Coastal Carolina senior relief pitchers Aaron Burke and Ryan Connolly have both been named to the Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball 2013 Preseason All-American team. Burke is a second team selection and Connolly a third team honoree.
Connolly, a two-time All-Big South selection and 2010 Freshman All-American, ranks third on the CCU career ERA list (2.29), which is second in the Division I era. He also ranks sixth in career saves (14) and third in career appearances (107, 10 shy of the CCU all-time record by Byron Binda from 2002-05.). Connolly is coming off an outstanding summer as he played a key role in Cotuit winning the 2012 Cape Cod Western Division and having the best record in the league (30-14). He was 8-0 on the mound for Cotuit, leading the Cape in wins (two more than the next closest) and he tied for fourth in the Cape in saves (4). Connolly ranked second in the Cape in strikeouts (56) and fourth with a 2.28 ERA, while he tied for the Cape lead in games pitched (23) and ranked second in the Cape in innings pitched (51.1; leader was 51.2). His time in the Cape was an extension of an excellent 2012 spring with the Chanticleers. Connolly was named 2012 Big South Tournament Co-MVP (with teammate Aaron Burke) and voted second team All-Big South. He had a Big South best 11 saves for the 2012 season and his ERA of 2.10 ranked second in the league (behind Burke). The 11 saves ranked third on the CCU single-season list and 30th in the NCAA for 2012, while his 2.10 ERA ranked 31st in the NCAA. Connolly tied with Burke for the Big South lead with 35 appearances, which ranks fourth on the CCU single-season list. In Big South games only in 2012, he had an ERA of 0.34 to rank second and his five saves in league play ranked second while his .182 opponent batting average in Big South game led the league.