NEWPORT — One team has emerged as the class of the Newport Collegiate Baseball League, and former South Kingstown High School standout Shaun Gamelin has been a big part of the success.
A rising junior at Rhode Island College, Gamelin hasn’t allowed a hit or a run in six innings of relief and has saved a pair of games for the Kettlebottom LLC Orange Team, which sits at 8-0 heading into the fourth week of the summer season.
Gamelin was the ace of the staff for the 2017 South Kingstown High School baseball team, which finished as the state runner-up. He started his collegiate career at Fitchburg State before transferring to RIC, where he sat out the 2019 season. This spring, he had picked up two saves in three appearances when the season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It was very disappointing,” Gamelin said. “We had a good group of guys. It’s unfortunate that it happened, but it is what it is.”
His summer plans were also scrapped when the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League canceled its season, but the Newport league opportunity arose soon after.
“I was so pumped,” Gamelin said. “With the spring season getting canceled, summer ball getting canceled, my hopes were kind of down. When I got the email saying, ‘Hey, there might be potential for this summer league,’ I was very happy.”
RIC head coach Frank Holbrook is coaching the Fishers Island Lemonade White Team in the league. NCAA rules prohibit coaching your own players in the summer, but a host of RIC players are signed on with the other clubs. Gamelin and Nate Vigeant are on the Orange Team, Paul Bailey’s Brew Crew features Erry Baldayac, Anthony Scivola, Terry Murray, Alex Martinez, Rommy Morel and Joey Coro, and Seth Daly is on the Southcoast Health Black Team.
Gamelin’s Orange club has rolled so far, posting the best batting average in the four-team league and the second-best team ERA. While a few different players have earned saves, Gamelin has been tasked with protecting the slimmest leads, and he’s done it well. Only two batters have reached base against him, both on walks, and the right-hander has struck out 10 of the 20 batters he’s faced. His fastball has hit the low 90s on the Cardines Field radar gun.
The closer role suits Gamelin well.
“Competitive juices are always flowing, whether it’s wiffle ball in the backyard or we’re out here in a one-run game,” Gamelin said. “It’s always the same.”
In addition to being part of a big RIC contingent in the league, Gamelin is also one of several former South Kingstown stars on the field. Liam McGill, Blaine Lidsky and Bo Brutti are all playing.
“I was able to catch up with Blaine last game,” Gamelin said. “That was nice, because I haven’t seen him in a while.”
Three weeks remain in the regular season, with the playoffs to follow. Gamelin is hoping to remain on the winning track.
“I’m just trying to stay healthy, working on some of the small things like walks, working on mechanics as always,” Gamelin said. “It’s good to be back out here.”