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Parkersburg High School outfielder King to continue at Charleston

Parkersburg’s Carter King reacts after getting on base during a game last April against St. Albans. King is headed to the University of Charleston to continue his education and baseball playing days. (Photo by Josh Hughes)

PARKERSBURG — A fixture in the outfield of Bennett Stump Field, Parkersburg High and American Legion Post 15’s Carter King is taking the next step. A standout in football, wrestling and baseball, he will ultimately concentrate his time on the diamond.

King will attend the University of Charleston to presumably major in business. Under UC head coach Robbie Britt, the Division II Golden Eagles have been a perennial contender in the Mountain East Conference in each of his first two years, coming off a conference title in 2021. It was the team’s first MEC crown since 2019.

For his part, King enters a good situation where he will get to learn and get adjusted to the college level. Leading up to this moment, it was all about proving himself worthy of the big stage.

“I knew I wanted to go to Charleston, and I knew I couldn’t just go there because I wanted to,” he said. “I knew I was going to have to get better, and improve my game. Me and my buddy (Parkersburg South grad and Marietta College Pioneer-to-be) Nic Menarchek went every night to the cages. We went through about three to four buckets each, so it was a grind. I knew I wanted to do that. It paid off. All the fun times, the pregame meals and all the times in the locker room are things no one gets to see, except the people on the team. I love this team. These are my brothers over here. We all have good chemistry (on Post 15), and we’re all good ballplayers, so it works out.

Statistically, King shined for head coach Alan Burns for this final season in red and white. King earned second-team all-MSAC honors in the outfield, and it isn’t hard to see why. In 23 games, he feasted in the batter’s box by hitting .397 in 78 at-bats. He knocked in 17 RBIs and only struck out 14 times, proving to be one of the most reliable bats in the lineup. Defensively, all 52 of his putouts came in the outfield, and he only committed two errors in 2022. When he got on-base, King was a prime candidate for a steal, racking up 20 stolen bases, as well.

Coach Burns gave his thoughts on King during his college signing, which took place right before Parkersburg Legion Post 15 took the field at Bennett Stump on Monday.

“He’s a really good all-around athlete, and it was baseball that took him to the next level,” Burns said. “He’s got a great eye, and of course, great speed. He gets a good jump on the ball in the outfield. He’s got a lot of good baseball ahead of him here. You look at our four seniors from this year (King, Izek Baldwin, Alec Holbert and Drew Woofter), because next year, we need that leadership. All four of them are going to college, and three of the four are going to play baseball. Those were great kids, as Carter is one of the most fun ones I’ve had. He’s not one of these guys who is going to go out and chew on anyone. He leads by example and is a quiet leader. He’s one of the kindest-hearted kids you’ll ever meet. If he doesn’t do well, he feels like he let the team down, and he’s just one of the nicest kids you’ll ever meet.”

Speaking of his time playing for head coach Mike Goodwin’s Post 15 club, King has picked up where he left off, by using his speed and athleticism to make his biggest impact.

Goodwin also saw King mature into a complete player.

“Carter King has been a leader for us, on and off the field,” he said. “I’m sure he’s been like that for any team he’s been on. Carter’s offensive and defensive capabilities are going to really help the University of Charleston. His speed alone is enough to improve any team. The same with his defensive play with how he covers ground in the outfield, taking away hits, stealing bases. That kind of thing. He came to us pretty raw, and he had the football mentality. He harnessed that and transitioned (to baseball) really well. He’s a natural athlete, and his can transition to anything he does. Baseball is the benefactor right now, and the University of Charleston is going to be a benefactor, as well.”

King himself is hoping for the same thing. The Swiss army knife of a player brings a wide array of skills to UC.

“I just want to bring my athleticism. I feel like this is a perfect fit for me, and I feel like I can contribute,” he said. “I know they’re good, and I’m excited. The program is good. I really like the coaches, so I’m excited to get down there and meet all my teammates. I thought I wanted to play football. Then, i just shifted over to baseball. I knew I wanted to play, so I started improving my game. Coaches started showing up, and it was the best feeling ever, just knowing it was starting to pay off.”

Contact Josh Hughes at jhughes@newsandsentinel.com

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