The Gatorade State Baseball Players of the Year were selected based on athletic production and impact in the 2014-15 season. Each winner also demonstrated high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership.
For a list of the other Gatorade State Baseball Players of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Ljay Newsome
School: Chopticon (Morganza, Md.)
Weight: 225 pounds
Athletic achievement: At the time of his selection, he had led Braves to a 19-1 record and a berth in the Class 3A state final. Newsome owned a 9-0 record with a 1.18 ERA, 94 strikeouts and just two walks in 53 innings-pitched through 20 games. Ranked the No. 2 prospect in the state by PrepBaseballReport.com, he struck out 13 batters in a 6-2 win over Urbana in the Class 3A semifinals.
Academic excellence: Newsome has maintained a 3.57 GPA.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered on behalf of Project Home providing assistance and living arrangements for adults with disabilities and as a youth baseball coach.
“Ljay Newsom is one of the best pitchers I have seen in my 14 years coaching in Maryland,” said Keith Powell, head coach at Patuxent. “He got better each year and he has had an absolutely superb senior year.”
THE FUTURE: Newsome remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.