King’s Ransom … Wingate Infielder’s Swagger Paying Off For Turks

Thursday, June 23, 2022
Noah Fleischman
Daily-News Record

Look around the Harrisonburg Turks infield in between outs and you’ll quickly notice shortstop Seaver King.

King, an infielder from Wingate University, is loose standing on the dirt at Veterans Memorial Park, flashing the number of outs the defense has recorded in enthusiastic ways.

He’s calm, but at the same time, having fun. And his body language shows that.

“He has that confidence and that swagger,” Turks outfielder Jaylon Lee said. “That’s who Seaver is. He’s a relaxed, chill guy.”

King just finished his freshman season with the Bulldogs, a Division II baseball power that won the national title in 2021. His outgoing confidence isn’t a surprise. King won the South Atlantic Conference freshman of the year honors this past spring after breaking into the Bulldogs’ starting lineup in mid-March.

The Athens, GA., native batted .381 with 18 doubles, four home runs, and 44 RBIs in his first collegiate season and he hasn’t slowed down since. King’s batting .323 with five doubles, a pair of triples, and 11 RBIs through the Turks’ first 16 games this summer.

King said he started off slow, adjusting to using a wood bat, but it didn’t last long. He went hitless in his first game but recorded a hit in the next five, including three multi-hit contests in that stretch.

In mid-June King strung together four multi-hit games, including a three-hit game against the Staunton Braves on June 15. He’s recorded at least one hit in 12 of the Turks’ first 16 games this summer.

King said his start at the plate was similar to when he broke into the lineup this spring at Wingate, taking advantage of pitches to hit early in an at-bat.

“Coming in as a freshman last year, my approach was to hit early in the count,” King said. “Here, it’s a lot of early fastballs. Sometimes I’m missing those pitches, so I have to figure it out.”

At the beginning of the spring, King didn’t know if he was going to play or not, but once he did, he didn’t look back. This summer, King has been in the Turks lineup for all 16 games, playing second and shortstop.

“Consistently being in the lineup every day helped my confidence and helped me play how I did at Wingate,” King said. “Coming here, I didn’t really expect to play every day. Now that I’ve got the opportunity to do that, it’s awesome. Now I can get into a routine.”

King played second and third while at Wingate, so the innings at shortstop has been an adjustment for him this summer. At shortstop, King said he’s learning how to command the game and be a leader on the field.

Lee pointed out how calm King is when he fields the ball at shortstop, while King said he’s been working on his defense this summer.

King’s flashy out reminders have shown that he’s having fun during his first summer in the Valley Baseball League. He’s producing at the plate for the Turks, holding the league’s eighth-best batting average and sixth most RBIs, while growing on the defensive side of the game.

“So far, it’s been awesome,” King said. “I couldn’t ask anything better for a first summer.