College notebook: Locals putting talent on display for Quinnipiac baseball

  • Evan Vulgamore

  • Derek Goldrick

  • Kurtis Stadnicki

  • Debra Morrill

  • John Stark's Derek Goldrick (23) throws a pitch during Thursday's baseball game at John Stark Regional High School in Weare on May 31, 2018. John Stark defeated Merrimack Valley, 7-0. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) ELIZABETH FRANTZ—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 3/14/2019 12:03:10 AM

When Evan Vulgamore left Bow High School for Quinnipiac University in 2016, the perennial All-State catcher wasn’t himself. He had recently undergone Tommy John Surgery that winter after suffering a devastating injury – a torn ulnar collateral ligament – while playing catch at the Concord Sports Center.

Just a few seasons later, Vulgamore has regained his promising form and looks poised to build off his breakout campaign from a year ago in Division I for the Bobcats.

Vulgamore, a 5-foot-10 junior infielder, is well on his way to another strong season for Quinnipiac (4-7) after setting career-high marks across the board in 2018. Looking comfortable at the plate for the first time since arriving on campus, Vulgamore started 53 games last season, hit .298 with 40 RBI and finished tied for third in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with 10 home runs.

Through 11 games this year entering Wednesday, Vulgamore hasn’t lost a step.

Hitting cleanup for the Bobcats, Vulgamore has a .279 average in 43 at-bats and still has plenty of pop, which was on full display when he collected four extra-base hits (two doubles, two home runs) in a victory over Norfolk State on March 1.

While Vulgamore is getting comfortable, another New Hampshire talent is just getting settled in at Quinnipiac.

Derek Goldrick is in his first season with the Bobcats following a dominant finish to his high school career at John Stark. The 6-foot-5 hurler struck out 76 batters in 43⅔ innings for the Generals in Division II a season ago and was a force at the plate as well, hitting .380 with five home runs, five doubles and 18 RBI.

With the Bobcats, Goldrick will primarily be used as a pitcher. He made his collegiate debut on Tuesday against Florida Atlantic and the hard-throwing righty allowed three runs and two hits over three innings while also picking up his first-career strikeout at the college level.

Catching up with Concord

Kurtis Stadnicki was a stalwart behind plate for the Tide baseball team during his four-year career and now he’s trying to do the same at Division I Merrimack College.

Concord’s senior captain, NHIAA D-I First Team All-State pick and a USA Today First Team All-New Hampshire selection last year, Stadnicki is off to a red-hot start with the Warriors.

Listed as the team’s starting catcher, Stadnicki entered Wednesday 7-for-21 at the plate with seven RBI and two doubles. Stadnicki has also yet to make an error behind the plate in 49 total chances while throwing out four runners on the basepaths.

Two former Tide stars Stadnicki knows well have also just kicked off their college careers.

Griffin Gilbert, a freshman on the Fairleigh Dickinson University baseball team, made his debut at Cal State Bakersfield on Sunday and tossed a scoreless eighth inning of relief for the Knights. Jacob Knowles, another talented pitcher out of Concord, is at the Wentworth Institute of Technology where he made his first appearance on March 3 and has thrown 4⅔ innings on the season.

Budding star at SNHU

Bow native and Bishop Brady graduate Tom Blandini, the do-it-all infielder for the Southern New Hampshire University baseball team, had the pleasure of enjoying a run through the NCAA Division II College World Series last year for a surging Penmen team.

SNHU won 31 of its last 39 games, completely turned its season around and watched as Blandini blossomed from a bench player to a Northeast-10 Baseball All-Conference Second Team selection with a .325 average, 49 RBI, 51 runs, 13 doubles, 10 triples, 15 steals and a pair of homers.

Ten games into his junior season and Blandini isn’t slowing down, and neither are the Penmen.

SNHU is off to a 12-3 start and Blandini is 9-for-32 (.281) through his first 10 games. He’s already added a home run, four steals and five RBI to his season line, scoring eight times as a pivotal piece at the top of the Penmen’s lineup.

And SNHU is doubling down on the Blandini family, bringing in Tom’s younger brother, Connor Blandini, to the program after he completes his senior season at Bow High this spring.

Three’s company at PSU

The Concord duo of seniors Debra Morrill and Cassidy Emerson have been instrumental for the Plymouth State softball team since their arrival. Add in fellow senior and Pembroke native Hannah Seidner, and it’s clear how much the local trio have impacted the Panthers.

Seidner, the former Pembroke Academy star, was an LEC First Team All-Conference pick last season after hitting .330 with five doubles and five RBI, all while playing an errorless year in the outfield defensively.

Seidner, who also briefly attended NHTI before making the move over to Plymouth, is 5-for-23 to start the season for the Panthers (3-7).

Emerson has been an All-Conference selection in each of the past two seasons, getting a First Team nod in 2017 before making Second Team last year. A run-producing bat in the middle of PSU’s lineup, Emerson churned out 24 RBI last season in 116 at-bats and is off to a .292 start to her senior season.

Morrill had her season cut short last year by injury, appearing in just 18 games a season after batting .346. Healthy and back at her shortstop position, Morrill is swinging one of the hottest bats on the team as she’s started the year 12-for-26 (.462) with three runs and a double.

(Jay McAree can be reached at 369-3371, or on Twitter @JayMcAree.)

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