Parker Messick Plant City’s ace led the way to a 1-0 win on Feb. 22.
Parker Messick got into a classic pitchers’ duel with Dyland Simmons of Trinity Christian Academy on Feb. 22 and came out ahead. In six innings of work, Messick struck out 13 batters while giving up just one hit and no walks. He will play for Florida State University — along with Simmons — this fall.
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How were you feeling, going out there on Friday night?
It was great. I really wanted to get the win for our coach (Mike Fryrear) because him and coach Gil (Morales) are so close and it’s just always a challenge trying to beat that team. We came together as a team and finally got the win. It was the first time, I think, we’ve ever beaten them.
What did it take to get the team to come together in the eighth inning and get the job done?
When you’re coming off the mound in a game like that, you just rally your team together and say everybody gets together… it starts with the seniors. It gets everybody together to rally the team, “pick Parker up, let’s go, we’ve got to score for him.”
I’ve heard that when you’re getting ready for a game, you put your headphones on and won’t talk to anyone. Not even your family. How true is that?
That’s 100 percent true. I feel bad sometimes, but I don’t even talk to my coaches before the game. I mostly listen to Phil Collins, “In the Air Tonight,” pretty much the whole time and I go to work. I stretch, I do my routine, I get in the zone.
So if, like, your grandmother comes to visit and she brought you your favorite pie to eat, she’s getting the cold shoulder when the Beats are on?
I’d give her a slight wave. I blew my mom a kiss (Feb. 22), but that’s pretty much all she gets.
What are your expectations for the team this year?
Coming off that win, it’s pretty exciting. That’s what we wanted from the preseason, going straight into the season. Just coming in hot, I want to carry that into the season.
What are your personal goals for 2019, before you head up to FSU?
Win every game I can, no matter what. Throw as many strikeouts as I can. Hit as many bombs as I can. Win every game.
What’s the best thing about playing with this group of guys?
There’s no one else I’d rather play for. I’ll win or die for this team. I love these guys, I’ve played with them all my life and there’s no other guys I’d rather win the district championship, regional championship or state championship with. No other guys.
What sets this team apart from others you’ve played with?
Team camaraderie. We’re best friends. We hang out with each other all the time. We’re always with each other, on or off the field, and we just push each other in the classroom and on the field to be our best. That’s what’s gonna carry us, I think.