By Ryan Walker, Staff Writer
Forester baseball has had its fair share of successful international players. To name a few: power-hitting Adrian Perez, gold glove winner Gustavo Bonilla, and Daniel Lichty, who won a batting title in 2018 and who has proven to be an elite NAIA talent. All have played within the last year and have had a significant impact on Huntington’s success.
Coach Thad Frame added a new transfer this season from Lake Land College in Ill., Sam Kimmorley. Kimmorley is a silky smooth middle infielder with sneaky power who will find a fair amount of at-bats for Huntington. Unlike our other international players, Sam comes from Canberra, Australia. Flying from there to Huntington takes a day and two hours.
How did he get to Huntington University?
“I had an online profile from my old school,” Kimmorley said, “and just had a bunch of my highlights and what type of player I am. Thad emailed me and talked to me on the phone.”
That’s all he had: a recruiting profile and some highlights to guide him to play at the next level. The advantages athletes have in the United States are often taken for granted, as teams cannot properly scout athletes like Kimmorley due to the travel and expenses of living in Australia.
Australian sports are much different than those in the United States. In Australia, sports are not a high priority like they are here.
“There is really no avenue to play college sports in Australia,” Kimmorley said. “Growing up, I knew I had to come over here to keep playing baseball.”
Each player, if not signed to play professionally out of Australia, will typically travel to places like the U.S. or Canada to go to the next level of baseball. Kimmorley noted that there aren’t college sports in his country, either — that’s why Australian athletes come to the U.S.
For the most part, Kimmorley is doing great since coming over to the United States. There are some obvious cultural differences, but overall the game is the same, and he is very independent.
He already gets along with all of his teammates and shows serious potential for the Foresters this baseball season. Look for Kimmorley to get time in the middle infield and possibly the outfield with some pop in his bat.