ESPNBoston.com and its high school section announced today that Matt Tulley, senior righthanded pitcher for the Lowell High Red Raiders, is the recipient of its second annual “Mr. Baseball” award, presented annually to the top player in Massachusetts.
The Mr. Baseball Award winner was chosen by a panel of experts made up of ESPNBoston.com staff and correspondents, as well as local area coaches. Tulley will be presented the award at a later date.
“We are proud to present our Mr. Baseball award to Matt Tulley,” said ESPN Boston High Schools co-editor Brendan Hall, who coordinates the site’s baseball coverage. “Of all the awards we’ve handed out in our two years of existence, this was the most difficult choice, because there was no clear-cut favorite. It speaks to the uniqueness of this year’s talent pool, but also to Tulley’s prowess that he was the unanimous choice by our panel.”
After a junior season in which he earned a spot on ESPN Boston’s inaugural MIAA All-State Team, Tulley followed up with an even stronger senior campaign. He earned his third consecutive Merrimack Valley Conference Player of the Year honor, going 7-1 with 90 strikeouts in 59 innings and one save, for a 1.46 earned run average. Two of those wins came in the Division 1 North tournament, including the sectional final at LeLacheur Park.
Opponents batted just .159 against Tulley on the season, and in turn he also provided some spark at the plate. Tulley batted .306 for the Raiders, leading the team in RBI (20) and ranking second in hits (28) and runs scored (19).
The Raiders earned the No. 1 overall seed in a loaded Division 1 North bracket of the MIAA tournament, and came up just short in their quest for a state title, falling to eventual state champion Xaverian in the D1 Eastern Mass Final.
“We were spoiled with superior pitching in Massachusetts last year, and the amount of local position players taken in this year’s MLB Draft speaks to that,” Hall said. “But Matt clearly separated himself from the pack this spring. Others might have better numbers, but Matt always took the ball in the big games, and he always performed consistently well.
“In addition to his fortitude in big-game situations on the field, you’ll find a really humble and polite kid off the field. He’s dedicated to his craft, and is never one to boast. He always lets his 90-mile per hour heat do the talking.”
For his career, Tulley went 20-2 with a 1.57 ERA and 200 strikeouts in 140 innings. He will continue his career in the fall at Virginia Tech, where he signed a National Letter of Intent last November.