Inside Corner: Navs Players Begin College Season

Photo by Mike Janes
03/05/2020 9:05 AM

With the spring season well underway, the North Shore Navigators will be keeping tabs on Fraser Field’s future “boys of summer” as they compete for their respective colleges and high schools throughout the country.

“Inside Corner” will be released every Thursday, featuring the latest Navs player highlights, statistics and more. Our first edition offers an early-season progress report for each player on the North Shore roster competing at the college level.

Kolton Freeman hit the first home run of his Dartmouth career ― and the team’s first of the spring ― last Saturday at Virginia. A 2-for-4 effort that day helped his average rise to .278 with three extra-base hits, three runs scored and a team-leading five RBI. The California native has hit safely in four of the team’s first six games while driving in runs during four total and each of his last three.

In addition, Freeman’s freshman classmates Jack Metzger and Luke Carpenter have pitched in on the mound for Dartmouth. Metzger has made two appearances covering 2.1 frames.

The Big Green and UMass Lowell both have six current or former Navigators on the roster this spring, and two of the River Hawks will return in 2020. Jon Gilbride has reached base at a .353 clip while starting each of the first 10 games at second base, teaming up with freshman classmate and former Navs shortstop Keagan Calero in the middle infield. Harry Painter pitched a hitless and scoreless inning during his Feb. 16 college debut against Canisius.

Two Navigators have helped Merrimack take its first steps as a Division 1 program. Thomas Crowley hit .333 with three RBI through his first eight games as a junior. Last Friday’s 3-for-4 night with two RBI at Wofford marked his second three-hit effort in a three-game span. Navs veteran Cedric Gillette won his first two starts and earned Northeast Conference Pitcher of the Week honors after a six-inning shutout at Oral Roberts on the second day of the season.

During Penn State’s three-game series sweep of Princeton last weekend, Joe Gunn went 2-for-6, doubled and drove in two runs. The redshirt junior was penciled into the Nittany Lion starting lineup for the first time for the second game of a Saturday doubleheader.

Ryan Cervone began the month of March with hits in back-to-back appearances for Northeastern, recording his first collegiate RBI during Wednesday’s game against Western Michigan. Thomas Balboni made his first start as a Husky that same day and has now punched out three batters in his first two innings of the spring.

Lynnfield native Jonathan Luders has appeared in two games as a Seton Hall freshman. He went 1-for-2 with a double, a run scored, two RBI and a walk in the Pirates’ Feb. 16 win over Milwaukee.

William & Mary has used Jack Ryan for scoreless relief on back-to-back Saturdays, totaling 1.2 innings of scoreless ball to begin his career for the Tribe. Ryan's latest outing was a full frame of work against West Virginia last Saturday, the same day that Dayton's Gavin Bates made his first appearance of the year against Florida A&M.

UNC Asheville’s Tye Chastain and Drew Bristow both made their first collegiate starts this week and recorded a hit Sunday at Belmont and Wednesday at Furman, respectively. Jack Whorf has played in three games for UMass, reaching base in two.

For Maine, Jake Rainess started the first two games at shortstop and has appeared in a total of four. He went 2-for-4 in his Feb. 14 debut at Winthrop. Colton Carson worked a scoreless inning against the Eagles on Feb. 16 and then became the first Black Bear rookie to start on the mound when he faced Campbell and Louisiana Tech over the following two weeks.

Australian first baseman James McCallum quickly showed off his powerful swing with four home runs and 12 RBI through his first six games for Saint Leo. He enjoyed his best outing as a Lion last Friday against Sunshine State Conference rival Lynn, going 3-for-5 with five RBI including a three-run bomb.

Elsewhere in Florida, Flagler lefty Jett Walsh pitched scoreless baseball in four of his first seven relief outings. He fanned a pair in a two-inning outing for the second time in 2020 during Sunday’s win over Augusta.

Also at the Division 2 level, two of Stonehill’s top three starting pitchers will join the Navigators this summer. Colin Jaena collected his first win with the Skyhawks last Sunday after limiting Concordia (N.Y.) to a single run in 5.1 innings. Former Swampscott standout Luke Marshall posted a quality start two days earlier, striking out five Bentley batters over six frames of one-run ball.

Franklin Pierce’s Jack Wallace worked back-to-back games without allowing an earned run out of the bullpen after slotting in as the Ravens’ No. 4 starter to begin the year. The Winthrop native struck out two last Sunday against fellow Northeast-10 Conference foe Adelphi to raise his season total to 10 over just 4.1 innings.

After winning three games and saving another during the fall, Will Carpenter got the start in two of Fisher’s first three contests this spring and struck out 10 batters in six innings.

Inside Corner is a weekly notebook about the North Shore Navigators written by director of media relations Joshua Kummins. Follow him on Twitter @NSNavsMedia for updates on Navs players past and present and the Futures Collegiate Baseball League.