THOMASVILLE -- In most of our lives, we never really have a way to measure our rises and falls, other than through job promotions or divorces or surgeries.

When you're a baseball player, a pitcher, in particular, there are very good, very sound, inarguable ways to determine the apex of your season or even your career.

For Thomas County Central senior left-handed pitcher Cole Parrish, that high point came on a Thursday night (see photo) a little over a year ago.

Facing his crosstown rivals over at Thomasville High, Parrish had it all going for him that night, carrying a no-hit game into the seventh and final inning of the night.

It turned out that Parrish lost the no-hitter three pitches into the inning. He twice missed the strike zone against Matt Marchant, then tried to get a fastball past the THS senior. Bad move.

"Yep, he banked one off the wall," Parrish said with a laugh Wednesday morning. "A 2-0 pitch. I remember it well."

At the time, Parrish wasn't too torn up about it. He'd thrown a no-hitter in a Little League playoff game, teaming up with current Brookwood star Seth Tucker.

He'd be a senior in 2003. He'd be a year wiser and stronger. Maybe he'd get another chance.

Well, Cole Parrish will graduate on Saturday having pitched in only six games for the Yellow Jackets this season.

He didn't get that no-hitter. And now, realizes he won't.

"Yeah, I'm done," Parrish said, sadly after making a mid-week trip to watch two former teammates try to extend their playing careers.

"After all that's happened, I've lost a lot of speed and stuff. I'm done. It's time to get on with my career."

What happened to Cole Parrish since that near no-no was this.

He finished out the season in pretty good style. Had a great summer and was really eager for his senior season.

"Coach (Scott Brown) had a meeting with us before the season started," Parrish said, "and I was going to be No. 1 pitcher.

"And I went out and won my first game against Stockbridge, kind of solidified that No. 1 spot."

But pitching against Bainbridge in the third inning, he threw a curve to a batter and felt a twinge."(The pitch) hit him in the back," Parrish said. "It hurt and I tried to work out of it. But I came out about an inning later."

A few days later, Dr. Chip Hancock told him the bad news. It was a torn tendon in his elbow.

"I had surgery on my arm in my sophomore year to remove an impingement," Parrish said.

"The arm came back great but I pretty much lost my sophomore year. I had the surgery right around my birthday in September.

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