Prep Baseball Report

PBR Illinois Diamond Notes: Week 4

By Andy Sroka
Illinois and Wisconsin Assistant Director

Each week, IHSA coaches around the state submit to us their nominations for the PBR Illinois Player of the Week honor. On Wednesday, we awarded the Week 4 POTW honor to LHP Jackson Kent (Lake Park, 2021; Wisconsin-Milwaukee commit), who struck out 24 batters in 10 innings last week, and his 18-strikeout one-hitter against the top-ranked team in the state at the time clinched him the weekly award.

There were a number of other impressive performances that were in the mix for the award and deserve recognition. Here’s a look at some of the most notable.


Colin Brueggemann 1B / RHP / Freeburg, IL / 2021

Freeburg senior Bruggemann, a Johnson County CC commit, recorded 11 hits last week, and nine of them when for extra bases – three doubles, a triple, and he slugged five home runs, including two in one inning alone against Alton. His offensive production generated 15 RBIs and 12 runs scored. He also earned the win on May 8 against Nashville, when he K’d six and walked none without allowing a run.

Eric Orloff LHP / Glenbrook North, IL / 2021

The Glenbrook North southpaw is one of the top senior pitchers in the state, and his three-hit complete game shutout of New Trier in Week 4 perfectly exemplified why. He struck out 17 batters and walked none, and threw 77 of his 102 pitches for strikes. Entering Week 5, Orloff had punched out 42 batters in 21 innings and had allowed just two earned runs all year.

Crayton Burnett RHP / SS / St. Joseph-Ogden, IL / 2021

Burnett has been, expectedly, one of SJO’s most important players. His stats in Week 4 were particularly impressive. In two starts, Burnett struck out 21 batters and allowed just three hits total, aided by a no-hitter thrown against Decatur St. Teresa a week ago. He also chipped in offensively with six hits, two doubles, seven runs, and three RBIs, including the walk-off RBI single against St. Teresa.

Camden Ruby OF / Oswego East, IL / 2021

Oswego East senior Ruby was one of the state’s hottest hitters to start May. In the month’s opening week, Ruby was 12-for-20 with two doubles, three home runs, and 13 RBIs, as well as 10 runs scored.

Bobby Atkinson 1B / OF / St. Rita, IL / 2021

St. Rita senior Atkinson helped the Mustangs win six of their seven games in Week 4 by going 8-for-18 with three doubles and two homers, including a grand slam. Atkinson drove in 13 runs, scored 11 himself, and earned seven free passes via the walk or HBP. In his team’s two-game series with Loyola, Atkinson drove in nine total with the help of a grand slam that broke a 4-4 tie. He also slugged a home run against Mount Carmel, down 4-0 at the time, that sparked a comeback that led to an 8-6 win.

Corey Boyette OF / INF / Romeoville , IL / 2022

This the second straight week that Boyette’s made Diamond Notes, as he was among the main reasons why Romeoville won all four of its games in Week 4. Boyette went 7-for-13 with three doubles, a home run, and he drove in nine runs, scored six times, and stole two bases.

Brock Barton INF / Belleville East, IL / 2021

Senior, and Drury commit, Barton motored Belleville East to three wins in Week 4 by driving in five clutch runs on four hits, and he also struck out 10 batters in six innings that resulted in a win over Granite City.

Amir Gray 3B / 1B / Brother Rice, IL / 2023

Brother Rice was 6-0 in Week 4 and one of their several star sophomores was directly responsible: Amir Gray. Gray went 7-for-15 with three doubles, a triple, and he drove in six runs and scored three times himself.

Julius Sanchez RHP / LaSalle Peru, IL / 2022

The LaSalle-Peru junior pitched six dominant innings against Sycamore last week, striking out 11 batters in six innings, walking only one and allowing no runs. Sanchez continues to pitch like one of the top ‘22s in the state.

Ryan Kraft LHP / 1B / Lincoln-Way Central, IL / 2021

Lincoln-Way Central senior ace Kraft did it all last week, by collecting eight hits that produced six RBIs and five runs scored. He was 3-for-4 in the same win in which he pitched four quality innings against Lockport. He’s faced some of the state’s best teams all spring, and he has an ERA of just 2.10 on the season with 23 Ks in 20 innings.

Mason Schwalbach C / 3B / Marian Central Catholic, IL / 2021

Schwalbach is a strong senior left-handed hitter who was red hot for Marian Central last week, as he went 7-for-12 with four doubles and a triple that helped him drive in eight RBIs and score six times. He also struck out all six batters he faced in Week 4.

Ryan Coon OF / 1B / Freeport, IL / 2024

Freeport freshman Ryan Coon has earned a place on Diamond Notes for the second time this season already, following a Week 4 performance highlighted by six hits, including two doubles, two triples, and he drove in three and scored five times, without striking out.

Eli Hensley SS / 2B / Normal West, IL / 2022

Normal West junior Hensley is something of a staple on this list, as he churned in yet another quality week at the plate in Week 4. Hensley went 7-for-14 with a double, six runs scored, and he was 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts. He’s only struck out three times this season, and he was hitting over .500 in 51 at-bats entering Week 5.

Grant Palmer SS / 2B / Neuqua Valley , IL / 2021

This is the second time this spring that Palmer has earned a spot on Diamond Notes. In Week 4, Palmer was 5-for-11 in three Neuqua ballgames and he also was a go-to option from the ‘pen, as he earned a win in 2.2 innings holding down the fort in a pair of outings.

Jaden Mitchell OF / 1B / Neuqua Valley, IL / 2021

In Neuqua’s three-game series with Metea Valley, Mitchell went 4-for-10 that included the game-winning triple in the bottom of the eighth inning in one of those games, scoring the go-ahead run, and he scored two runs in Week 4 himself.