THE SUPER TEAM
LHP – Evan Roberts, Sr., St. John’s Prep
The Catholic Conference MVP was one of the more pleasant revelations of the 2014 season, anchoring the Eagles to a Super 8 appearance with his efficiency and unique delivery. The Davidson commit finished the season 8-2 with 50 strikeouts in 59.2 innings, with a 1.17 ERA and 0.97 WHIP.
RHP – Jack Connolly, Jr., Bridgewater-Raynham
With his crafty curve, the Notre Dame commit took the state by storm, leading the Super 8 tournament with 21 strikeouts as the Trojans reached the semifinals. On the season, Connolly went 9-2 with 94 strikeouts in 65 innings and a 1.51 ERA, holding opponents to a .196 batting average.
RHP – Zach Correll, Sr., Case
With low to mid-90’s velocity, Correll was one of the most dazzling players to watch on the South Coast, recording 103 strikeouts in 64 innings for a 0.54 ERA and 8-2 record. The 6-foot-5 Correll turned pro earlier this month after being selected in the 13th round by the Cincinnati Reds in the MLB Draft.
RHP – Shane Combs, Jr., St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
In his first season in Shrewsbury, the St. Louis transplant and Notre Dame commit dazzled in some of the Pioneers’ biggest games, including two no-hitters. On the season, he was 4-1 with 60 strikeouts in 36 innings, with an ERA of 1.36. Combs also stars for the Pioneers’ football team.
LHP – Jackson Gillis, Soph., Wilmington
One of New England's top 2016 pitching prospects, Gillis recorded two no-hitters this season and was named MVP of the Middlesex League's Freedom Division. He went 7-2 with 102 strikeouts in 57.1 innings, holding opponents to a .117 batting average. A number of Division 1 programs have begun to take interest in Gillis, including LSU, North Carolina, Duke, Vanderbilt, Boston College, Wake Forest and Pitt.
Isan Diaz, Sr. SS, Springfield Central
Diaz was named ESPN Boston’s fourth annual "Mr. Baseball" as the state’s best overall player, after hitting .492/.625/.898 totals with four home runs and 14 RBI from the top of the Golden Eagles’ order, while also demonstrating remarkable defense. Diaz turned pro earlier this month after getting selected in the Sandwich B round (70th overall) by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Joe Freiday, Sr. C, Bridgewater-Raynham
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Freiday was named the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year after hitting .457/.620/.789 with 35 RBI and seven home runs, as the Trojans reached the semifinals of the inaugural Super 8 tournament. Freiday will continue his career next year at Virginia Tech.
Andrew Noviello, Jr. INF, Bridgewater-Raynham
The University of Maine commit was one of the state’s best two-way players, hitting .465/.574/.746 at the plate with 33 RBI and three homers and also going 5-0 on the mound with 67 strikeouts in 43 innings, holding opponents to a .223 average and also notching three saves.
Seamus Curran, Jr. 1B, Agawam
Despite missing the last two weeks of the season with illness, the 6-foot-4 University of Rhode Island commit demonstrated rare left-handed power as one of the state’s best long-ball hitters. He registered .462/.611/.795 totals at the plate, and drew 15 walks.
Neil O’Connor, Sr. INF, Leominster
As the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year in football last fall, O’Connor joins the rare club of athletes to make ESPN Boston’s All-State Team in two different sports. The UNH football commit was dominant at the plate (.486 BA, .580 OBP, 18 RBI, 4 HR, 30 runs, 13 SB) and the mound (10-1, 0.83 ERA, 91 K’s, 56 IP, 1.11 WHIP) as the Blue Devils earned their first MIAA Division 1 state title since 1996.
Jack Riley, Sr. 1B, St. Peter-Marian
Another power bat from the left side of the plate, the UConn pledge batted .414/.535/.743 with 21 RBI, and was also a rock on the mound for the Guardians with a 5-2 record and 0.61 ERA, striking out 78 batters in 46 innings as they reached the Division 1 Central Final for the first time since 2008.
Connor Columbus, Jr. 3B/SS, Braintree
Even in the woobat-only Bay State Conference, Columbus had powerful numbers at the plate, hitting .398 with 35 RBI and four home runs and getting hit by a pitch 16 times. He also tied for the lead in the Super 8 tournament in RBI (7) and home runs (2) as the Wamps reached the finals of the tournament.
Joe Klingensmith, Sr. 1B, Masconomet
The UMass commit and Cape Ann League MVP was another two-way force as the Chieftains captured their first MIAA Division 2 state title since 2000. On the season, Klingensmith batted .343/.484/.658 with 20 RBI and four home runs. He also went 10-0 on the mound, with 84 strikeouts in 56.1 innings, with a 0.94 ERA and 1.01 WHIP.
Ben Gibson, Sr. 1B, Pope John Paul II
The 6-foot-5 Cape & Islands League Co-MVP helped lead the Lions to the MIAA Division 4 state title in just their fourth year as a varsity program. At the plate he batted .542 with 33 RBI, four home runs, 18 walks, 44 runs and 21 extra base hits. On the mound, he was 6-0 with 39 K’s in 46 innings, with a 1.87 ERA. Gibson will continue his career next year at Quinnipiac University.
BEST OF THE REST
Tyler Bell, Soph. RHP, Catholic Memorial
Bell often took the ball in big Catholic Conference games this year for the Knights, and he routinely delivered. On the season he was 4-1 with a 1.12 ERA, striking out 52 batters in 53.1 innings, throwing four complete games and a shutout, as the Knights made the Super 8 field.
Matt Bickford, Sr. RHP, Braintree
The senior anchored the Wamps’ rotation as they made the inaugural Super 8 Final. On the season, he was 5-2 with four saves and a 1.04 ERA, striking out 56 batters in 58 innings, for a WHIP of .914. Bickford is headed to Northwest Oklahoma State next season.
Luke Brennan, Sr. RHP, Doherty
After quarterbacking the Highlanders to their first football state title last fall, the Franklin Pierce University commit turned in an excellent campaign on the mound this spring, leading Doherty to a Division 1 Central Semifinal appearance. Brennan went 5-2 on the year with 74 strikeouts in 42 innings, with a 1.12 ERA.
P.J. Browne, Sr. OF, St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
The Merrimack commit was one of the state’s best two-way players, anchoring the staff with 50 strikeouts in 46 innings, for a 1.82 ERA and .804 WHIP. He was also efficient at the plate, putting up .297/.426/.486 totals with 20 RBI.
Brian Christian, Sr. RHP, Plymouth North
With velocity touching in the low 90’s, the Northeastern commit put in another dominant season on the mound, going 8-2 – including just seven hits and one earned run allowed in his last six starts. On the year, he had 94 strikeouts and a 0.39 ERA. In his final two seasons at North, Christian amassed a 17-3 record on the hill.
Peter Clark, Sr. INF, Gloucester
Clark was named MVP of the Northeastern Conference after leading the Fishermen to a league title and appearance in the Division 2 North Final. At the plate, he batted .531 with six homers and RBI, and on the mound he went 5-1 with a 2.09 ERA.
Jack Dolan, Sr. RHP/INF, Wellesley
Dolan was named MVP of the Bay State Conference’s Herget Division after leading the Raiders to the No. 1 overall seed in Division 1 South. At the plate, he hit .410/.449/.602 with two home runs and 14 RBI, as well as 14 stolen bases. On the mound, he went 3-1 with two saves, striking out 38 batters in 34.1 innings, for a 2.71 ERA, .903 WHIP and .133 opponents’ batting average.
Kevin Hassett, Sr. RHP, Springfield Cathedral
The UMass commit was the ace of the Panthers’ staff, as they captured the Division 1 West title. On the mound, he went 8-1 with two saves, with 63 strikeouts in 65.1 innings. He also hit .275/.367/.304 with 13 RBI at the plate.
Garrett Hudson, Sr. RHP, Greenfield
The Merrimack commit was one of the state’s strikeout leaders, fanning 107 batters in 68.1 innings, for a 9-0 record with a save. At the plate he was also dominant, registering .500/.557/.679 totals with 17 RBI.
Alex Joyce, Sr. C, Newton North
Joyce was named MVP of the Bay State Conference’s Carey Division, then anchored the bats to the Division 1A State Championship, their first state title in 28 years under coach Joe Siciliano. For the season he hit .405/.536/.512 with 21 RBI.
Scott Manea, Sr. C, St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
One of the state’s best defensive catchers, Manea was selected in the 40th round by the Seattle Mariners to become the first Pioneer to get drafted since 2011. The NC State commit registered a .426 on-base percentage this spring, with 12 RBI.
Bobby McNiff, Jr. RHP, Braintree
As one of the Wamps’ aces, The University of Rhode Island commit helped lead Braintree to the Super 8 Final. On the season he was 9-1 with a 1.42 ERA, striking out 60 batters in 69 innings with a .739 WHIP.
Austen Michel, Jr. RHP, Hamilton-Wenham
Michel was one of the breakout stars of the MIAA tournament, striking out 30 batters in two starts, including a no-hitter, as the Generals reached the Division 3 North Final. On the season he was 5-3 with two saves, striking out 92 batters in 61.1 innings with a 1.37 ERA and .929 WHIP.
Chris Murphy, Sr. RHP, Billerica
The University of Maine commit was selected in the 29th round by the Toronto Blue Jays earlier this month, becoming the first product directly out of Billerica High in 20 years to get taken in the MLB Draft. Murphy was named MVP of the Merrimack Valley Conference’s second division after posting a 1.24 ERA with 88 strikeouts in 56.1 innings. He also hit two home runs and 17 RBI at the plate.
Matt Nicholson, Sr. OF, Rockland
One of the state’s premier defensive outfielders, the Merrimack commit was named MVP of the South Shore League after batting .508 with two home runs, 16 RBI and 10 stolen bases. He also recorded five outfield assists, with no errors in 58 opportunities.
Ryan Pocock, Sr. 1B, Westford Academy
Pocock took home the Dual County League’s MVP after leading the state in home runs (eight) to go along with 31 RBI and a .405 batting average. He also struck out 28 batters in 24 innings on the mound. Pocock will continue his career next year at Brandeis University.
Teddy Rodliff, Sr. LHP, Newton North
The lefty puzzled hitters all spring long with his unorthodox sidearm delivery, as the Tigers won the Division 1A State Championship. For the season Rodliff struck out 83 batters in 60 innings, going 6-0 with a 0.95 ERA and holding opponents to a .117 batting average.
David Sampson, Sr. RHP, Bellingham
The Southern New Hampshire University commit led the Blackhawks to the Division 3 State Championship after a dominant campaign on the mound, leading the state in strikeouts (119) in a workmanlike 81 innings pitched, posting an 11-1 record with a 1.12 ERA and .198 opponent’s batting average. He also had 27 RBI at the plate.
Dylan Sbordone, Sr. RHP/INF, Newton North
After posting two wins and two saves in the Tigers’ run to the Division 1A title, the Southern New Hampshire University commit was named ESPN Boston’s Super 8 MVP. On the season he went 7-1 with three saves, striking out 70 batters in 54.1 innings, holding opponents to a .153 batting average.
Tyler Schemerhorn, Sr. RHP/INF, Lowell
Schemerhorn was the Merrimack Valley Conference’s Player of the Year for its first division as the Red Raiders made the inaugural Super 8 field. He batted .329 with 13 RBI from the middle of the order, and on the mound was 6-2. Schemerhorn plans on attending Endicott College in the fall.
Anthony Videtto, Soph. RHP, Silver Lake
The Lakers’ youth movement is filled with potential, none greater than Videtto, who anchored the rotation with a 10-1 record, striking out 77 batters in 62.1 innings with a 1.14 ERA, as the Lakers made the inaugural Super 8 field. He also batted .314 with 11 RBI.
Tyler Wilson, Sr. RHP, Palmer
The University of Rhode Island commit was one of Western Mass.’s most dominant as the Panthers reached the quarterfinals of the Division 3 West tournament. On the mound he was 5-1 with 83 strikeouts in 48.2 innings. At the plate, he had .327/.435/.558 totals with 18 RBI.
Michael Young, Sr. SS, Pope John Paul II
The Eckerd (Fla.) College commit was named Co-MVP of the Cape and Islands League as the Lions captured their first state title in just their fourth year of varsity. At the plate, he hit .528 with 36 RBI and three home runs, with 34 runs and 20 extra base hits. On the mound, Young went 6-0 with 41 K’s in 44 innings, with a 1.64 ERA.