Bulldogs ace finds favor with Florida State

Published August 3, 2006

ZEPHYRHILLS - Mom loves Florida. Dad roots for Florida State.

Caught in the middle, Geoff Parker began siding with his father during the ninth grade.

The Zephyrhills senior still is enamored with everything Seminoles.

Good thing his fastball was popping in the low 90s at a Florida State camp last month.

The Seminoles had seen plenty and invited Parker to return the next week for an unofficial visit, where they extended a scholarship offer. Parker orally committed and will sign a scholarship offer in November.

"The second day I pitched consistently in 90s," Parker said. "Jamey Shouppe brought me up to talk to see (FSU coach) Mike Martin. They said FSU wanted me."

Parker will compete to pitch and has the ability to play third base.

As a junior with the Bulldogs, Parker went 8-2 with a 1.29 ERA. He batted .481 with eight home runs and 35 RBIs. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound right-hander also considered Flagler College and Saint Leo.

"They were looking for a kid who can throw the ball upper 80s and 90s consistently," Zephyrhills coach Bruce Cimorelli said. "They had him clocked at 90, 91. ...I called Coach Shouppe and they were impressed with the curveball.

"I'm just happy for him and his family. Recruiting in baseball is really difficult."

Contact Izzy Gould at igould@sptimes.com