Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News / USA TODAY NETWORK
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (May 15, 2024)-----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 2024 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 2024 SEC Baseball Community Service Team is as follows:

Alabama – Mac Guscette, C, Sr., Nokomis, Fla.
Mac Guscette has formed a non-profit organization 'frameworks9' which provides eye exams and glasses for families in need. The organization's mission is to 'Frame It Forward' for special and underserved athletes by providing for proper sporting eyewear like prescription sports glasses or goggles and sunglasses. Guscette's non-profit also supports organizations such as Special Olympics, The Boys and Girls Clubs and others by providing new sports equipment to ensure that all can play safely.

Arkansas – Will McEntire, RHP, R-Sr., Bryant, Ark.
Will McEntire is donating $5 for every strikeout this season to the CARTI Cancer Center in Arkansas. McEntire's father, now in remission, was diagnosed with cancer when Will was a senior in high school. Off the field, McEntire has also worked with numerous non-profit organizations and community centers in Northwest Arkansas, including Squire Jehegan Outreach Center.

Auburn – Chris Stanfield, OF, So., Tallahassee, Fla.
Chris Stanfield has made arguably the biggest impact in the community of any Auburn baseball player in recent history, most notably due to his 'Hats Off 3' campaign launched prior to the 2024 season. Thanks to Chris' pledge along with his partnership with Jackson Services and the pledges of many of the Auburn faithful, Chris has helped raised more than $10,000 this season to benefit the Miracle League of East Alabama. Growing up in Tallahassee, Florida, Chris has volunteered with the Miracle League since he was in eighth grade and continues to serve the organization during his time on the Plains. Along with his efforts with the Miracle League, Chris has been active at multiple local elementary schools, most notably participating in World Read Aloud Day at Creekside Elementary School and a backpack donation drive at Dean Road Elementary School this spring. While back home over the holiday break, Chris also participated in a dog food donation drive at the Leon County Animal Shelter in Tallahassee.

Florida – Ty Evans, OF, Jr., Auburndale, Fla.
Junior outfielder Ty Evans has been a fan favorite for Gators fans across his past three seasons in Orange & Blue, as he routinely goes out of his way to make time for the local community both at the ballpark and away from it. Evans can often be found along the right-field berm long after the final out, staying late to sign postgame autographs for young fans. This past year in particular, Evans worked with his fellow student-athletes to provide cards of encouragement to patients of Shands Hospital. Additionally, he totaled over 10 hours with the Gators Lunch Buddies Program, spending time with local elementary school students during their lunch periods. Evans has also been heavily involved in Alachua Habitat for Humanity, building homes alongside his teammates for those in need. All the while, Evans turned in a career year at the plate while holding status as a key team leader and all-around great teammate.

Georgia – Josh Stinson, OF, RSr., Lawrenceville, Ga.
Josh Stinson was the 2024 Inclusive Excellence Award recipient from UGAAA The Georgia Way. He is an active member of UGAAA Student Athlete Advisory Council (S.A.A.C), and his community service activities include: volunteer for annual Special Olympics Hometown Rivals Baseball Game at Foley Field and Relay for Life cancer fundraiser. He is a member and graduate of the UGAAA Leadership Program (L.E.A.D). Stinson was the SEC representative at the NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum and a 2023 SEC Community Service Team member. He is a 2023 graduate in mechanical engineering.

Kentucky – Evan Byers, LHP, Jr., Nicholasville, Ky.
Evan Byers has made an impact in the Lexington, Nicholasville and Cincinnati communities, as well as that of his summer squad, the Upper Valley NightHawks. He has been active in his home county, Jessamine, in Kentucky for both youth baseball organizations and animal care programs. Byers has packed Christmas gifts for children, served as a “buddy” for Miracle League baseball, participated in Make-a-Wish and served as a community mentor. He leads the team in community service hours during the 2023-24 school year.

LSU – Tommy White, 3B, Jr., St. Pete Beach, Fla.
LSU All-American third baseman Tommy White was voted in February 2024 to the inaugural Lou Gehrig Community Impact Team by Phi Delta Theta and the Live Like Lou Foundation. White, a junior from St. Pete Beach, Fla., donates a significant portion of his NIL earnings to Empower 225, an organization in Baton Rouge aimed to empower youth to escape the cycle of violence and poverty by providing them with resources such as educational support, life skills training, career preparedness, housing, and mentorship. His partnership with Empower 225 began during the 2023 season, and White committed to doubling his donation in 2024. Along with his NIL pledge, White actively participates in community service events, including the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to Remember to promote awareness and a cure for Alzheimer’s disease; and the Miracle League, an organization that gives children with any type of disability or special needs the opportunity to play baseball.

Ole Miss – Mason Nichols, RHP, Jr., Jackson, Miss.
Mason Nichols has been very involved in the Oxford and Mississippi communities, spending his time with a multitude of different programs. He has participated in Reading with the Rebels, where he visited local elementary schools to read and engage with the children in their classrooms. He has also spent time working with Adopt-a-Basket where he assisted with the collection of over 1,300 items to make over 100 Thanksgiving holiday food baskets for the local community. Nichols has also been a part of Feed the Sip, a food sustainability project within the Stronger Together MS Initiative, where volunteers assisted in the collection and donation of non-perishable food items that benefit elementary students within the Tunica and Quitman counties. He took part in A Night to Shine, a community-wide prom night event for members with disabilities put on by The Tim Tebow Foundation, and Hygiene Hijack where teams, coaches, and staff had the opportunity to collect hotel toiletry items that are then donated to the on-campus Violence Intervention and Prevention Services. During the Christmas holiday, Nichols led the baseball team’s participation in the Annual CASA of North Mississippi’s Adopt-a-Child Christmas Program, providing foster children with Christmas gifts. He is also an active member of Ole Miss’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

Mississippi State – David Mershon, INF, So., Taylors, S.C.
David Mershon is one of the most active players on the Mississippi State team. He has participated in helping out the Miracle League of Columbus, Mississippi. There he helped children with disabilities play baseball and interact with them. He also helped out at the local food pantry in Starkville. Before our Governor’s Cup game, Mershon and a few teammates went to the Children’s hospital in Jackson, Mississippi to talk to the children. He was in the Top Dawg Leadership program at State that connected with the neighboring schools throughout the year.

Missouri – Matt Garcia, INF, Gr., Orlando, Fla.
Matt Garcia has logged the Tigers' top total in community service hours over the past two seasons since joining the Mizzou program as a transfer from Bethune-Cookman. Most recently, he completed a mission trip to Nicaragua through Athletes in Action this past December. A graduate student from Orlando, Florida, Garcia has volunteered with Columbia Public Schools, in addition to taking part in numerous on-campus service opportunities, including Mizzou's Tree Service project, Homecoming and Move-In Day. Last year, Garcia was named to the SEC’s First-Year Academic Honor Roll and completed his bachelor’s degree in general studies in December.

South Carolina – Will Tippett, INF, So., Stone Mountain, Ga.
Will Tippett participated in the Screaming Eagles Baseball Game with children with disabilities ... He helped with MLK Day of Service Event- taught local youth baseball drills ... Will also donated cans for the SAAC Thanksgiving Food & Toiletry Drive .. He visited White Knoll Elementary School and read books to students.

Tennessee – Drew Beam, RHP, Jr., Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Growing up in Tennessee, Drew Beam has made it a point to give back to his home state and community as much as possible throughout his time at UT. The junior pitcher has volunteered his time with numerous organizations and events. Beam has made multiple visits to the East Tennessee Children's Hospital to spend time with kids going through treatments for various illnesses. He also participated in the Big Brothers, Big Sisters Civic Day of Engagement, has helped with PE classes at Lonsdale Elementary School in Knoxville and has volunteered at the Ijams Nature Center. Beam's biggest initiative since arriving on campus has been raising awareness for Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a disorder affecting the motor neurons—nerve cells that control voluntary muscle movement. Beam's younger sister, Carlee, has dealt with the affects of the condition and has been wheel chair bound for essentially her entire life. Beam has worn a purple glove (official color for SMA awareness) and purple cleats as well as wristbands during games to raise awareness. He has also partnered with local apparel company Volunteer Traditions with hat sale proceeds going towards the official SMA organization. He has also teamed up with Bad Day Hat Company to design another hat that will be coming out in the near future with proceeds going towards SMA.

Texas A&M – Travis Chestnut, UTL, Sr., Pflugerville, Texas
Travis Chestnut has been very active in the community during his career as an Aggie. This year alone, Chestnut has volunteered at the Scrappers Home Run Derby and the Brenham State Support Living Center. While working with the Scrappers, he spoke to the 8-13 year old age group about what it takes and what it's like to play college baseball. At the living center, Chestnut helped out with their Halloween and karaoke parties. Later in the month, he also plans to volunteer at the River Bend Field Day.

Vanderbilt – RJ Austin, UTL, So., Atlanta, Ga.
RJ Austin works with organizations such as Special Olympics Tennessee to give back to the community while also excelling on the field. Earlier this season, RJ Austin was named to the inaugural Lou Gehrig Community Impact Team which recognizes the giving character and community impact of collegiate baseball players.
Filed Under: SEC Baseball
1 Comments
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tjc94871 month
Tommy seems like a great dude. Props to him and I'm glad he represents LSU!
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