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Cubs Select Whitenack in Eighth Round

While Massapequa High School has romped its way through another championship season, a star athlete from Plainedge High School is also reaping the rewards of diamond excellence.

Last Wednesday, Robert Whitenack, a graduate of Plainedge High School was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the eighth round of the 2009 Major League Baseball draft.

Whitenack is a hard-throwing right-hander who has enjoyed a stellar career at SUNY-Old Westbury. He was the 260th selection overall and the first player ever from that university to be drafted into professional baseball.

On Wednesday, Whitenack was also the first Division III player taken in the draft.

A resident of North Massapequa, Whitenack is currently a junior at Old Westbury. This year, he had a 5-2 record with 79 strikeouts in 67.1 innings, holding opposition hitters to a .190 batting average.

In his three-year career at Old Westbury, Whitenack went 12-10 overall, with a 3.03 ERA and 189 strikeouts in 183.1 innings of work. He stands as Old Westbury’s all-time strikeouts leader with 179.

Whitenack’s pitching process has taken him all the way to Hawaii. In the summer of 2008, he appeared in 12 games for the Waikiki Surfers of the Hawaii Collegiate Baseball League. There, he twirled an ERA of 2.15 with 40 strikeouts in over 37.2 innings. Whitenack was both a league All Star and named as top prospect of the league.

Among his other honors, Whitenack has earned back-to-back Skyline Conference Pitcher of the Year awards in both 2008 and 2009. He was also named the 2009 ECAC Pitcher of the Year, earning, in the process, a spot on the ECAC All-Star team.