PIEDRA VISTA PITCHER TABBED NM POY
CHICAGO (May 29, 2018) — In its 33rd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Chase Silseth of Piedra Vista High School as its 2017-18 Gatorade New Mexico Baseball Player of the Year. Silseth is the second Gatorade New Mexico Baseball Player of the Year to be chosen from Piedra Vista High School.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Silseth as New Mexico’s best high school baseball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year, Silseth joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo High School, Mich.), Jon Lester (2001-02, Bellarmine Preparatory School, Wash.), David Price (2003-04, Blackman High School, Tenn.), Clayton Kershaw (2005-06, Highland Park High School, Texas), Rick Porcello (2006-2007, Seaton Hall Preparatory School, N.J.) and Kris Bryant (2009-10, Bonanza High School, Nev.).
The 6-foot, 210-pound senior right-handed pitcher and corner infielder led the Panthers (23-8) to the Class 6A state title game this past season. Silseth posted a 7-3 record with a 1.25 ERA, striking out 53 batters and allowing just 20 hits and 11 walks in 56 innings pitched. He also threw a no-hitter and limited opponents to a batting average of .148. A First-Team All-State selection in 2017, Silseth batted .328 this spring and is the state’s No. 3 prospect in the Class of 2018 as rated by Perfect Game.
An active member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and a representative in the Piedra Vista Student Senate, Silseth has volunteered locally with the Special Olympics and has donated his time to a fundraiser for mass shooting victims at nearby Aztec High School.
“Chase is an outstanding person with high character,” said Shane Shallenberger, head coach at V. Sue Cleveland High. “He’s the best pitcher we faced this year.”
Silseth has maintained a 3.37 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a national letter of intent to play baseball on scholarship at the University of Tennessee this fall.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Silseth joins recent Gatorade New Mexico Baseball Players of the Year Trevor Rogers (2016-17, Carlsbad High School), Nathaniel Garley (2015-16, Eldorado High School), Jared Mang (2014-15 & 2013-14, Los Alamos High School), Andre Vigil (2012-13, Volcano Vista High School), Shilo McCall (2011-12, Piedra Vista High School), Blake Swihart (2010–11, Cleveland High School), Sam Wilson (2009-10, Eldorado High School), Max Walla (2008–09, Albuquerque Academy), Wade Hinkle (2007-08, Del Norte High School), and Richard Bohlken (2006-07, La Cueva High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Chase will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. 12 spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.
RELEASE COURTESY KELSEY RHONEY/GATORADE