The Dallastown center fielder hit a ball to center field that allowed pitcher Nick Parker to score the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Zach Miller - GameTimePA.com
He still has two years of high school baseball left, but Nick Parker has his mind made up about where he'll play in college.
The Dallastown junior pitcher/shortstop verbally committed to play at Coastal Carolina, located in Conway, South Carolina, he said Friday. The Chanticleers won their first College World Series title last summer.
“Baseball is their sport there," Parker said. "A lot of places, when you visit, they’ll bring you down to a football game because football is bigger. When I was down there, there was a football game going on, but people still stopped to go look at the baseball field.
“They have a strong program, they’ve been good for a while. I really liked facilities there and I felt like I really clicked with the coach.”
Gary Gilmore took over as Coastal Carolina's coach in 1996 and has led the school to 11 Big South Conference championships and 13 NCAA Tournament appearance. The Chanticleers start a new chapter as a member of the Sun Belt Conference this school year.
Parker went 3-0 with a 1.01 ERA last spring and was the winning pitcher in the Wildcats' YAIAA championship game victory against Northeastern. He also started at shortstop and hit .377 with a .468 on-base percentage.
Parker will focus on pitching for Coastal Carolina but still plans to hit and play shortstop, he said. Most players specialize when they reach the college level.
“That was something I really wanted, that I could at least get the opportunity to play two ways," Parker said. "That’s something I’ve done all my life and I don’t want to give up on that right now.”
Parker joins Dallastown teammates Tye Golden and Bryant Holtzapple as current Wildcat players that have committed to play Division I baseball. Golden, now a senior, committed to play at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, before his junior season. Holtzapple, also a senior, committed to play at George Washington University last spring.
“If you find the right fit, there’s no point in waiting because you don’t know what’s going to happen," Parker said. "I was ready to commit, but I still want to go out and win two state championships my last two years.”