Two sophomores sign with tradition-rich NCAA programs

Two sophomores sign with tradition-rich NCAA programs

A pair of Butler baseball sophomores have signed with tradition-laden NCAA Division II programs as the fall semester draws to a close.

Travis Hendry, a lefthanded pitcher, will play at Barry University in Florida and Levi Parker, the team's switch-hitting second baseman, will transfer to Emporia State.

"I'm proud of these guys for getting an opportunity to continue their baseball careers beyond Butler, at two very good collegiate programs," Butler coach B.J. McVay said. "They are both deserving of these opportunities and we anticipate all eight sophomores will get the chance to play at good four-year programs."

Hendry is a sophomore from Las Vegas. He will continue to venture further east in his baseball career as Barry is located in Miami Shores, Fla.  The Buccaneers made NCAA Tournament appearances in 2009 and 2011, winning the Sunshine State Conference titles both years.

"It's a good school with good coaches and they gave me an offer I couldn't deny – and it's in Miami. That helped out a lot," Hendry said of the decision to choose Barry.
As a freshman this past spring at Butler, Hendry had a 3-1 record and a 6.33 ERA while throwing 48.1 innings in 10 games. He had one complete game and struck out 41 batters while walking just 16.

Hendry also played first base for the Grizzlies, hitting .255 with a home run and six doubles, but will only pitch for the Grizzlies this season.

"I look to build off last year and be more consistent," Hendry said. "It'll help a lot to focus on just pitching." 

Meanwhile, Parker looks to build upon a freshman season in which he led the team in hitting with a .340 batting average and 64 hits at the top of the lineup.

He chose Emporia partically because of the familiarity with the coaching staff. Emporia's head coach, Bob Fornelli, was an assistant at Butler under B.D. Parker in the early 1990s. B.D. Parker is not only the winningest coach in Butler baseball history, but is also Levi's father.

"They are a really competitive school and are just 45 minutes away," Levi Parker said. "They have a lot of the same coaching philosophies we have here, so it was an easy decision."