05/01/2019 11:13 AM
The start of a new Futures Collegiate Baseball League season is just a month away, which means the spring is winding down for many North Shore Navigators players.
First-year manager Mike Odenwaelder’s roster will include players from all three NCAA divisions as well as junior colleges, while a group of rising college freshmen will be announced soon. The majority of this summer’s squad has already been announced, so below is a look at some highlights for soon-to-be Navs playing throughout the college ranks:
Two of the team’s strongest hitters this spring reside in the outfield. Ben Malgeri is making a splash as a Division 1 freshman, hitting .279 with two home runs and 14 RBI in 45 games for Holy Cross. He has also reached base at a .399 clip and stolen seven bags, and leads the Crusaders with 12 multi-hit games. Sean Lawlor is in the midst of his best season for Flagler College with a career-high .310 average and 44 RBI. Three of the junior’s seven homers have come within the last seven games for the Division 2 program from the Peach Belt Conference.
UNC Asheville freshman Dominic Freeberger hit safely in nine of his 16 April games after beginning the month with a .302 average. The starting left fielder as of late, Freeberger has also seen infield action and thrown two scoreless appearances on the mound. Classmate Colin Macko hit his second collegiate double for the Bulldogs last weekend at High Point.
Logan Bravo sees playing time for a Harvard team that is in the Ivy League championship hunt, recording multiple hits in three of his last seven games. In that stretch, the former Austin Prep standout has two doubles and a home run over the Green Monster at Fenway Park.
The Crimson faced Bravo’s future Navs teammate Saajan May and Columbia in a crucial series last weekend. May has yet to allow an earned run and totaled 10 strikeouts in 11 innings for the Lions. Catcher Colin Wetterau, like May and former St. John’s Prep star Tyler MacGregor, is a college freshman in New York City. Wetterau has 10 hits and eight RBI in 23 games at St. John’s with his first two collegiate doubles coming in back-to-back games two weeks ago.
The team’s other two catchers are having strong offensive seasons in the junior college ranks. Nolan Watson leads CCBC Essex with a .383 average, 1.085 OPS, 41 runs scored, and 20 stolen bases after hitting just .209 with eight RBI in 42 games for last season’s NJCAA Division 2 World Series-advancing team. Swampscott native Louis Olivieri is one of Central Alabama’s top hitters, carrying a .327 average with 16 RBI, 18 runs scored, and a .429 on-base percentage through 37 games. He went 10-for-28 in April.
Southern Maine shortstop Andrew Olszak returns to Fraser Field for the second straight summer. The Danvers native has led off for a Huskies team that Perfect Game ranked No. 1 in all of Division 3 baseball this week, posting a .356 average, 10 extra-base hits, and 20 RBI in 32 games. The returning Navigator carries a six-game hitting streak into the final week of the Little East Conference regular season.
Joey Kalafut has been the top hitter for Edgewood College in Wisconsin with a .333 average and .463 on-base percentage through 34 games. Kalafut has knocks in six of his last nine games, including a four-hit effort with four RBI last Monday at Milwaukee School of Engineering.
Staying in the Division 3 ranks, Navs veteran Zach Begin and standout freshman Matt Bergeron have combined for 11 of Saint Joseph’s College of Maine’s 29 wins. Begin is 5-0 and ranks fifth in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference with 43 strikeouts in 37.2 innings, while Bergeron sports a 6-2 record and 2.45 ERA through a team-high 47.2 frames. Their Monks will be competing for a GNAC championship this week, concluding the tournament on the Navs’ home turf at Fraser Field this Saturday and Sunday.
Timmy Kalantzakos and Vin Zappulla have anchored the Merrimack pitching rotation all season, ranking sixth and 10th in the competitive Northeast-10 Conference with their 2.01 and 2.25 ERAs, respectively. Both sophomore right-handers are 6-1 through 10 starts and have combined for 105 strikeouts in 131 innings of work. Freshman Cedric Gillette is pitching his best at the end of the season for the Warriors, having allowed just two earned runs over his last 12 frames to pick up wins as the starter against American International and Saint Anselm.
James Flood has a 4.91 ERA through his first 14.2 collegiate innings at Siena, while freshman classmate Arlo Marynczak has not allowed an earned run in four of his last five appearances. Jake Zoller pitched his second scoreless inning in the last three for Wofford last Friday, striking out two Samford batters. Maine’s Bobby Cliche earned his first collegiate win in just his second appearance following a two-inning relief outing Tuesday at Brown.