signing day

Norman’s Cade Horton, an OU signee, was named Gatorade state baseball player of the year Thursday. The Oklahoman file

CHICAGO — Norman High School’s Cade Horton has been named the 2019-20 Gatorade Oklahoma Baseball Player of the Year, it was announced Thursday.

The 6-foot-3, 195-pound senior shortstop and right-handed pitcher was 1-0 on the mound with a 0.00 earned run average and five strikeouts in four innings pitched this spring for the Tigers (3-1-1) before the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 crisis. He compiled a .375 batting average with six runs and six RBIs. Horton concluded his high school baseball career with a .420 batting average, 140 hits, 128 runs, 87 RBIs and 34 doubles.

Horton is the first Gatorade Oklahoma Baseball Player of the Year to be chosen from Norman High School.

Horton has maintained a 3.66 GPA in the classroom. He has signed to play baseball at the University of Oklahoma, where he plans to also walk on to the football team as a quarterback.

Horton has volunteered locally as a youth mentor and at youth baseball and softball tournaments. “Cade Horton is a ballplayer,” said Cody Merrell, head coach of Norman High.

“He is obviously gifted and able to do things other high school players cannot. As a pitcher, he can throw in by any batter. Defensively, he has unbelievable range and the ability to make plays that will make you shake your head in amazement.”

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 and field, and awards one national player of the year in each sport. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.

Horton joins recent Gatorade Oklahoma Baseball Players of the Year Tyler Polk (2017-18, Duncan), Ryan Vilade (2016-17, Stillwater), Cacy Harper (2015-16, Berryhill) and Kyle Tyler (2014-15, Westmoore) among the state’s list of former award winners.

Oklahoma’s best: This year’s top-10 high school football recruits