Southeast Missouri State baseball player Kenton Parmley sets OVC hitting streak record

Sunday, April 15, 2012
Kenton Parmley

Kenton Parmley has achieved numerous impressive accomplishments during a standout four-year career as Southeast Missouri State's starting shortstop.

What Parmley did Saturday in Morehead, Ky., not only resonated with the Redhawks but around the Ohio Valley Conference.

Parmley went 2 for 4 against Morehead State to extend his school-record hitting streak to 43 games and break the OVC mark.

Parmley went 3 for 4 during Friday's series opener against the Eagles to tie the record of 42 games established by Austin Peay's Chuck Abbott in 1996.

"It's definitely an honor to break a record like that," said Parmley, who has reached base safely in 52 straight games. "It's been around a pretty long time."

Trenton Moses

Parmley has hit safely in 35 of Southeast's 36 games this season. He did not play in one contest early in the year. He finished last season by getting a hit in the Redhawks' final eight games.

"I'm so proud of him," Southeast coach Mark Hogan said. "I'm just in awe of what he's been doing. It's amazing when you witness something that is all-time. What a phenomenal accomplishment and what a tremendous career he's had for us.

"I think it's a record that's going to last a long time. You just don't see those things very often. He broke one of the toughest records to break, and he's got a chance to keep it going. I wouldn't put anything past him because he hits all types of pitchers."

Parmley has extended the streak during his first at-bat 17 times. He tied the OVC record early in Friday's 7-2 loss with a double in the third inning.

"There hasn't been one game where you wondered was that a hit or an error," Hogan said. "It's just been a joy to watch."

Parmley appeared to be in some trouble Saturday when he was hitless in his first three plate appearances, which included a walk.

Parmley ended the suspense in the seventh inning when he singled up the middle. He added a grand slam in the eighth inning that added insurance during Southeast's 9-4 win.

"No," Parmley said when asked if he was nervous that the streak might end. "Most people don't get to that point, and I was just glad to be at that point."

He might not have been nervous, but he was relieved after the single in the seventh inning.

"Now I solely hold on to it," Parmley said about the record.

Parmley, a native of Goreville, Ill., which is about an hour's drive from Cape Girardeau, has been moving up the national charts. His streak is the fifth-longest in NCAA Division I history.

Former major league star and current Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura set the Division I record with a 58-game hitting streak for Oklahoma State in 1987.

The only other Division I streaks longer than Parmley's are 56 by Florida International's Garrett Wittels in 2010, 47 by Wichita State's Phil Stephenson in 1981 and 45 by Arizona State's Roger Schmuck in 1996.

Southeast has 19 regular-season games remaining, including today's series finale against the Eagles, so Parmley will have enough opportunities to set the all-time mark.

"That's a long time ahead," Parmley said. "If I break that, I wouldn't even know what to do with myself."

Parmley is not Southeast's only player who continued a school-record streak during the first two games of the Morehead State series.

Fellow senior Trenton Moses, an All-American third baseman from Advance High School who also has had a stellar four-year starting career for the Redhawks, has reached base safely in 56 straight games dating back to last year.

Neither the OVC nor NCAA keeps records for consecutive games reaching base safely.

"He's been another amazing player for us," Hogan said. "To have two guys doing what they're doing this year is really something.

"Parmley's streak has more sizzle, but Moses' is remarkable as well. They're both first-class guys on and off the field."

Parmley and Moses are drawing national attention. Baseball America recently wrote an article about the streaks.

"It's a great story," Hogan said. "It deserves to be a national story."

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