Vigil planned for USC Salkehatchie baseball player who died on field

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Sunday, March 31, 2019

ALLENDALE, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- College baseball coaches and players across South Carolina are mourning the loss Parker Neff who played at USC-Salkehatchie in Allendale, S.C.

The Allendale County Coroner said Neff, 21, was preparing for practice on Friday when he collapsed on the field. Officials say he was taken to the Allendale Hospital where he died. An autopsy is planned for 8:30 a.m. on Monday, April 1.

Prior to playing at USC Salkehatchie, the school says he attended North Greenville University and USC Upstate. He transferred to USC Salkehatchie this fall to pursue his dream of playing collegiate baseball.

In a statement on the schools website, athletic officials said: "Parker made tremendous strides as a player in a short period of time. He started the year as a third baseman but several weeks ago he became our everyday shortstop and our 3-hole hitter. Parker was hitting .280 with a .414 OB%. He had 6 doubles, 3 triples, 3 home runs and 17 RBIs.

Teammates and coaches say they'll remember him as a kind, respectful,thoughtful, considerate, personable, quiet and reserved person.

"You did not have to wonder if Parker was going to give his best effort. He would not allow himself to give anything but his best. He carried himself with a quiet pride about who he was and what he was doing. He was constantly trying to improve himself and his skills. He was steady. He was rock steady. Parker made the people around him better, which is the one trademark of all the great people that have walked upon this earth." the statement continued.

Officials say counselors will be on campus Monday and Tuesday to offer support for our students and staff.

In a tweet, the school said: "The USC Salkehatchie family is devastated by the death of Indian baseball player Parker Neff on Friday. We hold his family in our thoughts and prayers. A candlelight vigil will be held on the Salkehatchie baseball field on Monday April 1 at 8 pm to remember Parker Neff.