Parrish also throws strikes in spare time Bowie pitcher mows down tenpins as well as batters

October 08, 1998|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

John Parrish has a penchant for throwing strikes.

In baseball, his favorite sport, he tries to get them past opposing hitters and has done it very well, averaging more than a strikeout an inning during three years in the Orioles farm system.

In tenpin bowling, he has rolled a sanctioned 300 game and carries a 200-plus average in league play at home in Lancaster, Pa.

"Baseball is my first love," said the Bowie Nationals' left-hander. "I've given bowling [professionally] a thought a few times because it came to me easier than most young guys.

"But bowling is pretty hard because you need sponsors. And it's something you can do when you're older."

For now, Parrish, 20, is making a steady advancement and figures to pitch for the Bowie Baysox next summer after going 4-4 with a 3.27 ERA at Frederick. He had a 1.75 ERA in his final four starts.

In his first three appearances in the Maryland Fall League, he struck out 14 in nine innings and allowed only six hits and one earned run. And his first autumn start came in Frederick.

"Going into the opposite dugout was kind of funny. But, overall, it was pleasant to play there as a visitor," he said.

Bowie pitching coach Steve Luebber said Parrish is "deceptive. He's going to get people out with his fastball more than the radar gun says he will.

"He's shown some ability to adjust and goes right after hitters."

A 25th-round pick in 1996, Parrish was able to continue doing bullpen work when he was on the disabled list for two months with the Keys because of a damaged tendon in his right hand.

He played in Hawaii last fall -- the Maryland League replaced that location -- and said this year "is just different. There was a lot more to explore over there. I'd already explored Pennsylvania and Maryland."

NOTES: Bowie manager John Tamargo missed the first two weeks of the season while guiding New Orleans to the Triple-A World Series title, then attending to some personal business. Coach Butch Davis filled in as the skipper. Eric Valent (Phillies) of the Delaware Stars, the league RBI leader with 11 after two weeks, and Milton Bradley (Expos) of the Delmarva Rockfish were the first two players of the week. Bradley hit .556 the second week. The first two pitching honors went to Lance Carter (Royals) and David Riske (Indians), both of Delaware. Riske was 2-0 with eight strikeouts in five innings. Pitching has been the dominant factor in the league. Through 457 innings, hurlers had struck out 455 and allowed a .223 batting average. Three pitchers with at least 10 innings had 0.00 ERAs: Carter, Doug Davis (Rangers) and Chandler Martin (Rockies) of Frederick. Mike Glendenning (Giants) of Delmarva and Shawn Gallagher (Rangers) of Frederick shared the home run lead with three and Brian Dallimore (Astros) of Bowie topped the hitters at .450. Of the 32 home runs in the league, Frederick and Delmarva have hit 25 and Bowie and Delaware have allowed 26. The league's biggest crowd was 2,092 for the Delmarva home opener which featured fireworks. That gives the Rockfish a league-leading 1,307 average.

Pub Date: 10/08/98

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