Parker Caracci was named Second Team All-American by Baseball America on Thursday after striking fear in opponents’ eyes all season long.
This is not the first-time the redshirt sophomore has turned heads in his career. He was a standout at Jackson Preparatory School where he helped guide the program to a 102-8 record in his three years and earned two all-conference honors in his junior and senior campaigns.
After spending his first two seasons redshirted, the determined right-handed closer has been instrumental to the Rebels’ bullpen success. Caracci throws a powerful flat fastball and a shifty slider, and has pitched his way to a 1.86 ERA while tallying a total of 68 strikeouts and only allowing 10 walks in his 2018 season. Caracci has left opposing batters swinging to their knees or watching the ball pass right down the pipe a lot this year.
A strikeout from Caracci is usually followed with a warrior-like war cry and a fist pump. This celebration has inspired many of the Ole Miss faithful and been a nightmare for opponents. The war cry of Caracci accompanied by the splashes of beer showers from right field became a Swayze staple this season.
Caracci has been the go-to closer when the Rebels desperately needed a few outs to finish a game or even a series. This season alone, he has totaled 10 saves for the Rebels. Caracci’s late-game ability is highlighted in his eight saves with go-ahead runners on base or at bat. Seven of his 10 saves came while facing nationally ranked opponents.
Most closers in college and in major league baseball come into the game to pitch in the ninth inning, however, the Rebels have often depended on Caracci for more than just three outs. Caracci has pitched multiple innings 16 times this season, showing the true volume of his strength, leadership and stamina.
After adding an SEC Tournament Championship and a Second Team All-American honor, Caracci is likely focused on leading the Rebels to Omaha for the College World Series. Luckily for Ole Miss, the road to Omaha paves its way through Oxford.