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Shammies defend their crown against Vikings, beginning tonight at St. Pat's
Following a weather-related postponement over the weekend, the St. John’s Molson Senior Baseball League 2020 championship final is set to get going today and it may be a series that may be too close to call.
Shamrocks and the Gonzaga Vikings meet in the best-of-seven final beginning 6:30 this evening at St. Pat’s Ball Park.
Game 1 was originally scheduled for Saturday.
Gonzaga is well-rested, having not played since Sept. 12 when the Vikings capped a 3-0 sweep of the Storm in their best-of-five semifinal.
Shamrocks beat Holy Cross Trinity Pub 3-1 in their semifinal series.
This year’s final pairing adds to a long list of Shamrocks-Gonzaga matchups for the league championship. Shamrocks are the four-time defending champions, having beaten Gonzaga three times (in 2016, ’17 and ’18) in finals over the past four years (Shamrocks downed Feildians for the 2019 championship).
In 2014 and 2015, Gonzaga won the title (beating Shamrocks in 2015).
This season, Shamrocks (11-2-2) finished one point ahead of Gonzaga (11-3-1) for first place in the regular season.
The teams match up pretty good up and down the lineup.
According to the league’s final regular-season player stats, Gonzaga had four players (Ryan Sweeney, .471; Gary Dymond, .438; Andrew Paul, .414 and Eric McKay, .407) among the top eight in the circuit in batting averages. The Shamrocks’ Parker Gulliver was ninth in hitting (.395) and Dylan Mackenzie was 12th (.370).
McKay led the league with 22 hits and Mackenzie tied for third with 17. Sweeney was right behind them with 16, while Gulliver had 15.
Matt Parsons of the Vikings led every hitter in the league with 16 RBI, one more than Gulliver. Paul and the Shamrocks’ Greg Barry each had 12 ribbies.
McKay topped the league with 21 runs. Mackenzie scored 14 and Sweeney and Paul 12 apiece.
Sweeney (.618), Paul (.586), McKay (.537) and Dymond (.531) were among the top eight hitters in slugging percentage.
Mackenzie (15 stolen bases) and McKay (8 steals) were the swiftest players in the league.
As for the pitching department, Shamrocks’ Scott Goosney and David Lahey of the Vikings led the league with 5-0 records. Gonzaga’s Dan Connors was 4-1 and Mattie Murphy of the Shammies was 3-1.
All had crisp earned-run averages: Murphy led the league with a 0.99 ERA, Goosney at 1.59, Connors with a 2.74 mark and Lahey at 3.32 (Lahey will throw strikes; he walked only four batters all year; Goosney and Murphy seven apiece).
Gonzaga’s Ben Kennedy led all pitchers with 41 strikeouts.
St. John’s senior baseball champions since 2000
2012, Holy Cross
2010, Holy Cross
2007, Holy Cross