Local Trio Returning to Navs in 2019

02/18/2019 3:32 PM

LYNN, Mass. -- The North Shore Navigators will have three familiar faces on their 2019 roster as St. John’s Prep grad Zach Begin, former Danvers standout Andrew Olszak, and Swampscott native Gavin Sullivan have all signed with the Futures Collegiate Baseball League club for the second consecutive summer.

Director of Player Procurement Joe Gill made Monday’s announcement. Including these three returnees, a total of 14 players have officially been named to the team’s 2019 roster.

“Andrew and Zach were key members of our lineup and pitching staff last year, and Gavin was strong on the mound during his short time with us,” said Gill. “Having players with FCBL experience is crucial in building our roster, and it’s a bonus that all three of these guys call the North Shore home. I’m excited to welcome Andrew, Zach, and Gavin back to Navs Nation to serve as leaders for our ballclub.”

Begin joined the Navs after an impressive freshman season at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine and was a regular on the mound, going 1-1 with a 3.55 ERA over a team-high 14 appearances. The Georgetown native struck out 44 batters in 45.2 innings of work, ranking sixth in the entire FCBL and second on North Shore’s staff. Among all Division 3 pitchers in the FCBL last season, only the Navs’ Shayne Audet (New England College) had more strikeouts than Begin.

Begin, who went 1-0 with a 3.11 ERA as the top starter for St. Joe’s last spring, posted the best pitching performance of North Shore’s entire summer in his third of four starts. In a July 20 win at Pittsfield, he pitched eight innings of three-hit ball and struck out 11.

“Returning to the Navs is such a great opportunity,” Begin said. “I loved working with the staff, meeting so many great players, and building relationships so close to home.”

Olszak appeared in 42 games last summer and posted a .223 average with 11 RBI after serving as the regular shortstop during his first two seasons at the University of Southern Maine. He knocked in six runs, logged seven of his 31 hits, and scored four times to help the Navs to a 4-2 record over a six-game stretch in June and early July.

A three-time former Salem News All-Star for his success as a pitcher and shortstop for Danvers, Olszak enters his third collegiate campaign with a .310 career average, 24 doubles, 55 runs scored, and 71 RBI. As a sophomore, he hit .307 and ranked second on the Huskies with 37 RBI.

Sullivan spent a brief portion of last summer with North Shore after completing his scholastic career at Cheshire Academy. He will join the team following his freshman season at Stetson University, a Division 1 program that won 48 games and advanced to the NCAA Super Regional round last season.

The former Big Blue standout and two-time Western New England Prep Pitcher of the Year will look to pitch out of the bullpen for the Hatters this spring. Sullivan made one start and one relief appearance for the Navs last summer, allowing one earned run and striking out two over a total of 4.2 innings.

Stay tuned as the Navigators will be announcing more additions to the roster in the coming weeks and months in preparation for the 2019 season. The team’s home opener at Fraser Field is slated for Saturday, June 1.