South Kingstown alum Jack Pincince capped off a fine freshman campaign on the Johnson & Wales volleyball team by picking up a pair of end-of-season honors from the Great Northeast Athletic Conference.

The former Rebel was tabbed as the league’s Rookie of the Year to go along with the pair of rookie of the week awards that he garnered during the course of the campaign.

Pincince was one of the offensive sparkplugs on the court for the Wildcats, racking up 252 kills, 509 total attacks and 296.5 points, all good for second on the team.

In addition to being named the GNAC’s best first-year player, the outside hitter also earned a berth on the all-conference second team as one of a quartet of JWU players to be so honored. Among them was North Kingstown’s Josh Pitzer, who earned a third-team nod.

The 2019 season came to an end for the Wildcats on April 11, courtesy of a five-set defeat to Wentworth in the Great Northeast tournament semifinals, with the Leopards eliminating JWU at the semifinal stage for the third straight year.

Baseball debuts

The freshman seasons on the baseball diamond for Jack Betts and Nick Niles have been a picture in contrast, with one seeing regular playing time and the other largely playing the waiting game.

Betts, a Narragansett product who is currently suiting up for Salve Regina, has played in 22 games thus far for the Seahawks, starting on a regular basis at third base but also occasionally appearing at first base.

In 78 at-bats, the ex-Mariner is hitting at a .308 clip with a double and 15 RBI, while stealing three bases and scoring 22 runs, with the latter placing fourth on the team.

One key reason why Betts has earned his opportunity this spring is that he has possessed an uncannily patient eye at the plate; he has only struck out four times to date.

Another is his willingness to find a way to get successfully get on base, going through a 15-game streak from March 14 to April 12 in which he managed to get aboard at least once, picking up a hit in all but one contest during that stretch.

Further afield, Narragansett native and Prout graduate Niles is trying to make a name for himself on the pitching staff at Clarkson, making a start and three further relief appearances for the Golden Knights.

In his lone starting appearance, which came on March 20 against Stevenson during Clarkson’s early-season trip to Florida, he was rocked to the tune of six runs on seven hits in three-plus innings of work, despite retiring the side in order in the opening frame.

Niles has since worked exclusively out of the bullpen. The righty has received the call in this role three times, most recently in last Wednesday’s 19-6 decision over SUNY-Canton, in which he hurled a scoreless ninth that was capped by a strikeout.

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