Clemson commit discusses Player of the Year honor

Clemson commit discusses Player of the Year honor

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Clemson commit discusses Player of the Year honor

Clemson baseball commitment Geoffrey Gilbert was named the 2017-2018 Gatorade South Carolina Baseball Player of the Year on Tuesday.

Gilbert, a junior at Bishop England High School (Charleston, S.C.), earned the prestigious honor after a stellar season both on the mound and in the batters box.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound lefthander was 8-0 on the mound with a 0.33 earned run average and 73 strikeouts against just 21 walks in 53.1 innings pitched. At the plate, he hit .446 with three home runs, 26 runs batted in and 23 runs scored.

“It is a huge honor for me,” Gilbert told The Clemson Insider. “Being one of the highest awards in the country for a high school athlete to receive, it not only proves to me that the work I put in is worth it, but it also proves to my parents that the time I spend away from them working and getting better is not time wasted.”

Gilbert, a pitcher, outfielder and first baseman, played a pivotal role in Bishop England’s run to a second consecutive Class 3A championship.

In the title-clinching 1-0 win over Seneca, Gilbert allowed just three hits and three walks in a complete-game shutout. He didn’t yield an earned run in four postseason starts.

“Winning back-to-back was very special,” Gilbert said. “I embrace the pressure in big games like that one. I went out with the same game plan I had the whole year — attack the hitters and send them back to the dugout as quickly as possible.

“For me though, it wasn’t as important for me to win that game as it was for me to secure the championship for the senior class that we had this year. They’ve had such a big part in my success and continued to push me to better my game. We all worked to make each other better.”

The Gatorade Player of the Year award was established in 1985 to recognize the nation’s best high school student-athletes for not only their performance on the field, but also their academic achievement and exemplary character.

In addition to his athletic excellence, Gilbert posted a 3.25 GPA this school year while volunteering with the Charleston Miracle League, which serves children or young adults with special needs. He also donates time locally to the Carolina Basset Hound Rescue.

As a state player of the year, Gilbert is now a finalist for the Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year award which will be announced in June.

He 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.

Gilbert gave his verbal commitment to head coach Monte Lee and the Tigers in August 2016. He is ranked by Perfect Game as the No. 1 prospect in the state of South Carolina for the class of 2019.

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