Former Lynnfield High baseball and football standout Kyle Hawes was honored by the National Junior College Athletic Association April 25 as the national Division III Baseball Player of the Week for the week ending April 22.
Hawes, a freshman outfielder on the Northern Essex Community College baseball team, batted .524 for the week. He smacked five extra base hits, knocked in 16 runs and set NECC single game records for home runs (3) and RBI (12), both in an April 18 game against Mass Bay Community College when he also hit for the cycle. He followed on April 20 with a 3-for-5 (run, RBI) performance against Quinsigamond, then wrapped up the week going 2-for-6 with 3 runs and 3 RBI in a doubleheader against UConn Avery Point on April 22.
On hitting for the cycle, Hawes said he was totally surprised.
“That’s something that happens so rarely, that I never thought I could or would ever do that, not in a million years,” he said. “I needed a triple in my last at bat and my teammates were all joking about it, so I was relaxed and knew it was just a matter of getting good pitch to hit. I probably could have made it home, but my coach (Jeff Mejia) held me at third because the game was already lop-sided, so it wouldn’t have been right to keep going.”
Hawes, a 2017 Lynnfield High graduate and 2017 Cape Ann League First Team All-Star, played for Pioneers coach John O’Brien. He was a key part of Lynnfield’s Division 3 North state tournament run last spring, when the Pioneers advanced to the sectional final before falling to Austin Prep.
Hawes is one of two former Pioneers who play for NECC. Spencer Balian, a 2016 Lynnfield High grad, is also in his rookie season at NECC. Balian is playing primarily at first base for the Knights. Also on the team are Peabody natives Benjamin Irvine, a sophomore outfielder, and Ryan Collins, a sophomore infielder. Collins, in the rarest of instances, also hit for the the cycle in the same game that Hawes reached the feat in. Collins went 5-for-6 with 5 RBI.
Northern Essex is currently in the closing stretch of the regular season. The Knights, currently at 17-12 this season, have a pair of doubleheaders this weekend. They’ll host Bunker Hill Community College for a twin-bill Saturday afternoon (12/2). Sunday afternoon (12/2:30) they’ll visit Massasoit Community College.
NECC has won six straight NJCAA Region 21 titles and last year made it all the way to the NJCAA Division 3 World Series, where the Knights finished as the runner-up.