Former Chicago Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood took a very large trophy to Whiteville, N.C., to honor the national high school baseball player of the year.
Wood, a two-time Major League Baseball all-star, presented the Gatorade national player of the year trophy to Whiteville High pitcher MacKenzie Gore. Gore was named the N.C. Gatorade state player of the year winner Tuesday. He has signed with East Carolina.
The 6-foot-2, 175-pound left handed senior pitcher is ranked as the nation’s No. 4 recruit in the class of 2017 by Baseball America. Perfect Game ranks Gore No. 5 nationally. That means he’ll likely go high in next month’s MLB draft.
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In high school, Gore also played outfield and first base. He led Whiteville High School to a 21-6 record and a N.C. 1A state semifinals berth. He was 9-0 with an 0.22 ERA, plus 132 strikeouts in 63.1 innings. He hit .480 with six home runs, 25 RBIs and an .880 slugging percentage.
Gore, who carries a 4.07 weighted GPA, is member of his school’s National Honor Society.
"MacKenzie Gore is a fierce competitor," said Whiteville High head coach Brett Harwood. "The combination of his elite athleticism and tremendous work ethic has made him one of the best players in the nation."