Mike King may very well have a long career in baseball, but it’s unlikely he’ll ever forget how special his senior year was at Bishop Hendricken.
“It was a great year,” King said. “Everyone says to really cherish your senior year because it goes by quick.”
There’s a lot to cherish. King was named a preseason high school All-American by Sporting News magazine back in March.
Once the season started, he backed up the lofty expectations. As the ace of the Hawks’ pitching staff all season long, he posted a .31 earned run average during the regular season in leading Hendricken to a perfect 18-0 record.
Along the way he was named Rhode Island’s Gatorade Player of the Year, signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Boston College and led the Hawks’ to a second consecutive state championship.
He went 4-0 during Hendricken’s postseason run, including a dazzling effort in the Hawks’ 5-1 victory in game one of the state championship series over North Kingstown.
“Mike King is basically almost a guaranteed win every time he steps on the mound,” Hendricken head coach Ed Holloway said.
As one of the most experienced returners from last season’s state championship team, King was named a captain this season and had to take on a leadership role with the pitching staff. He was the clear-cut No. 1, but after him was sophomore Mike McCaffrey and senior Dillon Manfredi, who had been seldom used at the varsity level.
King helped them get used to their roles, and the result was the best pitching staff in the state.
“He was a great leader for us,” Holloway said. “He took the lead of the pitching staff. He’s a great teammate for the pitchers, and they worked hard.”
When King enrolls at Boston College in the fall, he’ll be continuing a long tradition of Hendricken players moving on to play at the Division I level.
He knows he has to step up his game some, but if his senior season in high school was any indication, he’ll be just fine.
“At this level, I could miss a spot and still get away with it because the ability isn’t as good,” King said. “I think that I really need to be specific on where I pitch it and I need to develop my changeup. I’m only fastball, curveball right now. It’s going to come down to a lot of work in the fall with the coaches now. I think I’ll be fine. They’ll help me out.”