Navs Bats, Arms Spring to Life in Sixth Week of Collegiate Games

03/25/2024 10:03 AM

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

LYNN, Mass. — It was an all-around week for incoming North Shore Navigators players during the sixth week of college play, as some strong pitching performances came together with hitters continuing their strong slugging streaks.

Danny MacDougall (Endicott) returned to form for the top-ranked Division 3 team in the country during its spring trip to Florida, slugging four home runs in as many games to help the Gulls to a 12-1 start this season. MacDougall collected eight hits and 12 RBI over the course of the week, ​including a five-hit day in last Monday’s win against No. 9 Johns Hopkins. The D3baseball.com Preseason All-American also hit two home runs and drove in four against Western New England on Saturday. He closed his week without a single strikeout against him and currently leads the Gulls with 18 RBI on the season.

Staying at the Division 3 level, Navs returnee Sawyer Duarte (Middlebury) struck out seven batters across four innings of work on Tuesday against William Paterson. Duarte started the contest for the Panthers, pitching allowing just one hit in a scoreless outing. His seven strikeouts helped to bring his season total to 22, which leads all pitchers on the North Shore roster so far this spring.

Fellow returning Nav Matt Chatelle (Merrimack) returned to slugging form, collecting his second home run of the season as part of a 3-for-9 week. Chatelle started his week by reaching base three times on a two-run homer and two walks and driving in three last Tuesday against local foe Northeastern. The catcher followed up the midweek effort with a strong Sunday performance to help the Warriors to a Northeast Conference sweep of Maryland Eastern Shore, going 2-for-4 with a double, four RBI and a stolen base. Chatelle took a page out of MacDougall’s book, as opposing pitchers were unable to strike him out all week. 

Brett Dunham (Northeastern) opposed Chatelle and Merrimack in his second start of the season, racking up a career-high five strikeouts across two innings. He allowed just one walk and one hit while surpassing his previous personal-best strikeout total of three, which he also set against his hometown Warriors last season. 

Infielder Brendan Jones (Holy Cross) joined the returning Navs group with a 3-for-3 game in Sunday’s win over Patriot League rival Bucknell. Jones came to the plate five times and reached base in every plate appearance against the Bison as he also walked twice. Jones would come across to score three times, including the Crusaders’ first and go-ahead runs in the 11-5 victory.

Kyle Wolff (Boston College) finished the week going 7-for-15 across four games, including a 4-for-8 stretch in Friday’s ACC doubleheader against No. 19 Virginia Tech. The first baseman from Andover leads the Eagles with a .353 average and ties for the team lead in RBI with 27. Wolff began the week going 3-for-4 with a solo homer in Tuesday’s local rivalry clash with Northeastern before adding his fifth round-tripper of the spring in the Eagles’ next game. He finished Friday’s games with two hits in each, recording a double and triple in the latter. 

Alex Luccini (UMass Lowell) helped the River Hawks open America East play with a 2-for-4 effort against UAlbany on Friday. Luccini logged three RBI with the help of his two extra-base hits, including a double and his fifth home run of the season. The homer gives him a team-leading five and has him tied for the lead among the incoming members of North Shore’s lineup.

It was another blistering weekend for Stetson freshman center fielder Kyle Jones, who turned in a 6-for-13 line in a three-game sweep of Lipscomb. That outburst brought his average from an already-impressive .357 to .378, which leads both the Hatters and incoming Navs hitters. He also leads Stetson with 31 hits and a .531 on-base percentage to open the season. As for this past weekend, Jones started with a 2-for-4 Friday game in which he hit his sixth double of the year and drew a walk. He finished the weekend with two hits in each of the Hatters’ games, giving him nine multi-hit games on the season and a streak of 12 consecutive games reaching base.

Fellow Hatter Zane Coppersmith gave his best on the mound, pitching 2.1 scoreless innings across two games. Coppersmith’s first test came last Tuesday where he was tasked with holding down No. 12 Florida State, pitching a hitless inning. He also tossed 1.1 innings to earn his second win of the season in relief against Lipscomb, lowering his season ERA to 0.93 as a result of six shutout performances.

Another pitcher who stepped up against a ranked opponent was Jack Volo (Georgetown), who threw 1.2 innings without allowing a run against No. 14 Virginia last Tuesday. Volo allowed just one hit against him, marking his fourth consecutive scoreless outing. He has thrown 5.2 innings with a strikeout during that streak. 

Reece Moroney (Rhode Island) remains the Rams’ lone .300 hitter after going 2-for-4 with three runs scored in a 19-15 win over Stonehill last Wednesday. He also drove in two runners while drawing two walks, raising his season walk total to 8 and bringing his batting average to .309.

Fellow infielder Mason Dobie (Dayton) recorded a hit in each of the Flyers’ four games and totaled six against Butler over the weekend, extending his current hitting streak to eight. Dobie’s best performances came during a 4-for-9 Sunday doubleheader in which he hit his fourth home run of the season and moved his RBI total for the season to 21.

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.