Quiet leader: Parker Lowe excels with his glove, versatility
Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 2, 2023
By Jay Spivey
For the Clemmons Courier
Senior Parker Lowe of West Forsyth isn’t going to wow you with his size and strength on the baseball field.
But what he will do is do all that is asked of him to help the Titans.
“Parker’s pretty quiet,” Coach Brad Bullard said. “For me, he’s more of a leader by example. He’s not very vocal. But he’s always going to do what the coaches ask of him. He’s a great teammate.”
A prime example for helping the Titans was last season, when Lowe, who is usually a second baseman, was asked to switch positions.
“Last year for example, having Reid Withers and Payton Martin, Parker’s really a middle infielder, but we were really good last year, and those two kids were really good,” Bullard said. “And I told Parker, I said, ‘We really need you to slide to third base.’
“And you never know how that’s going to be perceived when you’re talking to a kid who’s always played middle infield. We slid him to third base, and he had a phenomenal year. Honestly, probably one of the best defensive third basemen I’ve coached.”
None of that fazed Lowe. He just did what Bullard and the rest of the coaching staff asked of him, and the Titans finished last season 25-6 overall, including 11-3 in the Central Piedmont 4-A, and lost in the NCHSAA Class 4-A quarterfinals to Charlotte Providence.
“I was a second baseman my whole life,” Lowe said. “And I played a little third base last year for the West team and that was my first time ever doing that. So, I’ve been a second baseman, and I’m going to be playing second base again this year.”
Despite being modest, Lowe knows that the best way he can help the team is with his glove.
“Defensively, that’s always been my strong suit,” he said. “I was always a really small kid growing up, and when you’re small you don’t hit for a lot of power, and you take pride in your defense and being able to make plays.”
According to Lowe, going through the experience last season of changing positions for the betterment of the team was nothing but positive.
“It was an amazing experience last year being able to play on a team that good,” Lowe said. “That was probably the most talented (team) I’ve ever played with, in general. Having a bunch of — we had a bunch of people go play in college and one (Martin) go play in the pros (drafted the
Los Angeles Dodgers), it was nice to be a part of that and no matter what I did, I had those guys behind me.”
The Titans don’t have team captains, but there are clear delineations, especially with seniors like Lowe.
“I think there’s a difference,” Bullard said. “Parker’s the kid, he wants to do everything right. Anything we asked him to do, if we asked him to catch a groundball standing on his head he’s going to try and stand on his head and catch a groundball.
“And that’s important to have because people see that. And that’s what I’ve told him. Parker’s not going to be the one that screams and yells and really gets on people, but I think it’s so important to have kids that just do the right things. And as young as we are this year, I think it’s even more important.”
With the pitching staff the Titans had last season, and the one they have this season, especially with starters Harrison Lewis and Jack Vest, it’s important to be strong defensively up the middle.
“I think Harrison and Jack being out there, they both come with a lot of energy when they pitch, and it’s easy to feed off that when you see your pitcher who’s involved in every single play out there competing his butt off. It’s great to feed off that and be able to have that same energy,” Lowe said.
Not only does Lowe contribute with his glove, he’s also the leadoff hitter for the Titans.
“I’m not much of a power hitter, but I think they really liked last year that I didn’t strike out much, I put balls in plays and had good speed and made stuff happen. But over the summer I had really good hitting over the summer and I’m going to keep that going into this year.”
Much of West Forsyth’s offense with Bullard is centered on playing small ball.
“(Bullard) loves to bunt and just make stuff happen,” Lowe said. “Strikeouts are his least favorite thing. He doesn’t like strikeouts. He’s not a big home run guy, but if you make stuff happen, he’ll be happy.”
According to Bullard, the work Lowe put in during the offseason is noticeable.
“Thankfully in baseball you don’t have to be huge,” Bullard said. “He is a smaller guy, but he got in the weight room a lot this year. He’s not going to fill out a jersey like Harrison Lewis, but he’s got great hands, he’s got great hand-eye coordination. And that’s sort of the most important part to be successful at any sport.”
Lowe just can’t step out of his cleats thinking he’s a different-type hitter than he his.
“He is our guy,” Bullard said. “I told him, ‘Parker, I don’t need you hitting home runs, I don’t need you hitting triples. I just need you getting on base. You should bunt once a game.’
“He’s got a great eye, so he’s going to get walked. He’s a guy you can hit-and-run with because he’s such a good contact guy.”
The season just started at West Forsyth, but graduation for Lowe isn’t far away. He’s not planning on playing in college, but he wants to go to UNC Charlotte or Clemson.
“I think I’ll take a lot from the experience of playing baseball at West,” he said. “The experience has been great and I’ll carry it with me for the rest of my life.”