‘Born wanting to play’

Published 12:23am Sunday, April 27, 2014

Parmentier plots his baseball trajectory

Nansemond River High School senior pitcher Mike Parmentier has a unique explanation for why baseball is his favorite sport.

The game gives back: Nansemond River High School's Mike Parmentier has been climbing through the ranks of pitching in Suffolk and is the latest Duke Automotive-Suffolk News-Herald Player of the Week. (file photo)
The game gives back: Nansemond River High School’s Mike Parmentier has been climbing through the ranks of pitching in Suffolk and is the latest Duke Automotive-Suffolk News-Herald Player of the Week. (file photo)

“Mainly because I give to the game, and it gives back,” he said.

Lately, that arrangement has been paying huge dividends for Parmentier. He has been having a stellar final season of high school ball, including a performance on April 16 in which he pitched a complete game in South Carolina against Beaufort High School, throwing 13 strikeouts in a 3-2 win.

For his play in that game, he won the Duke Automotive-Suffolk News-Herald Player of the Week honor.

Of his play against Beaufort, Parmentier said, “I felt really good, and I felt like all my pitches were there in their locations and everything. And of course, I had a great defense behind me.”

“He dominated on the mound,” Warriors head coach Mark Stuffel said. “He threw the ball very well.”

And that has clearly been a trend. Stuffel evaluated Parmentier’s play this season in light of his 5-1 record on the mound and the team’s 9-2 overall mark entering Saturday’s game at Dinwiddie High School.

“It’s gone very well,” the coach said. “We’ve won a bunch of games, and he’s a huge part of why we’ve won a bunch of games.”

It would be hard to beat the early start Parmentier got when it comes to pitching practice.

“I’ve been pitching, basically, since I was born,” he said, noting how he would throw balls even as a young child.

He credited his father, Duane Parmentier, with introducing him to baseball, after which Mike said, “I just basically fell in love with the game.”

“He was just born wanting to play baseball,” Duane Parmentier countered. “I never really introduced him to it. He just knew that’s what he wanted to do.”

Mike Parmentier recalls starting to play organized ball around the age of 4 or 5 at Bennett’s Creek Little League. He said he probably started pitching from the mound when he was 8.

He stayed with BCLL until he was 12, and then spent a couple years with the Nansemond River Pony Baseball League. He played fall ball with the Nansemond River High School junior varsity team as a seventh-grader and then played JV during the regular season from eighth through 10th grade.

He has been a varsity player as an upperclassman and has also played for a showcase team called the Mid Atlantic Pirates.

During all this time, his primary position has been pitcher, and he noted his dad has gotten him the best pitching instructors to aid his development. The work has already paid off beyond the high school level.

“I actually have a baseball scholarship to go to Norfolk State University,” Mike Parmentier said.

He does not play any other sports, putting his sole focus on baseball, and he has a clear goal to go far as far as he can go. While he is at NSU, he said, “I’ll train and everything and just see how far I can go, but my main goal is to get drafted.”

For now, the Warriors are counting on that ambition to help them advance in 2014.

“He’s that every-other-game guy that you rely on to put on the mound,” Stuffel said. “He’s one of our top arms, and really the team goes as far as he takes us.”

Parmentier’s motivation to play his best is a product of “mainly just my love for the game and how much I love playing the sport,” he said, and also because of his family. “They’re always there for me and always there to support me. They also push me to do bigger and better things.”

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