Video: Diving catch straight into a wall
Watch Tyler Pettigrew of Henley (Klamath Falls, Ore.) make one of the top catches during the 2016 season.
2017 Massachusetts Preseason Baseball Fab 5, presented by the Army National Guard1. Braintree
Billy O'Connell2016 record:
Braintree had to go extra innings twice to win the Massachusetts Class 1A state title. First, it needed nine innings to beat Xaverian Brothers 11-3 in the semifinals. After losing to St. John's Prep 11-2 in the first championship game, Braintree won the second game 3-2 in nine innings for the title. The Wamps have won the Super 8 championship the past two seasons and have been to the state finals three years on a row. Braintree has one of the top outfielders in the state in Justin Files
. Junior catcher Alex Kennedy
also returns after getting the winning hit in the final game against St. John's Prep.
See last season's Massachusetts baseball computer rankings2. St. John's Prep (Danvers)
Dan Letarte2016 record:
The Eagles came within a run of winning the Class 1A state title, falling to Braintree in nine innings. St. John's Prep returns a pair of All-Conference players in senior shortstop Chris Francoeur
and junior third baseman Michael Yarin
, who is one of the top-ranked juniors in the state according to Perfect Game. See the MaxPreps Massachusetts baseball pro photo galleries3. Dighton-Rehoboth Regional (North Dighton)
Bill Cuthbertson2016 record:
The Falcons won the Division 2 state championship last year, the first state title in school history. Gone is All-Scholastic second baseman Jake Salera, who has graduated, but senior right-handed pitcher Arthur Correira
returns. He was the winning pitcher in last year's semifinal win over Sandwich.See last season's MaxPreps Massachusetts baseball playoff brackets4. Boston College High
Norm Walsh2016 record:
Boston College has one of the state's top juniors in pitcher Michael Vasil
. The 6-foot-3 righthander went 6-2 last year with a 0.93 ERA while striking out 55 batters. Also back on the mound are Brendan Mignone
and junior John MacDonald
, giving Boston College High one of the premier pitching staffs in the state.See last season's MaxPreps Massachusetts baseball stat leaders5. Groton-Dunstable (Groton)
Matt LeBlanc2016 record:
The Division 3 champions enter the 2017 season with one of the longest winning streaks in the nation after being one of the few teams in the country to go undefeated with a 23-0 mark. The Crusaders return one of the top pitchers in the state in Joe Simeone
, who has already committed to play at Connecticut.