Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Parkview's starting pitcher Mac Marshall, center, celebrates after his teammate Josh Hart (16) hit a three-run home run during the first game of a doubleheader against Peachtree Ridge in the second round of Class AAAAAA state baseball playoffs. Parkview defeated Peachtree Ridge 3-2 in game 1.
As busy a summer as Parkview baseball coach Chan Brown has had, one of his players may be about to rival that level of activity over the next month or so.
Rising senior pitcher Mac Marshall has already been quite active over the past two months playing for the Panthers’ summer league team, as well as with the Team Elite travel program.
But the 6-foot-2, 185-pound left-hander’s calendar is really starting to fill up, with a stop in Baton Rouge, La., just over two weeks ago and two trips to the West Coast for high profile events planned over the next month.
And that may be just the beginning.
“It’s a different experience,” Marshall said. “But it’s one I’m ready for.”
The first stop to Louisiana was one that wasn’t planned until Marshall, who had been verbally committed to the University of Georgia, re-opened his college recruiting following the dismissal of former Bulldogs coach Dave Perno and his staff in favor of new coach Scott Stricklin in early June.
And once he saw the LSU campus, it didn’t take long for Marshall to make a new commitment to the Tigers over similar scholarship offers from three other Southeastern Conference schools.
“After the coach that recruited me (Perno) was fired, I re-opened my recruiting, and once I did that, (LSU) called me right around the time coaches are first allowed to call (around July 1),” said Marshall, who was a first-team All-County selection by the Daily Post after going 6-2 with a 2.33 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 45 innings in helping Parkview to the Class AAAAAA state semifinals this spring. “I considered four schools — LSU, Vanderbilt, Georgia and Alabama, but (LSU) was a no-brainer once I got down there. (The campus and facilities) were crazy, ridiculous good. They’re all great programs, but (LSU) made it a family atmosphere.”
Having originally been committed to Georgia since his freshman year, Marshall has been on the radar for college and professional scouts for a while.
However, he is likely to cast an even larger profile over the next three weeks, when he makes two trips to California to participate in two big-time national events.
The first is the 2013 Perfect Game All-American Classic, where he will be one of five rising seniors from Georgia on the 25-man roster for the East squad coached by Brown on Aug. 5 at Petco Park in San Diego.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Marshall said. “And I get to play for Coach Brown, so it’s almost like playing at home. It’s a great opportunity to kind of get my name on the radar, and it will be a lot of fun to play with and against the best players in the country.”
Marshall is the latest in what is becoming a long list of players from Gwinnett County to participate in one of the national showcase games for rising seniors, joining Grayson’s Austin Meadows, former Parkview teammate Josh Hart, Brookwood’s Lucas Sims and Greater Atlanta Christian’s Drew Steckenrider to play in the Perfect Game (formerly AFLAC) All-American Classic since 2008.
In addition, another former Panther, Matt Olson, played in the Under Armour All-American Game at Wrigley Field in Chicago in 2012.
Less than a week after playing in that game, Marshall is headed back to California — this time, to Fullerton, where he will be one of 37 players from around the nation trying out for a spot on the USA Baseball 18U National Team.
If he is one of the 20 players selected at the trials that run from Aug. 16-21, Marshall could be headed for an even longer trip to Taichung, Taiwan, for exhibition games, plus the IBAF 18U World Cup from Aug. 26 to Sept. 8.
It’s not only a lot of potential frequent flier miles, but also a lot of baseball and attention to deal with.
But as Marshall said before, he is looking forward to the challenge.
“I’ll be home two days (between the Perfect Game All-American Classic and the Team USA trials),” Marshall said. “It’s my first time flying back and forth (from the West Coast) so close together, so it will definitely be something different. … Hopefully after it’s all over, I’ll be able to look back and see what happened, and it will help me get ready for my senior season next spring.”