Swing felt better than Kossuth’s Wilcher did

baseball_icon_greenBy Brandon Speck

Daily Journal

How many home runs could Jacob Wilcher have hit if he hadn’t felt bad?

Wilcher hit five home runs Thursday and Friday in a Class 3A opening playoff sweep of O’Bannon.

“I’m probably going to get a shot here later,” Wilcher said Saturday evening prior to seeing a doctor. “Yesterday, I had a really bad headache when I hit them.”

The last of his six at-bats, a flyout. Forgiven.

The dingers came off three different pitchers and sextupled his season total.

“I guess my swing was just feeling really good,” Wilcher said. “Last year, I hit for the cycle. I thought that was hard to believe. But hitting five home runs in five at-bats, I thought that was a little harder.”

‘Cornerstone’ recruit

He wasn’t feeling all that good, but Ole Miss is.

Rebels247 recently labeled him the “cornerstone for the 2017 class.”

The sophomore commit, listed at 6-foot-3, 175 pounds, was hitting .462 after 19 games with a perfect fielding percentage from his center field spot for the reigning state champions.. He has 18 stolen bases. He’s been walked 12 times and hit by a pitch six times.

Colleges and big league scouts are both salivating over his sweet swing, but his speed, too. He’ll spend the next two seasons in Alcorn County chasing another title, but also he says improving his arm strength before college. He also averaged more than seven points per game for the Aggies’ basketball team, he says to keep work on his speed and athleticism.

“I had four or five different colleges looking at me,” Wilcher said, “but Ole Miss is where I always wanted to go. They gave me an offer, so I took it.”

He committed there on April 7 after a three-plus hour visit with his mom.

So Wilcher didn’t just pop on the scene with those long balls, and he was a Journal All-Area selection last season. Way before that as a 2-year-old, he says he put on catcher’s gear by himself at his step-brother’s game.

It’s all in the family. Now his freshman brother Nikolas is drawing attention for his arm.

“He can throw it,” Jacob said.

Jacob can swing it.

brandon.speck@journalinc.com