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From Bishop England to leading the Big South

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CONWAY, S.C. (WCIV) -- Ryan Connolly is far from overpowering and not what most would call intimidating. But it would not be a stretch to say that the Bishop England grad is one of the best pitchers ever in the Big South conference. 

The Coastal Carolina senior will go out with the most appearances in Big South history and have the lowest ERA ever. 

"I had no idea. Coming out of Bishop England, my only goal was to have a chance to play college baseball," said Connolly. "I didn't care where I played. Luckily, I got a chance to play for Coastal.  I never thought I'd have the opportunity to pitch as much as I have." 

The moment that changed everything for Connolly was before his freshman year when a coach asked Connolly if he could throw sidearm. His velocity sidearm matched his velocity throwing over the top and the rest is history. 

His throwing angle now could be considered "submarine" and it's worked. 

"My first year, 2010, there weren't all that many sidearm guys in college baseball. I was the first to get into that scene and one of the first in college baseball. Luckily, I was able to have success with it all four years and hopefully I'll continue past college," he said.

His goal is to follow fellow Bishop England grads Drew Meyer and Reese Havens into the world of professional baseball.

His numbers in college were nothing short of dominant. His senior season was stellar, being named to the Big South Second team on Monday. Connolly has everything going for him, but still isn't overconfident about draft day. 

"Nothing special, later rounds, maybe 25 thru 35. Nothing too special," he said of where he thinks he will go in the draft. 

All he wants is a chance.

He got one in college and he was an All-American. He got one in the prestigious Cape Cod League where he was an all star. Give him a shot in the minor leagues, he'll shoot for the majors. 

"Honestly, I think I can. I want the opportunity and chance and I hope to make the best of it," Connolly said. 

Just look at his numbers, they're as low as his arm angle.

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