Written by Corbett Smith
Baseball Player of the Week (5/27): Frisco Wakeland's Willie Schwanke
What he did: In a must-win Game 2, Schwanke got as near to a no-hitter as possible — holding Waxahachie without a hit until two outs and two strikes in the seventh. He retired the first 13 Waxahachie batters before surrendering a walk in the fifth. Schwanke pitched a no-hitter earlier this season, a 2-1 win over Carrollton Newman Smith.
Who he is: A 6-1, 185-pound senior right-handed pitcher and third baseman
The stats: As a pitcher, he’s 11-0 with a 1.65 ERA, 100 strikeouts, and 18 walks in 702/3 innings. As a hitter, he’s batting .416, with 4 home runs, 39 RBI, 17 doubles, 11 steals, 30 runs, and an 1.363 OPS.
He said it: “Of course, you feel the pressure, but honestly, I like pitching in games like that, where you have to win. … I like the do or die. I think our team performs better in games like that.”
Coach said it: “He was spotting everything up. And they had some good at-bats too, fouling off a lot of his pitches and battling. … But I haven’t seen him pitch much better than that, and that says something.” — Barry Rose
Did you know? An all-state utility player in 2011, Schwanke signed with Arkansas. He has been phenomenal all season, leading Wakeland in average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, home runs, triples, doubles, RBIs, walks, wins and strikeouts.