North Kingstown (RI)

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR New England Senior Writer

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To view the full list of 2023 Team Previews that we have already completed, please click here.

2023 Spring Team Preview: North Kingstown

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. - Bill Brew understands what he is getting into as the new head coach at North Kingstown - state champions the past two seasons.

“The key was preparation,” the first-year mentor of the Skippers explained about the recent success in the program. “We put players in situations in practices so that when they faced it in games our kids would be able to respond. They were very gritty and didn’t hit many home runs, it was pitching, defense and timely hitting.

“That’s kind of the team we have this year,” added Brew. “We’ll scratch and claw for runs. I’m confident our defense will keep us in games and our pitchers will throw us strikes.”

An assistant in the program the past two years, Brew looks forward to the challenge of being in charge.

“I was fortunate to coach alongside Kevin Gormley and Anthony Ucchi the last couple of years,” noted Brew, who was a varsity assistant coach previously at Coventry. “We have a great group of kids this year that learned from a great senior class about the rigors of the season and they know what they’re getting into.”

An experienced infield, a standout in center field and a pair of pitchers that saw time on the mound a year ago are back to lead North Kingstown, which a year ago finished 25-3 capped off by a 10-7 extra-inning win over Bishop Hendricken for the state championship. 

“I think experience will be on our side,” Brew related. “I think it will be one of our greatest assets. Our formula will be the same: first and foremost throwing strikes, playing defense and putting pressure on the other guys. That’s how we’re built. Every pitch, every out, every play we can make is important. Past success does not indicate current success. But we’re hoping to find that success.”

If so it will come from production by three-year starters Will Brew at second base, Andrew Ciarniello at shortstop and Robinson Lamond in center. Brew is the son of the head coach, Ciarniello, an outfielder the past two seasons with T.J. Gormley (now at Maine) the shortstop, and Lamond, a Wheaton College commit ranked 44th among senior outfielders in New England. Lamond, who hit .333 a year ago, was first team All-Division in 2022 while Brew and Ciarniello were second team.

On the mound, Evan Beattie and Will Draper are being counted on to lead the way with junior left-handers Will Creed and Ben Napoli adding to a deep staff that will be missing last season’s top two pitchers in Evan Maloney, now at Wake Forest, and Braeden Perry, currently at Rhode Island.

“Almost every pitcher is different than the one before,” Brew said of his four hurlers in 2023. “Will Creed throws hard and Ben is a change-of-pace guy. The same with the righty’s, Evan is a hard thrower and Will Draper will keep them more off-balanced.”

Sophomores Tucker Lamond and Ben Davis are expected to handle the staff at catcher with the graduation of Josh Lincort, now at CCRI.

Beattie, a second team All-Division performer last year who batted .300, and Draper will share first base duties with junior Quincy Rome back for his second season as starting third baseman.

Junior Blake Beattie, Evan’s brother, will be in right field with senior Brady Spitzer and junior Hank Martin in left, with Martin, who is coming off surgery, also providing DH duties when not in the field.

“Like the last two groups, these guys are gritty, and they’ve had a lot of experience playing in a lot of high-level games,” Brew said. “With our 2021 team it wasn’t expected, but in 2022 people expected us to accomplish what we did. We had to battle. We saw every best pitcher in the state and we beat them all. It took all 9-10 guys in the lineup to play hard-nosed baseball.”

Brew is looking for the same in 2023.

“Any field we step on will be a game that teams have circled on their schedule,” Brew concluded. “We’ll get everyone’s best shot. Fortunately, the last two seasons we faced that so we know what we’re going to get. Our job as coaches will be to make sure we’re ready for that.

“These guys care for each other and it’s great to see that cohesion between players,” Brew added. “Everyone is rooting for everyone to succeed and it’s not just about themselves.”

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