2023-2024 Daily Leader All-Area Baseball MVP: Enterprise’s Kelly Burgess

Published 9:00 am Saturday, June 15, 2024

The email account dedicated to the sports page for this newspaper is a place where proud parents and coaches can send in tips or information about the success of their children and players.

Happens all the time, with proud parents wanting to make sure that we didn’t miss the selection of their child to an all-star game or asking for a copy of a picture snapped when their kid was carrying or hitting a ball.

What’s rarer is someone reaching out to brag about a kid that they don’t even know.

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The account received one of those types of emails back at the start of high school baseball season, when the nights can still be cold and windy.

The email was from a lady who’d gone to see a younger relative play in the junior varsity baseball game at Enterprise on a blustery night. This fan left feeling very, very impressed by the Enterprise pitcher she saw competing in the varsity contest for EAC.

She was so wowed by his talent that she approached him after the game to congratulate him on striking out 14 of the 16 batters he’d faced that night.

“His name is Kelly Burgess,” she wrote, “I don’t personally know him, but I did congratulate him after the game. He had to be the most humble, polite young man I have come in contact with in a very long time.”

Burgess might have all-star level manners, but his play on the field is what has people talking most about the sophomore pitcher and infielder.

Burgess built on an outstanding freshman season to be even better for the Jackets in 2024, once again helping lead them to the quarterfinals of the MHSAA 1A bracket, where Enterprise was eliminated by eventual state champion Taylorsville.

For his outstanding play this season, Burgess has been named The Daily Leader All-Area Most Valuable Player.

Burgess tossed 50.1 innings of ball for Enterprise, making pitching appearances in 12 games. Burgess faced 234 batters in 2024, striking out 86 and walking just 16. He finished with a 2.22 ERA for coach Austin Hood. At the plate Burgess drove in 21 runs and finished with a .264 batting average.

Those 14 strikeouts ended up being his season best. Burgess struck out 11 and pitched a four-inning perfect game in an MHSAA 1A playoff matchup with the Simmons Blue Devils.

Last season as a freshman, Burgess made the All-Area team while striking out 56 batters.

That means two more years of EAC fans and supporters getting to watch Burgess sit batters down, something they and Emily from the email can both look forward to in 2025 and 2026.