Gazebo Gazette

It’s a perfect ending to a record-setting career for the National Champion Pearl River baseball team’s Tate Parker (Gulfport; West Harrison). The American Baseball Coaches Association and Rawlings Sporting Goods announced Monday that the record-setting PRCC center fielder has been named the NJCAA Division II Player of the Year. 

The honor adds another to the list that Parker has compiled this season. He has already been named NJCAA First Team All-American, First Team All-MACCC and All-Region 23. He also took home MACCC Player of the Week honors twice during the year. 

“What a perfect end to an unbelievable two years at Pearl River,” PRCC coach Michael Avalon said. “He was the same guy every day; hardworking, humble, and handled all the expectations. As his 2022 National Champion Team will live in the history books forever, so will Tate — the greatest two years for a player in Pearl River history.

The ABCA’s All-America committees in each respective division selects the Players of the Year.

The right-handed hitting Parker made an immediate impact for the Wildcats upon his arrival at Pearl River, finishing his 2021 freshman season with a .386 batting average, .476 on-base percentage and .829 slugging percentage. He blasted 18 home runs, collected 65 RBIs, walked 21 times and stole 10 bases.  

For his efforts, he was named NJCAA First Team All-American, MACCC Player of the Year, First Team All-MACCC and All-Region 23. 

Returning as a sophomore, it was hard to expect Parker to replicate such an incredible season, but he managed to turn in an even better performance than the year prior.  

Parker helped lead the Wildcats to their first NJCAA DII National Championship in program history while holding a .450 batting average, .531 on-base percentage and .820 slugging percentage. He collected 76 runs, 65 RBIs, 29 walks, 19 home runs and 18 stolen bases to go along with his slash line.  

His .450 batting average is now tops on the single-season Pearl River leaderboard. His 19 home runs this season pushed his career total to 37, making him the PRCC leader for career home runs.

Following the season, Parker committed to Southern Miss.