Prep Baseball: White named state player of the year
A big honor for Owen White
By Mike London
CHINA GROVE — Carson baseball coach Chris Cauble’s Tuesday got off to a promising start — with an email from the Gatorade folks.
That email informed Cauble that Carson pitcher/shortstop Owen White had been named the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year.
“That’s big-time,” Cauble said. “Just a big-time honor.”
Gatorade has been announcing state and national players of the year since 1985. The list of sports with Gatorade honorees includes football, softball, volleyball, boys and girls track and field, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball and boys and girls soccer.
Gatorade awards aren’t run-of-the-mill stuff. Rowan County hasn’t had many winners over the years.
Northwest Cabarrus’ Corey Seager was the Gatorade baseball honoree for the state in 2012. Whiteville’s MacKenzie Gore was the North Carolina and national baseball winner last spring.
White’s two-way senior season was outstanding. On the mound, he struck out 101 in 63 2/3 innings, while allowing 28 hits and 15 walks. He was 10-1 with an ERA of 0.22. His loss came in a 1-0 game.
White fielded superbly and swung a solid bat for a 24-6 Carson team that reached the fourth round of the 3A state playoffs. He hit .333 with 10 doubles and 25 runs scored. He homered in his final game for the Cougars, a clutch, game-tying blast in the sixth inning of an eventual 3-2 loss to West regional champion Crest.
As far his career numbers, White (6-3, 185) set Carson records as a four-year varsity starter that should last a while. As a hitter, he holds records for hits (139), doubles (40), RBIs (82) and runs (92). He tied the school record for homers with nine. He batted .375 for his career, tied for third all-time for the program.
As a pitcher, he shattered the school records for wins (32) and strikeouts (358). His career ERA was 0.85.
White (6-3, 185) was named 3A Player of the Year for the state as a junior and also was Rowan County Baseball Player of the year, Co-Pitcher of the Year and Rowan County Athlete of the Year.
He was first team all-county in basketball for a conference-championship team this season and will be receiving more county accolades in the weeks ahead.
White signed with the University of South Carolina last fall.
That’s a potential option for him, but he’s also certain to be chosen in the MLB draft that begins on June 4. The latest mock draft has him being taken with the 70th overall pick by Cleveland, which would be late in the second round. Other mock drafts have him being picked somewhat higher.
“We’ll have to wait and see what happens,” Cauble said. “We’re hoping for good things.”
Gatorade awards are based on academics and character as well as sports. White has a weighted 4.14 GPA. He’s a Special Olympics volunteer and serves his community through his church youth group.
Carson held its athletic awards banquet on Tuesday night. Needless to say, White was honored as male athlete of the year.