The 2018 Northeastern Conference baseball all-stars were announced earlier this week and for the second year in a row, Peabody senior Jake Gustin was named Most Valuable Player. This time, however, the Tanners shortstop shares the honor as co-MVP with Beverly’s Spencer Brown.
Gustin, a Division I commit who’ll play his college baseball at Bryant, helped lead the Tanners to a 12-8 record and another trip to the Division I North state tournament. Gustin leads the team in a handful of offensive categories, while striking out just twice through the entire season. He closed the regular season with a .524 batting average, three home runs, 14 RBI, 19 runs scored and 16 stolen bases batting from the No. 3 spot in Peabody’s order.
He’ll spend the summer with the North Shore Navigators in Lynn.
“I think it speaks volumes for the work Gustin put in from junior to senior year,” Peabody coach Mark Bettencourt said. “He’s probably the best offensive player I’ve coached in high school. Not just for his batting average or the number of hits he has, just how hard he hits the ball. He’s being pitched around so much and he doesn’t see many pitches down the middle. He’s hitting offspeed pitches, pitches two inches off the plate and he’s crushing them.
“He’s not a ‘ra-ra’ captain,” Bettencourt added. “He’s a captain that leads by example. To earn back-to-back MVP’s with the amount of talent that’s in the NEC, that’s pretty remarkable. Spencer Brown’s a very good player. I’m glad the vote went that way. As a coach I’ll miss Jake on so many levels; discipline, character, leadership. You just don’t replace guys like Jake.”
The NEC first team all-stars are: Beverly’s Matt Collins, Medford’s Jack Fargo and Mike Nestor, Gloucester’s John Mondello, Danvers’ Justin Roberto, Classical’s A.J. Luciano, Swampscott’s Luke Marshall and Ryan Graciale, Peabody’s Eric DeMayo and Saugus’ Todd Tringale.
The second team all-stars for the NEC North Division include two Classical players one from English. Sean Devin and Aidan Dow represent the Rams.
“Their hard work and preparation in the offseason put them in a position to have a successful regular season this year,” Classical coach Mike Zukowski said. “Their talent and statistics were noticed by other coaches throughout the league and has led them to being selected. I’m very proud of A.J., Sean and Aidan.”
Briston Maynard represents the Bulldogs.
Beverly landed three players on the team in seniors Nick Berry, Kyle Cravatis and Tim McCarthy. Also on the team are Peabody pitchers Alex D’Angelo and Eddie Campbell, Revere’s E.J. Leone, Medford’s Jacob Whistler and Geno Desimone and Marblehead’s Alex Rosen.
Swampscott landed two second team all-stars from the NEC South Division in Spencer Perkins and Max Pegnato. Danvers has three players representing the Falcons in seniors Justin Nadeau, Zach Dillon and Nick Raimo.
Also on the team are Malden’s Kevin Gilligan, Somerville’s Justin Schofield, Winthrop’s Dan Gillis, Gloucester’s Matt Smith and Jack Sperry, Saugus’ Mike Mabee and Salem’s Bryan Pena and Tommy Beauregard.
Pairings and seeding for the upcoming state tournament are set to be announced Monday.