The Holy Trinity Titans were down four runs in the sixth inning in the 2012 Nassau-Suffolk Catholic High School Athletic Association championship game.
A high school senior at the time, Jack Parenty came to the plate with two runners on base and blasted a three-run home run, his second of the game, to begin the push that would catapult his team to a victory.
“The bigger the game, the bigger he got for us,” Robert Malandro, Parenty’s high school coach at Holy Trinity High School, said.
Parenty, now the second baseman for the Stony Brook Seawolves, is midway through his senior season, coming off a 2015 campaign in which he won America East Conference Player of the Year and lead his team to a conference championship.
Much like his final season at Holy Trinity, Parenty is seeking his second conference championship at Stony Brook and his second consecutive player of the year award. However, he claims the latter is not nearly as important to him.
“It means nothing without a conference championship, a chance to play in regionals and possibly the College World Series,” Parenty said with conviction.
Stony Brook University currently boasts four alumni who have made it to Major League Baseball — Travis Jankowski of the San Diego Padres, Nick Tropeano of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Tom Koehler of the Miami Marlins and six-time MLB All-Star Joe Nathan, who currently sits eighth on the all-time saves list. Parenty may be next.
“Especially as an offensive player, [Parenty] is up there with the best players we’ve had,” head coach Matt Senk said.
During the 2015 season, he captured the America East Conference batting title, with a .367 average. He also had 47 runs batted in and 26 stolen bases, helping lead his team to an NCAA Tournament berth.
“Jack has always been the leader of that team since coming into school there,” Brian Foley, the editor of CollegeBaseballDaily.com, said. Foley, who analyzes college baseball prospects around the nation, compared Parenty to all-star utility player Brock Holt, who hit .280 for the Boston Red Sox in 2015.
“I think it’s a fair comparison,” Senk said. “Jack is all those things. He possesses all those parts of his game and has versatility. He can not only play one outfield position. I think he could play all three.”
Parenty played in the outfield for the majority of his first three seasons with the Seawolves until recently transitioning to second base, the position he played throughout his four years at Holy Trinity High School.
“Championship teams follow him,” Malandro says. “They may not be the best team, but he makes everyone around him better.”
But do not let his numbers and championship trophies fool you. Parenty is more of a quiet and humble leader. He brings a similar attitude to his team as longtime New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, his personal idol: a calm and collected attitude, always leading by example.
“Watching him handle his business makes you fall in love with the game and want to follow in his footsteps,” Parenty said of his childhood role model.
But Parenty is very much like the average college student outside of being a star on the baseball field. He is embracing the age of online streaming.
“I’m watching ‘Hawaii Five-0’ and the ‘Blacklist’ right now,” Parenty said. “I also just started to rewatch ‘Entourage’ for the second time.”
But before the online streaming age, his father Richard Parenty, a former New York City fire captain, had trouble thinking of any other hobbies Jack had outside of sports.
“When he was two years old, he could throw a ball up in the air and hit it on a bounce,” his father recalled.
Richard Parenty used pipes and netting to build his son his very own batting cage in their front yard, which Jack would constantly inhabit, honing his skills when he was not on the field or in school.
In the 2016 season, Parenty has used “March Madness” by Future as his “walk-up music,” playing it as he walks up to the plate. But much to his dismay, Parenty was unable to attend the rapper’s April 13 concert at Brookfest.
“It’s tough,” Parenty said, weeks prior to Brookfest. “We’re playing at LIU Brooklyn that day.”
Instead of attending one of his favorite artists’ concert, he drove in two runs to help his team earn another victory against the Blackbirds, Stony Brook’s seventh win in its last eight games. Parenty’s sole focus is to win the America East Championship and perhaps lead his team to another College World Series.