May 7, 2010
Smithfield Selma standout baseball players Dylan Brown and Tate Parrish have played on the diamond together for 13 years.
Always linked together on the field, or the lineup card, Brown and Parrish, both high school seniors, have been best friends for almost their entire lives.
"We do as much as we can together," said Brown. "We know it’s going to change soon because we’re going to college."
As for where they will be continuing their education both on and off the field - that's where it gets interesting.
Parrish is going to play for North Carolina while Brown is going to his favorite school - N.C. State.
"Ever since I was old enough to know what a baseball was, what sports were, I’ve always been a fan of the Wolfpack," said Brown.
Once the two committed to play for arch rival schools, rivalry trash talk became part of their friendship.
"No matter if Carolina is 40-0 and State is 0-40, I’m still going to talk to him like State is going to beat them," joked Brown.
Parrish is a versatile player with a .625 batting average and the ability to man any position - and yet he won't play a single one of them. That's because he was recruited to Carolina to pitch.
"We had to upgrade his 90 mph fastball from the left side," Smithfield Selma baseball coach Michael Joyner said. "But with good stuff to go with it, he can just shut you down."
Brown will play in the field at State, but whether he spends his time in the infield or outfield has yet to be determined.
As a team, SSS is ranked as high as the number two 4-A team in the state.
Parrish and Brown are looking for a long playoff run and maybe the school’s first ever state title in their last games together.
"It would have been awesome to room with my best friend at the same college," Parrish said with a smile. "And we could have probably done that. Now, in about a year or two, I’m going to be on the mound, and he’s going to be in the batter’s box, and I’m going to strike him out.
"Yeah right," Brown responded with a laugh. "I’ll make sure I bunt before I strike out."