LYNN– The North Shore Navigators added another local product and a franchise-record fifth rising college freshman to their initial 2018 roster on Wednesday, as general manager Bill Terlecky announced the signing of Peabody native and future Bryant University infielder Jake Gustin.
“Jake is another top high school prospect from the area that we’re excited to have join the Navigators for 2018,” Terlecky said. “He comes to us with experience from strong high school and AAU programs, and I’m confident he’ll fit right in and be a strong presence on the infield.”
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound infielder primarily plays shortstop and enters his senior season at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School as the reigning Most Valuable Player in the Northeastern Conference. Gustin, who’s also an alum of former pro Matt Antonelli’s AAU program, hit .409 with two home runs, 17 RBI, 19 runs scored, and nine stolen bases in 23 games for the Tanners last spring. Remarkably, he struck out just twice over the entire season. He also plays point guard on the varsity basketball team at Peabody.
Gustin becomes just the second-ever Navigator from Bryant, following in the footsteps of fellow Peabody native Brandon Bingel, a St. John’s Prep grad who currently pitches in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. He is also the first Tanner position player to commit to a Division 1 school since outfielder Kyle Multner, who played for the Navs following his sophomore season at UMass in 2009.
Gustin will play for the Futures Collegiate Baseball League club before joining head coach Steve Owens, former Navs assistant Kyle Pettoruto, and their New England regional powerhouse in Smithfield, R.I. The Bulldogs won their fifth straight Northeast Conference regular-season title in 2017 and have put together three 40-win seasons over the last five years.
The Navigators also announced recently that a pair of Boston College-bound players will join the 2018 squad in infielder Sal Frelick and first baseman/pitcher Travis Lane.
“Like a few of their BC teammates-to-be, I know Sal and Travis will benefit from spending the summer with us and facing strong competition in the Futures League,” said Terlecky. “Sal is a tremendous athlete, while Travis brings versatility to our club with experience as a pitcher and position player. I look forward to having them both on our roster.”
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound Frelick will join head coach Mike Gambino’s Eagles out of Lexington High School, where he starred at quarterback and helped captain the hockey team in addition to playing middle infield on the diamond. The two-time Middlesex League All-Star hit .408 last spring and was named a Boston Globe All-Scholastic. Frelick recently completed a standout fall on the gridiron, totaling 52 touchdowns en route to becoming Gatorade Player of the Year in Massachusetts, the Globe’s Division 1 Player of the Year, and Middlesex League MVP for the second consecutive season.
Lane has started as a two-way player throughout his career on Kevin Graber’s Phillips Academy squad. The Georgetown native did not allow an earned run over 21 1/3 innings on the mound as a junior, earning First Team All-Central New England Prep honors. He was also named to Perfect Game USA’s Underclass All-America Third Team last spring. In 2016, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Lane helped Andover win its 10th Central New England Prep title, recording two RBI and striking out seven in a complete-game shutout of archrival Exeter.
Frelick and Lane are the fourth and fifth rising freshmen on North Shore’s 2018 roster. Central Catholic senior pitcher Steve Hajjar (Michigan) and catcher Dominic Keegan (Vanderbilt) will also join the club before beginning their collegiate careers. Gustin is the other incoming freshman.
Twelve former Navigators have played their college baseball for the Eagles. Lane’s older brother, Thomas, is a current BC junior and joined classmates Dan Metzdorf and Austin Batchelor on the North Shore pitching staff back in 2015.
The Navigators will be announcing more additions to the roster in the coming weeks and months in preparation for the 2018 season, which begins on May 31.