Casa Grande High School pitcher Eric Parnow has put a stamp of reality on his dream of pitching in the Pac-12. Surrounded by friends and coaches, the left-hander last week officially signed his Letter of Intent to attend Oregon State University.
The signing ended a hectic recruiting period that saw him contacted and receive officers from a number of different schools.
Parnow said Oregon State offered two things he was most looking for in a college — a Pac-12 member and one with an excellent baseball program. Oregon State with a 52-13 record, a conference championship a trip to the 2013 College World series, met both criteria perfectly.
He was also impressed when he visited the Corvallis campus. “I loved everything about it,” he said.
The senior isn’t sure what he will study, although he is leaning toward kinesiology after taking sports medicine classes at Casa.
Both a reliever and a starter at Casa Grande, he said it really doesn’t matter how he is used at Oregon state. “That is still to be determined,” he said. “I might be a reliever my freshman year. I just want to go there and pitch.”
Baseball is something Parnow has done almost all his life, starting with Boys and Girls Club t-ball when he was just 4-years-old.
From t-ball to Little League to travel ball to the American Legion Leghorns in the summer, the baseball trail led Parnow to the Casa Grande varsity as a sophomore. In his first varsity year, he became primarily the Gauchos’ closer, coming in to finish off Casa wins in a season that saw them win 20 straight games, 12 by one run. He started just two games and completed one of those and recorded five saves with a 1.12 earned run average. He struck out 65 and walked just 19 in 50 innings.
Last spring, primarily as a starter, he suffered from a lack of run support, going 4-3, but with an outstanding 0.89 earned run average. He struck out 64 and walked 23 in 55 innings. In one of the best pitched games ever at Casa Grande, he beat Campolindo, 1-0, in the first round of the North Coast Section playoffs, allowing just three hits over seven innings, while striking out 11 and not walking a batter.
“I love Casa Grande baseball,” he said. “The best thing is being a part of the Gaucho family.
As a sophomore he played on the same team as brother Charlie, considered one of the all-time outstanding Casa Grande defensive center fielders. “That was the best time, playing with my brother, and it as special to take over for him in center field.”
A strong hitter as well as a pitcher, he batted .326 last season.
“wWe have been blessed to have Eric in our program,” said Casa Grande baseball coach Paul Maytorena. It has been a pleasure to see how far he’s come through hard work and determination on and off the field.”
The coach added a reminder that before he moves on to the Pac-12, Parnow has more work to do at Casa Grande. “This is one chapter in the book, but it hasn’t ended,” he said. “We still have a season to go.”