- Brendan C. Hall, Reporter, ESPNBoston.com
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After a longer layoff than usual for most schools, the MIAA baseball season kicks off this weekend. Here are our preseason All-State picks:
RHP – Jack Connolly, Sr., Bridgewater-Raynham
Armed with one of the state's sharpest curveballs, the Notre Dame signee and returning All-State selection went 9-2 with 94 strikeouts in 65 innings and a 1.51 ERA, holding opponents to a .196 batting average. He also led the Super 8 tournament in strikeouts, with 21 K's in two starts.
RHP – Shane Combs, Sr., St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
The only selection on this list to have earned ESPN Boston All-State honors in two different sports (baseball, football), the 6-foot-3 Notre Dame signee threw two no-hitters last season for the Pioneers, posting a 1.36 ERA on the season.
LHP – Jackson Gillis, Jr., Wilmington
One of the top Class of 2016 prospects in New England, the returning All-State selection went 7-2 with 102 strikeouts in 57.1 innings, holding opponents to a .117 batting average. The uncommitted junior has a number of Division 1 suitors, including LSU, North Carolina, Duke, Vanderbilt, Boston College, Wake Forest and Pitt.
RHP – Tyler Bell, Jr., Catholic Memorial
The returning All-Stater posted a 1.12 ERA last spring, striking out 52 batters in 53.1 innings, throwing four complete games and a shutout, as the Knights earned a spot in the inaugural Super 8 tournament.
RHP – Anthony Videtto, Jr., Silver Lake
Another returning All-State selection, he 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.
Seamus Curran, Sr. 1B, Agawam
One of the most feared left-handed power bats in New England, the 6-foot-6, 240-pound Rhode Island commit registered .462/.611/.795 totals at the plate, with 15 walks, despite missing the final five games with mononucleosis, to earn All-State honors.
Keith Leavitt, Sr. OF, St. John’s Prep
Another power lefty bat, the Penn State commit posted an OPS of .962 to go with six homers and 25 RBI from the top of the Eagles' order. He also tied for the most home runs in the Super 8 tournament, with two.
Connor Columbus, Sr. 3B, Braintree
The UMass commit had powerful numbers at the plate for the Wamps, who reached the finals of the Super 8, 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).
Nick Latham, Sr. OF, St. John’s Prep
The Boston College commit batted .310 with a .562 slugging percentage, with four home runs, 12 RBI and 17 walks, as the Eagles earned the No. 2 overall seed in the Super 8 tournament last spring.
Kevin Donati, Sr. SS, Pittsfield
One of the best two-way players returning, the University of Albany commit hit .529 and posted an unheard-of 1.531 OPS. He also reached base safely in 20 of the Generals' 21 games.
Jake Farrell, Sr. SS, Xaverian
While injuries wiped out most of his junior season last spring, the Northeastern signee and one-time Catholic Conference All-Star is one of the region's strongest bats, with a rare blend of athleticism to boot (Farrell was an All-State quarterback for the Hawks in the fall).
Connor Moriarty, Jr. SS, West Springfield
A superb defensive middle infielder, the UConn commit posted .342/.438/.434 totals as the Terriers made one of the biggest turnarounds in Massachusetts last spring, going from 3-17 in 2013 to a No. 1 seed in D1 West in 2014.
Chris Sullivan, Sr. 3B, Westfield
The University of Hartford signee leads what should be one of the best hitting lineups around, after hitting .476 last spring with a 1.201 OPS. He reached base in all but one game for the Bombers in 2014.
Jacob Yish, Jr. OF, St. John’s Prep
Hard to believe it's been over a year since the junior gave a commitment to Boston College. After injuries shortened his 2014 season, the 6-foot, 190-pounder comes into this spring as one of the most talked-about 2016 prospects.
After a longer layoff than usual for most schools, the MIAA baseball season kicks off this weekend. Here are our preseason All-State picks:***STARTING ROTATIONRHP – Jack Connolly, Sr.