The metro-east baseball community produced two Louisville Slugger All-Americans this season in O’Fallon High pitcher-outfielder Brad Harrison and Edwardsville High pitcher-third baseman Jake Garella.
Harrison, headed to Southern Illinois University Carbondale, was named first-team All-American. According to Panthers coach Jason Portz, Harrison is O’Fallon’s second first-team All-American; catcher Nick Tindall was the first.
The 2016 Belleville News-Democrat Large-School Player of the Year was 12-0 as a pitcher this spring, compiling a 0.47 earned-run average with 124 strikeouts in 89 2/3 innings.
He also threw five consecutive shutouts for the Panthers (33-6).
As a hitter, Harrison turned in a .402 average with 12 doubles, one triple, six home runs and 35 RBIs.
Garella was a second-team All-American chosen as a multi-position player.
He recently signed with Saint Louis University and was a unanimous BND first-team All-Area selection as a third baseman. Garella’s .570 batting average was a school-record at Edwardsville High and Garella also had 16 doubles, one triple, four home runs and 36 RBIs.
As a pitcher, Garella was 6-1 with a 0.19 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 37 2/3 innings for the Tigers (29-8).
Edwardsville’s last All-American was shortstop Jordan Hovey, who graduated last season before playing for Missouri State as a freshman. Garella is the 12th All-American in Tigers’ history.
Players were nominated by their high school coached and voted on by the staff of Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. Among the All-Americans there were 20 players chosen in the first two rounds of the recent Major League Baseball Draft.