UW’s post-season dreams could come true considering Kyle Parker’s history in big games. All the freshman did in 2004 was earn a complete game 7-2 win in the Huskies NCAA Regional victory vs. host Ole Miss and win two games for the Aloha Knights at the NBC World Series including a shutout in the Series championship game.
Mr. Parker’s off-season established the right-hander from Yakima, Washington as one of the country’s top collegiate prospects. Parker pitched last summer for the NBC World Series champion Aloha Knights and was a Baseball America second-team Summer All-American selection after going 7-1 with a 2.07 ERA for the Knights and pitching a five-hit shutout against the Alaska Baseball League’s Mat-su Miners in the 70th NBC World Series championship game in Wichita, Kansas.
Parker is the highest rated alum of a WCCBL team to make Baseball America’s collegiate prospect list, as the publication’s 18th rated sophomore.
The Huskies’ starting staff is arguably college baseball’s most formidable as Parker joins Baseball America pre-season All-American sophomore right-hander Tim Lincecum and Parker’s summer teammate junior righty Matt Kasser in the team’s three-man Pac-10 rotation.
WCCBL.COM caught up with the Dawgs’ sophomore sensation, online of course, and asked him an assortment of questions. He kindly responded and below is our first On Campus interview.
WCCBL: What’s your best pitch?
KP: : I would have to say my fastball on a good day. When its on I can force a lot of quick outs, and its a great setup for my other pitches.
WCCBL: What’s your favorite class at the U?
KP: I’ve taken a few interesting Sociology classes, but I’m usually ready for class to end so I can get out to the field and start practice.
WCCBL: What is your major?
KP: Intended Sociology major.
WCCBL: We heard you had CEO attributes, what’s that all about?
KP: Those are just a few qualities that a top notch driver spotted early in the summer. It’s just a joke that traveled around the team this summer.
WCCBL: What was it like to pitch in a national championship game?
KP: It was everything I hoped for and more. I thought it was the best just pitching in the first game I threw in the tournament, but getting a chance to throw in a national championship game, it was unbelievable. It’s hard to explain an experience like that.
WCCBL: What did you like about playing for the Knights?
KP: The biggest quality of the Knights is the way they take care of their players. They have great coaches who push you to win and be successful. The general manager of the Knights, Dan Segel, works very hard and wishes nothing but the best for the every player in their program. On top of that, they have the best sponsorship from Phil and Penny Knight, and most of all they have some great supportive fans.
WCCBL: How did last summer impact your development as a pitcher and person?
KP: Last summer gave me the opportunity to work out a few kinks in my delivery. I changed them at the beginning of the summer and got better every outing from then on. I also got the chance to meet a lot of great players and coaches. I made some great friends over the summer, and we had a lot of fun traveling and playing in different tournaments.
WCCBL: Do you have a mentor?
KP: My pitching coach, Knutson is my mentor. He has made me the pitcher I am today, and he continues to make me better. He’s a great coach.
WCCBL: Are the Huskies for real?
KP: Yes. The Huskies are definitely for real. This team has the most talent of any team I’ve ever played for. We also have a great team relationship which I think is very important to be a successful team.
WCCBL: What do you miss about Yakima?
KP: I really like living in the Seattle area, but its nice to go back home every now and then. I miss my family the most, but they always drive over to see me and take care or me. It’s been really nice to be so close to them.
WCCBL: Where are you playing this summer?
KP: This summer I’m set to play in the Cape Cod League for the Harwich Mariners.
WCCBL: Who is the funniest Husky, besides yourself, and why?
KP: : I would have to say Lentz or Lincecum. You have to be around them at the same time to really see what I’m taking about.
WCCBL: Can UW win it all?
KP: Yes. I think we have a great shot this year. Our team is prepared as well as any other team, and our expectations are to be in Omaha.