With opening night for the Wilmington Sharks set for May 26 inside the Legion Sports Complex, Coach Parker Bangs went back to his alma mater to land a quartet of University of South Carolina’s finest to suit up for the club this season.
Alex Destino, John Parke, Reed Scott, and Matt Vogel will make the three-hour drive from Columbia, South Carolina, to spend the summer at the Shark Tank.
Bangs, a member of the Gamecocks 2010 national championship team, used his connections to the Garnet and Black to his advantage as second year coach of the Sharks.
“South Carolina has been one of my pipelines that’s been very beneficial for both sides,” said Bangs. “They get to send some younger guys to a coach they trust in order to get some reps in over the summer, while we get some talented baseball players to help us win games in Wilmington.”
Parke and Vogel greatly contributed out of Shark’s bullpen in the summer of 2014, and Bangs has high expectations for the returning Gamecocks.
“John is a big, strong kid with a good arm and good stuff. He’s got the potential to help us tremendously,” said Bangs. “Hopefully, with an extra year of seasoning he can build off a solid spring and be one of our go-to starting pitchers throughout the season.
“Matt Vogel is going to be our closer this summer. He has some big shoes to fill in terms of replacing Kyler Stout, but with the talent Matt brings to the table he should have no problem continuing that theme of having big-time arms at the back end of the pen.”
Scott, a 6-foot-1 right handed sophomore from Marietta, Georgia, has posted the second best ERA for the Gamecocks this year. His 3.20 ERA comes in 22 appearances, totaling just over 50 innings for the season. Scott has held SEC opponents to a .284 batting average.
Before arriving to Columbia for his freshman season, Destino of Weaverville, was named 2014 Louisville Slugger High School All-American, and rated the No. 2 best high school prospect in the state of North Carolina by Perfect Game USA. He’s continued to impress for South Carolina by batting .258, posting an on-base percentage of .295, and knocking in 35 RBIs in his freshman campaign. His slugging percentage of .405 is a result of 42 hits, 12 for extra bases.
The Sharks host the Edenton Steamers at 7:05 tonight to begin their 2015 season. This will be the first of 28 home games this summer. Click here for more information about roster, schedule and ticket information.