Yeah, this one should come as no surprise.
When you lead your team to the Super 8 title, earn Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year and get drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 11th round all in a matter of a month, there’s a good chance you’re going to be named Eagle-Tribune MVP as well.
Sebastian Keane, take a bow.
There’s nothing the right-handed flamethrower from North Andover didn’t accomplish this spring. The MVC Large MVP had a gaudy 11-1 record with a 0.50 ERA, allowing only 5 earned runs in 70.0 innings pitched. You want dominance? How about 128 strikeouts.
If the Red Sox were even the tiniest bit hesitant about taking Keane, he erased those worries in the Super 8 tourney. In three appearances he picked up two wins and tossed 18.1 innings, striking out 29 against top-seeded Franklin, second-seeded St. John’s Prep and third-seeded Walpole. In the championship game, he tossed three scoreless innings of relief to solidify the Knights (20-4) as the top team in the state.
It was truly one of the best seasons any area athlete has ever achieved.
“He was absolutely dominant,” said coach Todd Dulin. “His stuff was filthy for us all year. Truly a remarkable season for him.”
For his career, he finished 21-5 with a 0.66 ERA, allowing just 16 earned runs in 168.1 innings while striking out 272. The 6-foot-3 ace also could hit a little, batting a career .326 (60-184) with 40 runs scored and 46 RBIs.
The big decision now for Keane will be whether he signs with the Sox or attends Division 1 Northeastern — where he committed during his sophomore year.
Still, Keane adds to a growing list of recent Tribune MVPs from North Andover — joining Evan Glew (2015), Brendan Parisotto (2016) and Steve Hajjar (Central Catholic, 2017).
Andover, Sr., Pitcher
Tri-captain. Three-time All-MVC, two-time Eagle-Tribune All-Star (also 2017). Lefty workhorse dominated with an 8-1 record, a 1.20 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 64.0 innings pitched. Tossed remarkable seven complete games with six shutouts. Pitched no-hitter against Central Catholic (5 innings). Also hit .338 (24 for 71) with 22 runs scored. Led Warriors (14-10) to D1 North finals. Has a 19-3 record, a 1.00 ERA and 103 Ks in 140 IP over last three years. Will try to walk-on at UMass Amherst.
Andover, Sr., Shortstop
Tri-captain. All-MVC. Force at the No. 3 spot in the order for the Division 1 North runner-up Warriors (14-10). Led the team in batting (.358) and hits (26). Added 17 runs scored and 12 RBIs. Did best work in postseason where he hit .429 (6 for 14) in four games. Displayed strong arm at short. Went 3 for 4 with three RBIs in win over Central Catholic. Committed to Division 3 Wheaton College. Hit .362 (21 for 58) as a junior.
Central Catholic, Sr., Pitcher
All-MVC. From Haverhill. Tall (6-foot-1) right-hander finished with team-best 5-2 record. Added a 2.42 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 34.2 innings pitched. Earned wins against Super 8 participants Lowell (6.2 IP, 0 ER, 7 Ks) and BC High (6 IP, 0 ER, 1 K). Tossed four shutout innings with 5 Ks in season-opening win over Peabody. Also hit .360 (9 for 25) with 6 RBIs in limited at-bats. Committed to play at Division 3 Salve Regina.
Greater Lawrence, Jr., Shortstop
CAC All-Star. Junior burst onto scene to finish fourth in area, batting .448 (30 for 67). Also tied for area-high with 28 runs scored and was an area leader in RBIs (15). Added team-high 6 triples and 5 doubles for .716 slugging percentage. Efficient leadoff man only struck out six times. Stole 11 bases. Led Reggies (12-9) back to playoffs for first time since 2014.
Lawrence, Sr., Shortstop
All-MVC. Leadoff man hit .370 (27 for 73) with 22 runs scored and 10 RBIs. Helped Lancers (14-9) to Division 1 North semifinals. Fantastic glove. Nicknamed “The Wizard” by coach Kevin Fielding. “I watched him make big league play after big league play,” said Fielding. “Ozzie Smith came to mind!” Three-year starter. Hit .329 (24 for 73) as a junior. Will play at JUCCO power Howard Collage in Texas. Older brother, Elvis, drafted by Oakland Athletics.
Lawrence, Sr., Pitcher
Workhorse tossed 65.1 innings for Lancers (14-9) and had 58 strikeouts. Lefty had 6-5 record and allowed just 7 earned runs for a 0.75 ERA (third in area). Eight of nine starts were complete games. Tossed four complete-game shutouts. Went the distance and struck out 9 while allowing one earned run in D1 North tourney win over Central Catholic. “Despite him going 7 a lot, if I asked him the next day if he had an inning in him, he’d say ‘give me the ball,’” said coach Kevin Fielding.
Lawrence, Jr., First Base
Transfer from the Dominican shined in first year. Power in middle of Lawrence lineup. Hit team-best .414 (24 for 58) while adding 15 runs scored and 15 RBIs. Drove in five runs in three playoff games for Division 1 North semifinalist Lancers (14-9). Made natural switch from CF to 1B to fill team need. “He’s got next-level pop,” said coach Kevin Fielding. “The ball comes off his bat faster than your average high school kid.”
North Andover, Sr., Shortstop
All-MVC. Led area in hits (34) and finished second in batting (.466). Star leadoff man for Super 8 champion Knights (20-4) also tied for area-high in runs scored (28) while driving in 19 himself. Clutch. Hit .462 (6 for 13) with 6 runs scored and 5 RBIs in four Super 8 games — all wins. Tribune Offensive MVP led football team as QB to Division 2 state title, scoring lone TD in championship game. Tribune Super-Teamer in hoop averaged 17.5 ppg. Will play all three sports in prep year at Proctor.
North Andover, Soph., Pitcher
Varsity newcomer shined with perfect 5-0 record and 1.13 ERA. Allowed just seven earned runs in 43.1 innings pitched. Tall 6-foot-3 left-hander tossed six scoreless innings in Super 8 clinching win over St. John’s Prep. Threw 14 scoreless innings, allowing just eight hits and a walk in two Super 8 starts. Walked just eight batters all season. Tossed six shutout innings in win over Arlington in varsity debut.
Pentucket, Jr., Pitcher
All-CAL. Team MVP. Groveland native tossed 63.0 innings and allowed 9 earned runs for sparkling 0.99 ERA. Also had 5-2 record to lead Sachems (14-8) to state tourney after just two wins last year. Gave up no earned runs against Bishop Fenwick (D3 North champs) and Manchester-Essex (D4 State champs). Allowed one run in eight innings in North first round win over Newburyport. Also led team in strikeouts (44) and didn’t make an error. Plays hoop (8.6 ppg) and football (14 rec., 156 yards).
Pentucket, Jr., Center Field
Co-captain. All-CAL junior from Merrimac. Starting center fielder led team in average (.328) while tying for team-high in hits (22) and OPS (.785). Steady pitcher also had 4-3 record with a 3.04 ERA to help Sachems (14-8) reach tourney after 2-win season last year. Tossed two complete-game shutouts, one being a two-hitter against Triton the other a four-hitter against North Reading. Three-sport star plays football (injured last fall) and basketball (12.3 ppg).
Phillips, Sr., Catcher
Co-captain from North Andover. Two-time First-Team All-Central New England Prep. Hit .311 to help Phillips (14-2) end season ranked No. 1 in NE in final New England Baseball Journal coaches poll. Caught pitching staff with incredible team ERA of 0.64 (11 ER in 121.0 IP). Hit .431 as a junior. Committed to Division 3 Pomona (California) College. Elected as Blue Key Head (spirit leader) on campus. Talented bassist in a rock band.
Pinkerton, Sr., Left Field
Two-time Eagle-Tribune All-Star. Two-time All-NH Division 1 First Team. From Hooksett. Sole captain for hard-hitting Astros (16-6). Finished fourth in area batting .446 (29 for 65). Talented lefty tied for area-high in runs scored (28), and was second in area in RBIs (26). UMass Boston commit. Three-year starter. Over final three seasons, hit eye-popping .442 (76 for 172) with 60 runs scored and 54 RBIs.
Pinkerton, Jr., Second Base
All-NH Division 1 First Team. Slugging infielder had team-high 33 hits while batting .440. Among area-leaders in runs scored (24) and RBIs (15). Had three 3-hit games and one 4-hit game. Recorded a hit in 18 of 22 games for the Astros (16-6). Sure-handed infielder only made 6 errors in 79 chances (.929). Committed to Division 1 Bryant. Averaged 8.8 ppg with team-high 40 3s for basketball team.
Whittier, Sr., Shortstop
His .510 batting average (26 for 51) led the area. Tri-captain from Ipswich. CAC MVP. Two-time All-CAC. Also finished as an area-leader in both RBIs (22) and runs scored (17). Helped Whittier (15-4) earn top seed in Division 2 tournament. Had a hit in 16 of 19 games. Had four games where he didn’t make an out. Steady glove at shortstop. Hit .431 as a junior and .345 (58 for 168) for his career. Works at Process Piping in Methuen. Scored 4 goals for soccer team in the fall.
Whittier, Sr., Pitcher
Two-time All-CAL. Tri-captain from Haverhill. Led Whittier (15-4) with a 1.22 ERA, allowing 10 earned runs in team-high 57.1 innings pitched. Flamethrower also finished second in the area with 93 strikeouts. At the plate, hit .392 (20 for 51) with 14 RBIs. Struck out 13 in a win over Northeast and 12 in a win over Essex Tech, where he also hit a home run. Was 7-1 with a 0.63 ERA and 55 Ks in 44.2 IP as a junior. Over four-year career, helped Wildcats to 62-18 record.
Windham, Jr., Catcher
Team MVP. Second-Team All-NH Division 1. Tri-captain led Windham in average (.370) and OBP (.517) while tying for team-high in hits (17) and RBIs (10). Led Jaguars to playoffs in first season in D1. Only made one error in 96 chances (.990 fielding percentage). “I wouldn’t trade him for any catcher in the league,” said coach Leo Gravell. Scored team-high 18 goals for hockey team. SALT member. Has never missed Honor Roll in three years.
Andover — Arvin Nunez, Sr., P; Andrew Theriault, Sr., P; Patrick McConnell, Jr., CF; Nolan Schirmer, Soph., C; Aidan Ritter, Soph., 3B
Brooks — John Fritz, Jr., CF/P, Andover
Central Catholic — Jake Clinard, Sr., C; Hector Roman Jr., Sr., CF; Matthew Maloney, Soph., LF
Greater Lawrence — Jonathan Gonzalez, Jr., P; Francis Mejia, Jr., SS/P
Haverhill — Tyler McDonald, Sr., P; Jordy Oriach, Soph., CF; Elijah Moses, Soph., 1B; Mark Casto, Soph., C
Lawrence — Juan Medina, Sr., P; Luis Mejia, Jr., 3B
Methuen — Devin Melia, Sr., 1B; Ian Gallagher, Jr., P
North Andover — Tom Finn, Sr., RF; Jack Morin, Jr., C; Brett Dunham, Soph., LF; Trevor Crosby, Frosh., 3B
Pelham — Colby Shawver, Sr., CF; J.J. Jepson, Sr., 3B; Reagan Brunelle, Sr., C
Pentucket — Gus Flaherty, Sr., SS; Andrew Melone, Soph., RF/P; Joe Lynch, Soph., C
Phillips — Matt Sapienza, Soph., P, North Andover; Jacob Lapp, Soph., P, Andover
Pinkerton — Richard Marique, Sr., P/OF; Asa Runge, Jr., P; Derek Hiscox, Jr., P; Frank Gulezian, Jr., 3B
Salem — Trevor DeMinico, Jr., CF; Jake Champagne, Jr., RF
Sanborn — Colin Grenier, Jr., CF; Bryan Kane, Jr., 3B
Timberlane — Ryan Bourque, Sr., P; Lucas Harmon, Jr., SS; Connor Abood, Soph., P
Whittier — Kyle Eddy, Jr., P; Joey Santiago, Jr., 3B; Michael Cordeiro, Jr., 2B; Will Bailey, Soph., 1B
Windham — Will McKee, Jr., INF; Westin Lippold, Soph., P
2019: Sebastian Keane, No. Andover; 2018: Dom Keegan, Central; 2017: Steve Hajjar, Central; 2016: Brendan Parisotto, No. Andover; 2015: Evan Glew, No. Andover; 2014: Robbie Del Signore, Londonderry; 2013: Dan Comei, Haverhill; 2012: Brandon Walsh, No. Andover; 2011: Mike Weisman, No. Andover; 2009-10: Michael Calzetta, Lawrence;
2008: Sean Hayden, Haverhill; 2006-07: Dan Godefroi, Andover; 2005: Jeff Castillo, Salem; 2003-04: Terry Doyle, Salem; 2002: Tim Bransfield, Masconomet; 2001: Kevin Shepard, Andover;
2000: Steve Palazzolo, No. Reading; 1999: Doug Johnson, Pelham;
1998: Ben Crockett, Masconomet; 1997: Brian Tisbert, Andover; 1996: Bryan Welch, Central; 1994-95: Jay Yennaco, Pinkerton; 1993: Justin Hesenius, Andover; 1992: Jim Hanning, Andover; 1991: David Blank, Andover; 1990: Chris Eggert, Andover; also 1981: Dennis Livingston, No. Reading