Parker Bangs is entering his fourth season as the pitching coach at PC after joining the staff in August of 2015.
The Blue Hose pitching corps reached several milestones in 2018. Senior Tanner Chock averaged 8.53 strikeouts per nine innings, which ranks in the program's top-10, and led the team to a program-best 7.61 strikeouts per nine innings. The team struck out 417 batters on the season, with a program-best 115 coming with the batter looking. Senior Ryan Hedrick picked up two more saves to reach 12 in his career and tie for second in the program's modern era (since 1988). Junior Colton Springs earned Big South Relief Pitcher of the Week honors on May 14 after picking up a win and a save over three hitless appearances, and Hedrick earned second team All-Big South honors. Chock signed a free agent contract with the Los Angeles Angels after graduation, making it two consecutive years a PC pitcher reached the professional level.
Bangs led the PC pitching staff to a number of Division I bests in 2017. The Blue Hose recorded a 4.32 ERA, .262 opponent batting average, 433 strikeouts, average of 7.25 strikeouts per nine innings and 16 saves, all Division I era program records. PC also allowed its fewest runs (321) and earned runs (258) since 2013, as PC recorded a Division I era best 32 wins, including a program-best 15 Big South wins. Under Bangs's guidance, hurlers Ryan Hedrick and Brian Kehner earned honorable mention All-Big South honors. After graduation, Hayden Deal signed a free agent contract with the Atlanta Braves, becoming the first PC baseball player since Bud Jeter in 2013 to make it to the professional level.
The Blue Hose pitching staff also made significant strides in 2016 in Bangs's first season with the program. Bangs helped PC to its second straight 27-win season, tying the school's Division I era record for victories. In addition, PC also established a school record with 12 Big South victories, a six-game improvement from 2015, and made its first appearance in the Big South Championship.
In 2016, the pitching staff held opposing hitters to a .263 batting average, the team's best single-season mark in its Division I era. PC pitchers also set the school's Division I era record (at the time) for strikeouts per nine innings at 7.06, while ranking second for a single-season in ERA with 5.02 mark. PC pitching totaled 500.2 innings pitched, a D1 era program record, but allowed the second-fewest hits (509) in its D1 era.
Bangs, a former pitcher at South Carolina, won a National Championship with in the Gamecocks in 2010 before going on to play three seasons in the minor leagues. He made 47 appearances over three seasons (2008-10) for South Carolina, compiling a 7-5 record in 74.2 innings pitched with 94 strikeouts. The native of Laurinburg, N.C. also batted .301 for his career while totaling 21 doubles, 10 home runs and 60 RBIs in 226 career at-bats. The Gamecocks advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of the three seasons in which he saw action.
Bangs was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 31st round of the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft. He pitched parts of three seasons in the minors, making 17 appearances with 27.2 innings pitched. His best season of professional baseball came in 2011 when he pitched 22.0 innings and recorded 28 strikeouts while holding hitters to a .274 average against him.
Prior to joining the Blue Hose, Bangs was the head coach and pitching coach of the Wilmington Sharks in the Coastal Plain League for the past two seasons. He spent three seasons as the head baseball coach at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School in Columbia, S.C. from 2013-15. Bangs also spent time as the pitching and hitting coach for the Columbia Blowfish of the Coastal Plain League and as the hitting coach at Dutch Fork High School in Irmo, S.C., following his playing career.
Bangs graduated from the University of South Carolina in May of 2010 with a degree in experimental psychology while minoring in sociology. He then earned then a master’s degree in public administration from South Carolina in May of 2015. During his playing days, Bangs was named to the All-SEC Academic Team in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and earned All-SEC Freshman Academic honors during his red-shirt season in 2007.