BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Uprooting your life from Arizona to Mississippi would be a lot to ask of any teenager. But, for Colten Keith, his first year in Biloxi went about as well as anyone could have hoped. After one season with the Indians, the junior INF/RHP was named the 2018-19 Gatorade Mississippi Baseball Player of the Year.
“Me and my parents, this was actually one of the goals we set before the season, and I ended up getting it. It’s a huge honor, it’s awesome,” Keith told WLOX. "It’s a dream come true to be the Gatorade Player of the Year.”
“When you move across the country and you play for a whole different team, you expect a few hiccups," Keith said. "Here, there wasn’t really many hiccups. It just went perfectly, ended up reaching all my goals I wanted to reach. (I) couldn’t have asked for a better season.”
Averaging .527 at the plate to go with a lights-out 1.47 ERA on the mound, the Arizona State commit helped lead Biloxi to a breakout season, culminating with a 29-5 overall record and a Region 8-6A Championship.
“When the rankings came out, they didn’t even have us in the top 15 in Mississippi," Keith said. "No one believed in us. (We) as a team thought we could be good, but no one else did. We just had to prove it and get our respect throughout the season. We did our job, everyone did their jobs, and we did it.”
St. Martin brought the Indians’ season to a screeching halt in the Class 6A South State Finals. However, as a rising senior and co-captain, Keith plans to lift Biloxi to even greater heights in 2020.
“We’re gonna plan on making it back to where we were, we’re gonna give it all we got," Keith said. "I think we have a chance, so we’ll see what happens.”
Keith becomes the second Indian to win Gatorade Mississippi Baseball Player of the Year in the last three seasons, as Trey Schaffer won the award back in 2017. Schaffer, who now pitches collegiately for Southeastern Louisiana, was the first in program history to ever receive the honor.