Cade Parker has had a passion for baseball as far back as he can remember.
He recalls first showing an interest in the sport when he was only 2 or 3 years old.
Parker, a junior shortstop on the Yreka Miners squad, is a player so committed to the sport, head coach Jason Freitas said, that he is the only player he has worked with who practices base running by himself, which shows his tremendous competitive drive to improve as a ballplayer.
Parker can be found year-round, even during holidays and weekends, doing something baseball-related, be it conditioning or picking up a bat and ball and working on his fundamentals.
Freitas said Parker is one of the hardest working ballplayers he has coached in his time as Yreka head coach.
"He has that desire to improve and always pushes himself to get better," Freitas said
This dedication has paid off handsomely for Parker, who recently made a verbal commitment to play baseball for Division 1 Sacramento State University. Since he is only a junior  ,Parker can not officially sign with the team until next November.
"I'm really excited about it," Parker said.
When he visited the campus, Parker said, he was impressed with the school, the players and the coaching staff.
While Parker won't graduate until 2015, he felt that the fit was right for him and is pleased to have the chance to play baseball at a high level
Parker said he made a visit to the campus, which included watching Sac State play UC Davis in football on Nov 23.
During that game, Hornets head coach Reggie Christiansen offered Parker a chance to verbally commit to play baseball for the school.
"He told me he liked the way I played," Parker said. After talking with his parents and thinking the offer over, Parker made a verbal commitment to the team about a week later.
Parker had a strong season on the varsity team as only a sophomore last season. He earned honorable mention Northern Athletic honors while batting .322 with 28 hits and 31 runs for a squad that made the Northern Section finals in their division again last year.
This past summer, Parker played  American Legion baseball for the South County Sun Devils based out of the Redding area along with teammate and NAL MVP Gabe Durney.
In early November, Parker attended a one-day baseball camp at Sac State, where he had a chance to show the coaches what he was made off. He did not let that opportunity go to waste, to say the least.
Freitas said Parker made a great impression on the coaches at the camp with his hustle and work ethic, athletic ability and baseball skills and knowledge.
Sac State is a blue-collar type of squad that likes tough minded players who live to play baseball and do the little things well. Freitas said he believes that Parker fits that mold of players they seek, which was a key reason they sought him out.
Last year the Hornets went 34-25 overall and are an up and coming program, Freitas said.
While excited about making the verbal commitment to the Hornets, Parker said that his main focus is to do what he can to help the Miners this season.
After coming very close to winning a section last year, he said he and his teammates are determined to do what it takes to return to the title game and this time win it all.
Freitas is ecstatic to have a player like Parker on the team for two more years. But when he hopefully does move on to Sacramento State he feels that Parker has what it takes to achieve at a high level.
"I think he'll represent us well," Freitas said.
One thing that Parker likes about playing for Sacramento State is that it is close enough so friends and family can watch him play. He added that he has received tremendous support and encouragement with his baseball career from his parents Jenny and Bob Parker and was grateful for all they have done for him.