Prep Baseball Report

2024 Spring Team Preview: North Kingstown (RI)

Bruce Hefflinger
New England Senior Writer

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2024 Spring Team Preview: North Kingstown (RI)

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. - State appearances are becoming an every-year occurrence at North Kingstown.

After taking home Division 1 state championships in 2021 and 2022, North Kingstown made it to the state semifinals in 2023. Head coach William Brew has high hopes that more success awaits in his second season at the helm.

“We have a great mix of returning players and young players,” noted Brew, who was an assistant coach in the program during the two state title runs. “We have a team-first attitude where players are willing to play out of primary positions for the success of the team.”

The team ERA leader from last season, Ben Napoli, is back as is the team win leader, Will Creed, giving the Skippers a lot of experience on the mound. Both left-handers, Napoli had a 2.45 ERA in 2023 while Creed, a University of Rhode Island commit, finished with a 4-1 record.

Two other seniors, Quincy Rome and Blake Beattie, are being asked to take on leadership roles. Rome, who batted .418 last season, will move from third base to shortstop while Beattie will bring outstanding defensive play to right field.

Another returnee is junior Ben Davis, a first baseman who hit .263 a year ago. Davis also saw time on the mound with a 1.26 ERA.

“The team captains - Ben Napoli, Blake Beattie, Quincy Rome and Will Creed - have set the standard for practice expectations and the team has responded in a positive way,” Brew noted. “The younger players are eager to learn and take coaching well. This is a very unselfish group that has team goals ahead of any personal expectations.”

Brew points to a foursome of promising players - Rock Arnold, Brendan Venditto, Christopher Ciarniello and Tucker Lamond - that will be needed to fill the shoes for the loss of four key members of the 2023 team, including Rhode Island Division 1 Player of the Year Robinson Lamond, a center fielder who hit .429 and is now at Wheaton College. Also gone are right-handed pitcher Evan Beattie (3.02 ERA, Roger Williams University), second baseman Will Brew (.403) and shortstop Andrew Ciarniello (.475).

“Although young in terms of playing experience, they have gelled as a team quicker than expected,” noted Brew.

A freshman, Arnold will start at second base with the graduation of Will Brew.

“Rock is an extremely talented fielder and has a veteran presence at the plate,” the North Kingstown head coach said about the promising ninth grader.

Venditto will play center field and pitch while fellow sophomore Ciarniello will play third and pitch.

“Brendan had some experience as a freshman and is poised to help out on the mound and at the plate,” Brew said. “Ciarniello had some experience as a freshman as well and will also help out on the mound and at the plate.”

Lamond, a junior, will be the starting catcher.

“Player development is the biggest focus of our program,” Brew noted. “We have well-structured practices with an emphasis on individual instruction as well as team offensive and defensive strategies.

“Our pitching and defense have traditionally been our program's strength and should be again this year,” added Brew. “Putting balls in play and creating offensive opportunities will be important to winning games.”

Coming off a 14-4 season, Brew’s crew is looking for more in 2024.

“The league seems to have a lot of parity this year,” Brew concluded. “Every game will be a grind and it will take mental and physical toughness to remain competitive. This group has a one pitch at a time mentality which I hope keeps our focus where it needs to be.”

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