from the barrier free surfaces to helping correct misperceptions about individual with mental and/or physical disabilities. Because of the influence he’s shown in the community and in the locker room, Opitz was overwhelmingly chosen by his teammates to lead them during the 2020 season as a captain of the Razorback baseball team.
Auburn – Conor Davis, Sr., 1B, Roswell, Ga.
Davis has participated in a number of community service projects during his time at Auburn and also served as a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee representative. His service efforts were highlighted by volunteering with Samaritan’s Purse to help clean up the damage done by the tornado that devastated East Alabama in March 2019. Davis also visited and uplifted patients at Children’s of Alabama and participated in a baseball clinic for the Miracle League of East Alabama. He has helped the Jason Dufner Foundation stuff backpacks to fight childhood hunger on multiple occasions, handed out candy at the City of Auburn Downtown Trick or Treat event and helped construct a house with Habitat for Humanity.
Florida – Tommy Mace, Jr., RHP, Tampa, Fla.
Tommy Mace completed a total of 24.5 community service hours for the 2019-20 season … Participated in Climb for Cancer … Spent over 20 hours as a mentor at Littlewood Elementary School.
Georgia – Emerson Hancock, Jr., P, Cairo, Ga.
Annual Grady County HELP Agency Volunteer – provides necessities and toys to more than 500 families … Member of UGA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C) that organizes and participates in community outreach projects like Special Olympics events, Holiday meals for those less fortunate and Holiday messages to those serving our country … Selected for UGAAA Leadership Education and Development (L.E.A.D.) program that is for high-achieving student-athletes who are leaders in the areas of community service and involved on campus.
Kentucky – Alex Degen, So., P, Readington Township, N.J.
Alex has completed 102 hours of community service this academic year…Deeply involved with the Ronald McDonald House, where he served dinner, cleaned residents’ rooms, washed dishes and more…Worked at a local elementary school as a mentor for children with difficult home situations and who were showing signs of falling behind in school…Worked with God’s Pantry.
Ole Miss – Tim Elko, Jr., OF/IF, Lutz, Fla.
Tim Elko has been active in the community and a leader on campus throughout his three years at Ole Miss. A 2020 Team Captain, Elko has lent his time to his fellow student-athletes through his service on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), as well as through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). The Lutz, Florida, native participated in Adopt-A-Basket to provide food for the Oxford community during Thanksgiving. Tim also supported the Ole Miss Special Olympics team during the Unified Egg Bowl. He read to local elementary school students during Reading with the Rebels and instructed children during the Bats and Balls Camp with the Junior Auxiliary of Oxford. Tim also took part in the Night to Shine, celebrating 125 guests with special needs during an unforgettable prom night experience.
Mississippi State – Christian MacLeod, RFr., P, Huntsville, Ala.
MacLeod has been active in the community over the past two seasons, including his redshirt season in 2019. One of the leaders in community service on the Diamond Dawg roster, the Huntsville, Alabama, native has participated in the annual Salvation Army Red Kettle program, is active with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and spent time helping the Challenger League, which assists children with disabilities play the game of baseball.
Missouri – Spencer Juergens, Sr., P, Washington, Mo.
Paces all 2019-20 Tigers with 68 career community service hours accumulated … Nearly 58 of those hours have occurred in the current 2019-20 school year … Has volunteered at 13 separate community service events over his brief two-year Mizzou career … Projects have included Mizzou Moves, Caleb’s Pitch at MU Children’s Hospital, Optimist Club Tree Farm, Swim Meet Timer, Mizzou Baseball community service projects, MU Children’s Hospital visits, international service and Central Missouri Food Bank.
South Carolina – Cam Tringali, RSo., P, Columbia, S.C.
Cam Tringali helped out with the Week of Giving at Heathwood Hall in Columbia … Then in October, he and the team hosted the Chapin Screaming Eagles at Founders Park, playing a game against the Gamecocks … Tringali volunteered at the Ray Tanner Run, which takes place every fall and ends at Founders Park. The run is part of the Ray Tanner Foundations and raises money for charities in the Midlands.
Tennessee – Luc Lipcius, Jr., 1B, Williamsburg, Va.
Throughout his career at Tennessee, Luc Lipcius has been a model student-athlete, excelling on the field as well as in the classroom and the community. Lipcius has been especially active within the community despite having to balance a busy schedule as a member of the baseball team while also majoring in aerospace engineering. Lipcius has totaled 76 community service hours during his time on Rocky Top, volunteering with numerous organizations such as the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, the American Cancer Society, Club Vibes and the Knoxville Challenger League. Lipcius was the lone representative from the baseball team in UT’s VOLeaders Academy Class of 2018-19. The select group of student-athletes from all of Tennessee’s athletic programs capped off their year-long program with a service trip to Rwanda last summer, providing applied leadership and service opportunities focused on community development and social change through sport. Lipcius also took part in Tennessee baseball’s kid’s clinic in March to help benefit victims of the devasting tornadoes that hit Nashville and surrounding areas in middle Tennessee. UT baseball was able to raise over $2,000 to donate towards the relief efforts.
Texas A&M – Christian Roa, Jr., P, Houston, Texas
Roa volunteers weekly on Thursdays and Sundays to minister underprivileged kids in the Brazos Valley. He is a member of the Miracle League, an organization that provides opportunities for children with disabilities to play baseball regardless of their abilities. He spearheaded Aggie Baseball’s annual Vs. Cancer campaign that has raised over $75,000 for pediatric cancer research during his three years at Texas A&M. He has participated annually in the Aggie Baseball Paint-A-Thon that kicks off the school year by helping a family in need by painting their house as well as providing landscaping and home maintenance.
Vanderbilt – Harrison Ray, Sr., 2B, Longwood, Fla.
Nashville tornado relief – Made a wish come true for a local sixth grader by visiting him in the Children’s hospital after a game … Dancing Dores (Vanderbilt University Dance Marathon) — led and encouraged awareness and fundraising efforts for his team benefitting the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and the children it serves. Contributed to the overall total of $43,000 … Buena Vista Elementary — Led and coordinated a baseball clinic for 2nd graders at Buena Vista. The team taught basic baseball skills and led a game of wiffle ball. This directly correlates with his overall goal of introducing the game of baseball to minority and underserved kids … West Nashville Dream Center — Led and encouraged his team to participate in Mobile Food Ministries with the Dream Center. He and the team distributed fresh groceries to families in a North Nashville neighborhood …Harris Hillman — Escorted students from Harris-Hillman (a public school serving students with multiple disabilities and dual diagnoses) around the shops, banks and businesses around 21st Avenue for a safe trick or treating experience.