Tyler Wilson's stock never was higher than in June 2016 — after he pitched the University of Rhode Island to the first NCAA tournament victory in program history. That day, Wilson (Palmer, Mass.) overcame a 4-0 deficit against top-seeded South Carolina in the Columbia Regional, allowing just one hit after the third inning in a seven-inning, 11-strikeout performance. The NCAA tournament victory pushed Wilson’s individual winning streak to 13 games. It was the true sophomore’s final appearance of what arguably was the best single season of any New England native pitcher at the NCAA Division 1 level over the past five years. Wilson finished with a nation-best 13-1 record, 2.29 ERA and 0.84 WHIP.
Had Wilson been eligible for the 2016 MLB draft less than a week later, URI coach Ralph Cerrato believes, the left-hander would have been selected in the top three rounds.
"He was completely dominant that season. I felt there was almost no chance anyone would ever get two runs off of him," Cerrato said. "For three or four weeks in a row, it felt like he was flirting with a nohitter every time he pitched. He was unhittable. In 20 years of coaching college baseball, it’s the best season I’ve ever seen."