Dallastown grad has career-best effort in crucial NCAA Division I baseball playoff win

Nick Parker

Dallastown High School graduate Nick Parker picked a perfect time for a career-best performance.

The senior right-hander struck out a career-high 10 batters over a career-long eight-inning effort to help Coastal Carolina to a 9-1 win over East Carolina on Sunday night.

The victory came in the NCAA Division I Greenville Regional Tournament in North Carolina.

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"He pitched one of the best games he's pitched in his career here," Coastal Carolina coach Gary Gilmore said after the game in a news conference. "He was in command of everything he did. Just awesome."

The opposing coach was also impressed with Parker.

"He pitched his tail off," East Carolina's Zach Agnos said about Parker. "He had just about everything working. He's a heck of a pitcher, man."

The intense contest did have a light moment for Parker.

According to multiple reports, the umpires inspected Parker's hat and glove during the game to check for a possible foreign substance that would allow him to doctor the baseball. 

"The one umpire asked me what kind of shoes I had on," Parker said. "I said: 'Under Armour.' He said, 'I'm just playing with you. Just be relaxed.'"

The same two teams played a winner-take-all game on Monday afternoon. Unfortunately for Parker and his teammates, that outcome didn't end as successfully. East Carolina beat Coastal Carolina, 13-4x. The Pirates (45-19) advanced to the super regional round of the NCAA D-I playoffs, while the Chanticleers' season came to an end.

Sunday's win vs. East Carolina was the second of the day for the Chanticleers, who had earlier beaten No. 2 Virginia, 7-6. Coastal Carolina had won three consecutive elimination games before falling on Monday. The Chanticleers also had snapped the 20-game winning streak for No. 8 East Carolina.

Against the Pirates on Sunday, Parker allowed three hits, walked two and hit one batter while throwing a career-high 126 pitches.

For the season, Parker finished at 6-3 with a 4.45 ERA. He was second on the team in wins and innings pitched (85) and third on the team in strikeouts (81). Over the course of his career, Parker is 13-9 with a 4.81 ERA. He has 182 strikeouts in 219 innings.

Even though Parker is a senior, he does have a year of eligibility remaining if he chooses to return to the Chanticleers after most of the 2020 season was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

During his standout high school career at Dallastown, Parker was a key member of the 2017 Wildcats team that advanced to the PIAA Class 6-A title contest.

Coastal Carolina finished at 39-20-1 overall this season.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @ydsports.