East Lincoln’s Hodges, Parrish win gold in State Games
DENVER – Clay Hodges and Addison Parrish are used to playing baseball alongside one another.
The East Lincoln High standouts helped the Mustangs to an undefeated 14-0 record in Southern Piedmont 1A/2A conference play in 2012. They’re also teammates on American Legion Post 455’s team.
Hodges and Parrish took a short sabbatical from Post 455 from June 14-17, but for a good cause. They competed in the Powerade State Baseball Games in Winston-Salem.
They also did what they normally do when they’re on the same team - win.
Parrish – the SPC Player of the Year – and Hodges helped their Region 6 team go a perfect 4-0 and win the round-robin tournament’s gold medal.
Region 6 won its opener 12-3 against Region 4 on June 14 at BB&T Ballpark – home of the Class A Winston-Salem Dash minor-league team. It followed with a 10-9 June 15 victory against Region 2 and a 3-1 triumph against Region 8 the next day.
Region 6 shut out Region 5 in the gold medal game on June 17 at Wake Forest.
“It was awesome to go undefeated,” Parrish said.
“All our games were neck-and-neck to the end,” Hodges said. “We faced some pretty tough competition but we had a good team. It was definitely more fun having a guy you know playing on your team.”
Hodges said he’s been teammates with Parrish since he was 9 years old. The two teamed up on the youth baseball team Lake Norman Nitro and at one point was ranked No. 1 in the nation among all youth teams.
Parrish said a gold medal in a prep all-star contest still ranked high among their accomplishments together.
“It was a great experience,” Parrish said. “We got to go play some of the best guys in the state and winning all our games made it that much better. After the year we had (at East Lincoln) it was good to go out and win more games but against (different opponents).”
Players are chosen for the state games after a nomination from coaches and a tryout period in early May. Only 20 players from each geographical region make the team. Region 6 was comprised of players from Lincoln, Cleveland, Gaston, Rowan, Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, Stanly, Anson and Union counties.
Parrish said he was surprised he got the nod to compete.
“It was an honor,” he said. “There are a lot of good players around here so to get chosen to play was a good opportunity.”
Post 455 coach Bruce Bolick said he wasn’t shocked that Hodges’ and Parrish’s team won the gold medal.
“They had some talented kids on the team,” Bolick said. “Clay and Addison were two of the best they had.
“But I’m glad to have them back playing Legion ball again.”