But not to be lost in the postgame shuffle was Parker’s performance, which saw him credited with seven strikeouts and 17 first-pitch strikes while surrendering just four hits and zero earned runs in 5.2 innings.

“He definitely deserved to win today with the outing he had for us,” Petty said. “We really didn’t make any adjustments against their pitcher until way late in the game and that cost Mitch a win that he really deserved. But he stayed the course when we needed him most.”

Although happy with his performance and satisfied with the team’s victory, Parker said he’s still working hard to improve a low-80s slider that he used only briefly on Sunday and a fourth-pitch changeup to fill out his arsenal. Working under newly-hired pitching coach Frank Anderson was a primary consideration in Parker’s commitment to Tennessee, and he said he’s most excited about the opportunity to continue his development at an SEC school.

Count Petty in as another one who’s excited to see Parker’s continued growth, especially as the tall lefty continues to fill out his currently lanky frame and likely adds even more velocity to his already above-average fastball.

“I made this statement in the dugout in the fifth inning (Sunday), when I told our pitching coach, Jason Mills, ‘You know what’s most exciting about this kid? He hasn’t even scratched the surface of what he’s going to be,'” Petty said.

“He projects through the roof. And I’m not trying to throw out any unfair names, but if you would have looked at Madison Bumgarner when Madison Bumgarner was in high school, there is probably some similarities with their body types, their deliveries, the fastball (velocity) and their breaking balls.

“And by no means am I saying Mitch will ever be like Madison Bumgarner, but once you fill him out and he becomes a 23-year old man in five years–I mean, wow. He’s going to be a lot, lot better.”