PBR Illinois Player Of The Week: SS Andrew Wilhite

By Andy Sroka
Staff Writer

Andrew Wilhite, Stillman Valley’s senior shortstop, is our latest PBR Illinois Player of the Week. It’s an especially high honor this week considering just how competitive this past week’s race to the award was. Mason Hull (Effingham), Nathan Lavender (El Paso-Gridley), Josh Mesenbrink (Triad), Zaid Walker (Homewood-Flossmoor), Danny Russo (Stagg) and others, all put up immense performances which made it difficult to name just one solitary POTW after the first week of May. You can look forward to seeing the reports of their off-the-charts play from last week in Friday’s edition of Weekly Diamond Notes.

But as good as the aforementioned were, Wilhite stood alone.

The senior Minnesota commit separated himself from the pack by going 12-for-21 last week and he slugged six homers -- including a jaw-dropping five in five consecutive official at-bats at one point in his team’s series against Rockford Christian.

Stillman Valley crammed in six games from Saturday, April 28 to Saturday, May 5 and Wilhite was a feature in every one of them. The lefty bopper reached base 17 times in 26 plate appearances and drove in 17 runs, scoring nine times himself, and he also stole four bags. He helped carry the Cardinals to nine consecutive wins to close out April into May, until they lost a narrow 6-5 contest to Glenbard West on Friday. Regardless, Wilhite’s heavy lifting helped earn the Cardinals four wins last week, including his start on the mound on May 1 where he pitched five innings and allowed just two runs while he struck out seven.

Andrew Wilhite (6.15.17)

Entering this week, Wilhite was slashing an unfathomable .468/.570/.975 with a sky-high OPS of 1.545 on the season. His six homers last week pushed his total to nine this spring and he’s tallied 42 RBIs. These stats actually don’t include the Cardinals’ 16-2 victory over North Boone on Monday that featured yet another Wilhite homer and two more RBIs.

Stillman Valley is now 21-6 this season with playoff aspirations on the mind. With a slugger like Wilhite at the center of this team, there’s no telling just how far he can take them on his own.

Stay tuned for our Weekly Diamond Notes that will be published this Friday. There we’ll take a look at players who narrowly missed out on a Player of the Week honor but deserve some recognition nonetheless.