Parks keeps producing for Cougars in baseball

Tyler Parks of Southwestern Randolph makes a throw in the field earlier this season. (Randolph Record)

ASHEBORO – Tyler Parks is trying to make the most of his final games in high school baseball.

The Southwestern Randolph senior has quite a bit ahead of him, but there are immediate matters that are important for now.

“I just try to live in the moment and enjoy high school and not really think ahead,” Parks said. “I’m trying to just have as much fun as I can right now. Hopefully, we can get to win some games and that will be a whole lot more fun for me.”

Parks, an infielder, is a North Carolina signee, so Division I baseball is in his future.

“He’s relaxed,” Southwestern Randolph coach Ethan Parks said. “He’s not worried about being the Carolina guy.”

Parks, who also has played for Randolph County Post 45 on the American Legion level, said he knows his status might gain him extra attention from opposing pitchers. He tries to stick with what works for him.

“The more I see pitching, the better I feel at the plate,” he said. “My pitch selection, going up there and finding the best pitch to hit, not wasting that pitch. It’s not settling for something I don’t really want to hit.”

Southwestern Randolph senior Tyler Parks (Bob Sutton/Randolph Record)

Parks’ numbers look good going toward the final stretch of the season, with a .434 batting average and team-best marks in on-base percentage (.565) and runs batted in (22). He has homered twice, belted five doubles, scored 20 runs and recorded 11 stolen bases.

“He has been consistent,” Marsh said.

That has come with holding a key spot in the heart of the team’s lineup.

“I see a lot of off-speed. That’s normal. That’s going to happen,” Parks said. “It’s a little different. Sometimes it’s tough.”

Parks has played shortstop and occasionally been a pitcher for Southwestern Randolph. On past summer teams, he usually played as a third baseman, second baseman or outfielder.

The Cougars entered the final week of the regular season with a 9-10 overall record. A four-game winning streak ended with last week’s 9-1 non-conference home loss to state power Orange.

“I think we’ve just got to find a way to put it together,” Parks said. “We’ve got a lot of young guys in the mix. Find a way to play clean defense and put the bats together and get it all rolling.”

By Bob Sutton