Willie Argo was named Big Ten Player of the Week after hitting .667 with a 1.266 slugging percentage and 2.359 OPS in a series sweep at Penn State last weekend.
April 27, 2009
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - Illinois freshman designated hitter Willie Argo (Davenport, Iowa) was named the Big Ten Player of the Week, the conference office announced Monday. Argo hit .667 (8-for-12) with three home runs, a 1.667 slugging percentage, an on-base-plus-slugging (OPS) of 2.359, eight RBIs and six runs to lead Illinois to a three-game Big Ten sweep at Penn State and move into a first-place tie with Ohio State. The Illini also jumped back into the rankings, earning the No. 28 spot in Collegiate Baseball's weekly poll. The honor is the first of Argo's career and the sixth by an Illini player this season, the most in a season in school history.
Argo was exceptional in the weekend series, going 3-for-4 in the series opener with a homer, a double and a triple, falling only a single short of the cycle while driving in three runs and scoring three times. In addition, his home run carried well past the 410-foot marker in left-center field, the deepest part of Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
On Saturday, Argo singled in his first at bat, ripped a two-run homer in his second, walked in his third, reached on a fielder's choice and blasted a three-run homer in his final at bat to complete a streak of reaching base in eight consecutive plate appearances. He finished the day 3-for-4 with a career high-tying five RBIs and two runs in his second career multiple-homer game. On Sunday, Argo wrapped up the best series of his young career by going 2-for-4 with a run scored to register multiple hits in each game over the weekend.
Argo's honor is the second of the season, as he also made an appearance in Sports Illustrated's Faces in the Crowd on March 23 after hitting three home runs in his collegiate debut at then-No. 1 LSU. The sweep of Penn State was Illinois' first in a road Big Ten series since 2000 and the first time Penn State has been swept in its three-year-old ballpark.
The Illini return to action on Tuesday when they host Southern Illinois at 6 p.m. The Orange and Blue continue mid-week play with a trip to Indiana State for a Wednesday contest at 6 p.m. (CT).