Gatorade-honored baseball hurler Chase Silseth’s dad graduated from Pelican; grandfather is retired local teacher

Chase Silseth on the mound for his New Mexico high school team. His father, Chad Silseth, played American Legion ball in Pelican; and grandfather is a retired Pelican Rapids High School business teacher.

A hot baseball pitching prospect, who hurls the ball up to 97 miles per hour, has Pelican Rapids and Star Lake connections.

The New Mexico “kid,” Chase Silseth, has wrapped up his high school career and will be playing baseball for the University of Tenessee at Knoxville. The 6-foot, 210-pound senior right-handed pitcher was named “Gatorade Player of the Year, and is a graduate of Piedra Vista High School in New Mexico.

His father, Chad Silseth, is a 1990 graduate of Pelican Rapids High School, who played American Legion ball here.

Grandparents are Bob and Linda Silseth, Star Lake. Bob was a business teacher in the Pelican school system for more than 20 years.

In its 33rd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, recently announced Silseth 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.

In running for Gatorade national player of year

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.).

Plays infield, tosses no-hitter, bats .328

The 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.”

Athlete is strong academic performer, too

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.

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.