CHICAGO (June 2, 2010) — In its 25th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, today announced of Amherst Regional High School as its 2009-10 Gatorade Massachusetts Baseball Player of the Year. Ziomek is the first Gatorade Massachusetts Baseball Player of the Year to be chosen from Amherst Regional 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 Ziomek as Massachusetts’ best high school baseball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year award announced in June, Ziomek joins an elite alumni association of past state baseball award winners, including Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Roy Halladay (1994-95, Arvada West HS, Colo.), David Price (2003-04, Blackman HS, Tenn.), Chipper Jones (1989-90, Bolles School, Fla.), Derek Lee (1992-93, El Camino HS, Calif.) and John Lester (2001-02, Bellarmine Prep, Wash.).
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound senior left-handed pitcher started 6-1 with a 1.20 ERA and two saves this season, recording 91 strikeouts in 46.2 innings and leading the Hurricanes (13-7) to the Western Mass. Division 1 sectional tournament, scheduled to begin June 7. The returning Western Mass. Pitcher of the Year as named by The Republican, Ziomek, also an outfielder, owned a .287 batting average with 11 RBI, 10 runs scored and two home runs through 20 games. A Rawlings/Perfect Game Preseason First Team All-America selection, he finished 7-2 on the mound with a 0.67 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 53.2 innings as a junior.
Ziomek has maintained a 3.51 unweighted GPA in the classroom. A member of his school’s wind ensemble and community service club, he has also volunteered on behalf of his church and as a youth baseball instructor.
“Kevin worked harder than anyone in the offseason leading up to this season,” said Amherst Head Coach Greg Vouros. “His hard work and dedication certainly paid off, as he leads by example on and off the field. As a captain, he had a phenomenal season on the mound.”
Ziomek has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at Vanderbilt University this fall, but is projected as an early round selection in this month’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
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 ESPN RISE and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, 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.
Ziomek joins recent Gatorade Massachusetts Baseball Players of the Year Kyle McKenzie (2008-09, Thayer), Scott Weismann (2007-08, Acton-Boxborough) and Jack McGeary (2006-07, Roxbury) among the state’s list of former award winners.
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