Dallastown junior Nick Parker had some help from his teammates when it came to going through the college recruitment process.
Friday, Parker was the latest member of the Wildcats' baseball team to commit to an NCAA Division I program, verbally committing to reigning College World Series champion Coastal Carolina. He joins seniors Tye Golden (Old Dominion) and Bryant Holtzapple (George Washington) as members on the team to have their college playing careers set.
"They were a lot of help," Parker said about turning to Golden and Holtzapple for guidance during his recruitment. "I especially talked with Tye a lot because I know he's always had some good stories and he's good at explaining things without a biased point of view, because it was kind of between Coastal Carolina and Old Dominion, which is where Tye is going, so it was a hard balance between the two, but I think he did a good job of trying to keep a (biased) view out of it and just helping me choose the right spot."
Parker said he also got some guidance from Dallastown head coach Greg Kinneman, who went through the recruitment process with his son, Brett, who just finished a strong freshman campaign with North Carolina State.
Even though Parker still has two years left with the Wildcats and can't officially sign his letter of intent until next fall, he wanted to get the decision out of the way because he knew that Coastal Carolina was the spot for him.
"I felt like it was a good fit and I was ready to commit," he said. "One of the coolest things about them was that baseball is their sport there. Other places, they'll bring you down for a football game, but when I was there, there was a football game going on, but people were stopping to look at the baseball field and I thought that was pretty cool. .. .Going places bigger like that, I think you have to commit this early, or at least that's what it's starting to trend to."
The Chanticleers have been one of the most consistent programs in college baseball over the last two decades since current head coach Gary Gilmore took over in 1996. In that time, he led the program to 11 Big South Conference titles and 13 berths in the College World Series. This upcoming season will be the team's first in the Sun Belt Conference.
Even though Coastal is coming off a national championship, that played little into Parker's decision.
"I think winning. that takes skill, but it takes a lot of luck to win (the College World Series)," he said. "So, I think it's more just having a good reputation over just having a good season and I think they have a good reputation."
Parker, who plays both shortstop and pitches, will focus on pitching when he goes down south, but said he'll get a shot to also earn a middle infielder role, which is what he wanted.
As just a sophomore in 2016, Paker went 3-0 with a 1.01 ERA and threw a no-hitter in a 10-0 win over Central York. He also hit .377 at the plate with a .468 on-base percentage.
With is college decision behind him, Parker can focus on the Wildcats. He has extremely lofty goals for what he hopes to accomplish during his final two years.
"Win two state championships," he said.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org