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Former batboy delivers third straight championship to Shammies

David Hiscock/ ActionSnaps.ca - Members of the Shamrocks team which won the 2018 St. John’s Molson Senior Baseball League championship are, from left, first row: Scott Stockley, Dylan MacKenzie, Trevor Clarke, Dave Penney, Greg Barry, Redmond Hunt, Ryan Dooley, Charlie Kelly; second row: Zack Fitzpatrick, Grant Kenny, Brent Power, Graham King, Joel Abbott, Scott Goosney, Mike Dyke, Mattie Murphy, assistant coach Andrew Simmons, assistant coach Peter Cornick and coach Sean Gulliver. Missing from photo are Parker Gulliver, Josh Fifield, Josh Langmead and Ben Murphy.
David Hiscock/ ActionSnaps.ca - Members of the Shamrocks team which won the 2018 St. John’s Molson Senior Baseball League championship are, from left, first row: Scott Stockley, Dylan MacKenzie, Trevor Clarke, Dave Penney, Greg Barry, Redmond Hunt, Ryan Dooley, Charlie Kelly; second row: Zack Fitzpatrick, Grant Kenny, Brent Power, Graham King, Joel Abbott, Scott Goosney, Mike Dyke, Mattie Murphy, assistant coach Andrew Simmons, assistant coach Peter Cornick and coach Sean Gulliver. Missing from photo are Parker Gulliver, Josh Fifield, Josh Langmead and Ben Murphy. - Contributed

17-year-old Graham King tossed complete-game two-hitter in Game 7 of league final

The kid who used to retrieve the bats for Shamrocks not that long ago was back at St. Pat’s Ball Park Sunday night, and delivered a St. John’s Molson Senior Baseball League championship to the green and gold.

Graham King is still a kid — at 17, he’s completing his final year at Gonzaga high school — but his performance in Game 7 of the city baseball championship was the stuff expected of a wily veteran.

King twirled a two-hit gem in a complete game effort as the Shamrocks won the city’s senior baseball championship for the third year in a row, blanking RMM Gonzaga Vikings 4-0.

King struck out one, and issued only a couple of free passes.

David Hiscock/ ActionSnaps.ca - Charlie Kelly of the Shamrocks tried to get around Gonzaga Vikings catcher Gary Dymond to score a run, but was tagged out on the play in Game 7 of the St. John’s Molson Senior Baseball League championship game Sunday night at St. Pat’s Ball Park. The Shamrocks won 4-0 to claim their third straight title.
David Hiscock/ ActionSnaps.ca - Charlie Kelly of the Shamrocks tried to get around Gonzaga Vikings catcher Gary Dymond to score a run, but was tagged out on the play in Game 7 of the St. John’s Molson Senior Baseball League championship game Sunday night at St. Pat’s Ball Park. The Shamrocks won 4-0 to claim their third straight title.

This is the same Graham King who, as a young lad in elementary school, served as the Shamrocks’ batboy.

“Sean (Gulliver, the Shamrocks’ skipper) coached me in mosquito and peewee baseball, and I remember asking him if they needed a batboy,” King recalls.

“It’s pretty cool to look around now and be on the field with guys who were playing then, player like Goose (Scott Goosney) and Stumpy (Scott Stockley), Trevor Clarke and Brent Power.”

In the biggest game of the year, Gulliver had no problem turning to the youngster, who missed all of July this year while enrolled in the SHAD program for high-achieving high school students at Toronto’s Ryerson University.

“Gully emailed me and said Greg Barry was going to start, but if he couldn’t go, I’d start,” King said.

Turns out the southpaw Barry was spent after logging a lot of innings in the playoffs.

“I went to the ball park thinking I’d see some innings of relief,” said King. “Before the game, Gully put his hand on my shoulder and said, ‘Calm down, and go out and throw strikes.’”

“He’s got a live arm for a 17-year-old,” Gulliver said. “He’s probably topping out low 80s.

“But he’s also got a good curve and a change so he was able to keep them off-stride tonight.

“Gonzaga’s arguably the best hitting team in the league, but we have the best defence in the league,” Gulliver said. “I told Graham before the game to hit his spots, move the ball inside and out, let them put it in play and let your defence go to work.

“That’s exactly what happened.”

David Hiscock/ ActionSnaps.ca - Graham King
David Hiscock/ ActionSnaps.ca - Graham King

Redmond Hunt led the Shamrocks at the plate with two hits and a pair of runs knocked in. Andrew Paul and Gary Dymond had the Gonzaga hits as St. John’s baseball wrapped up for the 2018 season.

It was the third straight loss to the Shamrocks in the final for Gonzaga. The Vikings won the 2014 and 2015 championships.

robin.short@thetelegram.com

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