2019 CRCBL Pitcher of the Year -- Chase Lee
Date: Aug 13, 2019
By Matt Cohen
Nick Parker doesn’t live with a host family this summer. He doesn’t live in Maryland.
Instead, Parker lives in York, Pennsylvania. At home.
Parker plays for Coastal Carolina. He became a part of the team’s rotations as the season progressed, and ultimately started an elimination game in the 2019 NCAA Tournament. As a freshman.
Playing in Gaithersburg puts Parker just over an hour from home. It gives him a chance to have something he didn’t have in his freshman year at Coastal Carolina, familiarity.
“I have all my trainers at home, my pitching coach at home, and I’m not far away so it just seemed like one of those things that are beneficial to me,” Parker said.
Parker only comes down to Gaithersburg for his own starts. His parents are able to watch him pitch in each appearance. That comes after a college season where they would travel to games hoping to watch their son pitch, but not knowing if he would get a chance out of the bullpen early in the season.
Wearing a Coastal Carolina uniform, Parker’s father, Randy, filmed each pitch of Parker’s outing. His best outing of the summer.
Parker’s ERA stood at 6.51 after his first two stars with the Giants. But as it took him time to find his rhythm with Coastal Carolina, Parker found that same rhythm with the Giants on Saturday night as he took the win in a 3-1 Giants victory over the Herndon Braves.
The Giants improved to 11-12 with the win, working back towards .500 after starting the season 5-1.
Parker threw seven innings against the Braves after going just 9.2 total in his first two starts. He held the Braves scoreless through 6.1 innings and had three three-up-three-down innings. He struck out six over his seven innings of work and walked just one. He allowed five hits and one total run.
“I actually felt terrible before the game,” Parker said. “Didn’t feel great, just one of those days. I just wanted to come out and focus on pounding the zone, pounding hitters. I was able to get a lot of good action on my fastball today and get a lot of ground balls.”
Parker’s manager has been impressed with what he’s seen so far.
"He is a pitcher, not a thrower,” Giants manager Jeff Rabberman said. “He’s really, really good. He had a really good year for Coastal as a freshman, and he’s continued that this summer.”
Harris Williams (San Francisco) was involved in each of the first three runs for the Giants. Williams scored on a walk with the bases loaded, drove in Cade Doughty (LSU) with a double, and scored on a sacrifice fly hit by Tommy Crider (Belmont).
Parker played in 16 games for Coastal Carolina as a freshman, logging over 45 innings and eight starts. His ERA was above 6.00, but Parker did finish with a 2-1 record, including a win over Florida A&M in a Regional elimination game.
Off the field, Parker has one main goal for the summer, getting stronger. Parker has been working on lifting to gain weight and add strength. Long tossing has helped Parker strengthen his arm along with the weights.
Living at home allows Parker to work toward his goal.
Parker has his own trainers and pitching coach at home that can help him get stronger. He schedules time for himself to lift every morning, and he gets the opportunity to eat better than he may have otherwise.
“That’s the biggest thing about being able to live at home, I can eat healthier,” Parker said.
Parker’s ERA dropped about two runs to 4.61 after his Saturday night start. The team’s ERA dropped from 5.98 to 5.75. Rabberman’s pitchers lead the CRCBL in strikeouts, despite not getting big strikeout numbers from Parker in his seven innings.
Injuries have slowed the Giants after the team’s 5-1 start. The injuries have been a factor in the team’s batting average sitting at .224, last in the league. Rabberman believes that his team still has the potential that him so excited through the first six games.
“There’s never a question of effort,” Rabberman said. “They enjoy being around each other, that’s a big deal. That’s gotten us to survive and hopefully get ourselves healthy and make a good run this last half of the season.”