COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Ohio High School Athletic Association state baseball tournament opens Thursday in Akron, and the state’s best player will lead one of the central Ohio hopefuls.

Liberty Union pitcher Jacob Miller was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in Ohio and is a projected first round pick in the Major League Baseball Draft. Miller went 8-0 this season and can hit 99 miles per hour with his fastball.

“I mean every time I toe the rubber I expect to get the results that I have all year,” Miller said. “But you need more than one pitcher, so I think having the guys that we’ve had on the mound all year, plus our defense, there’s been nothing to worry about. Whether I’m on the mound or not, I’m confident we’re going to beat whoever’s on the other side of the field.”

Liberty Union is making its first state tournament appearance since 1964 when the Lions won the Class AA title.