Slugging Streaks Continue for Navs Hitters in College

03/18/2024 3:48 PM

Until the North Shore Navigators assemble at Fraser Field to begin the 2024 New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) season in early June, the team will be highlighting its incoming players’ top performances each week on nsnavs.com and social media.

Below is the fourth installment of the Navs' College Baseball Report, which will appear weekly on Mondays.

LYNN, Mass. — After last week’s explosion of home runs, incoming members of the North Shore Navigators kept the bats hot and continued their slugging success for another week in the collegiate ranks.

Alex Luccini (UMass Lowell) carried his hot hitting into the past weekend, going 7-for-13 over the River Hawks’ three games at Penn State. The center fielder started his series-long performance by hitting two home runs on Thursday, providing all of the team’s offense in a narrow loss. Luccini expanded his total in Saturday’s series finale as his three-run home run helped Lowell take a 9-0 lead in the first inning and highlighted a 4-for-5 day with five RBI. He holds the team lead in home runs (4) and RBI (14), while ranking second in slugging (.560).

Continuing to swing well was Kyle Wolff (Boston College), who collected eight RBI as part of a 5-for-16 week with three doubles. Wolff got his week started with a 2-for-3 day in last Tuesday’s midweek game against Merrimack, with both hits going for doubles. Wolff also collected a hit in each of the Eagles’ weekend games against ACC foe Pittsburgh, adding another double on Sunday to bring his season total to six. He scored six runs in the series.

Lynnfield native Pat D’Amico (Seton Hall) joined the slew of Navs with five-hit weeks, going 5-for-11 with a season-high three of his hits coming on a three-RBI day last Tuesday against NJIT. D’Amico punctuated that performance with his first home run of the season, giving the Pirates their first two runs in an eventual 14-3 win. D’Amico followed it up with hits in the following games against both Saint Peter’s and Stony Brook, hitting a double in the former game and totaling a .454 average over the three-game stretch.

Fellow Pirate Andrew Bianco went 7-for-19 over Seton Hall’s five games. His success came in threes, collecting a total of three doubles, three RBI and three walks. Bianco put up his own solid performance against NJIT, going 2-for-4 with a double and two walks while scoring each time he reached base. Bianco collected a second multi-hit game with three hits in Friday’s series opener against Stony Brook.

Turning to the pitchers, returning Navigator Pierce Friedman (Stonehill) collected two strikeouts while allowing just one hit on Friday against Northeast Conference rival FDU. The Swampscott native came in to relieve sophomore classmate Jack Iannibelli, who struck out one batter in 1.1 scoreless innings. Friedman’s shutout performance was his second consecutive trip to the mound with two strikeouts. 

Jack Volo (Georgetown) turned in two scoreless and hitless innings against Albany on Friday. Volo collected a strikeout and kept the Great Danes at bay in a 17-3 win for the Hoyas. It was his third consecutive appearance without allowing a run, totaling four innings of relief and lowering his opponent batting average to .150 on the year.

Two other Massachusetts natives also had solid weeks on the mound. Ryan Buckler (Virginia Tech) pitched two innings of scoreless relief, allowing just one hit and striking out one while facing Marist last Tuesday. North Andover’s own Ryan Griffin (Northeastern) made his season debut last Tuesday, finishing a 10-0 win over Sacred Heart with two strikeouts in a scoreless frame.

Returning to the five-hit group, Mason Dobie (Dayton) followed up his breakout performance last weekend with similar results against Eastern Illinois, starting with a 3-for-5 effort with a solo homer while scoring each time he reached base in a 9-6 win on Friday. Dobie’s second round-tripper of the weekend and third of the season came in grand fashion on Sunday as he hit a grand slam and drove in five.

Along with Luccini, several other Navs outfielders continued their recent success. Kyle Jones (Stetson) turned in an 8-for-15 performance across the Hatters’ four games this week. Jones’ weekend was underscored by consecutive three-hit games on Friday and Saturday, going 6-for-8 in those two contests alone. Jones collected two RBI between those two games with a double and finished the weekend series without striking out once. Jones’ strong weekend brought his batting average to .357, which now leads the Hatters along with his .489 on-base percentage.

Brady Dever (Brown) found his own success on Saturday, going 3-for-5 with three RBI against Bryant. Dever drove in three of Brown’s first four runs on the day, including his third homer of the season in the third inning. The freshman set season-high marks in both hits and RBI. Jake Kulikowski (Miami) posted his success against a ranked opponent, hitting his first collegiate home run while drawing a walk against No. 15 North Carolina. He drove in three on his pinch-hit homer for the Hurricanes and has a .944 OPS in his 12 games as a freshman for the Hurricanes.  

The Navigators will return to historic Fraser Field and the NECBL for their 17th summer season in 2024, with first pitch set for Tuesday, June 4. Stay up to date on the latest Navs news — including further updates on current and former players — by visiting nsnavs.com and following the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.