Rocky Mountain advances to state championship thanks to pitcher’s 14 strikeouts
For the second year in a row, Rocky Mountain’s Gabe Hughes has been named the Gatorade Idaho Baseball Player of the Year.
Hughes led Rocky Mountain to a 21-7 record and a spot in the 5A state tournament. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound senior right-handed pitcher and first baseman compiled a record of 7-1 on the mound with an 0.91 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 53.2 innings. He also batted .365 with seven home runs, 39 RBIs and a 1.179 OPS.
Hughes, a two-time 5A Southern Idaho Conference Player of the Year, has signed with Gonzaga.
“Gabe Hughes is the most complete high school player I have ever coached,” Rocky Mountain coach Joe Santa Maria said in a press release. “His ability to change the game on the mound and at the plate makes him a dual threat. His leadership and consistency over the past years have been a great strength that have led to individual and team success.”
Last year, Hughes’ 250-word essay was selected as a spotlight grant winner through Gatorade’s Play it Forward program, and he chose the Caldwell YMCA as the recipient of the $10,000 gift.
Gatorade’s Play It Forward program works in collaboration with Gatorade Player of the Year. Each state player of the year gets to choose a local or national youth sports organization to receive a $1,000 grant from Gatorade.
Every state winner can then write an additional essay to compete for one of 12 Play It Forward grants of $10,000. Gatorade chooses one winner for each of the 12 sports it recognizes for player of the year.
Hughes has a weighted GPA of 4.15 and attends Renaissance High in Meridian, which doesn’t have a baseball team.