Prep Baseball Report

Breaking Down Nebraska's Class B Power 10

Pascal Paul
Prep Baseball Nebraska

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As we prepare for the upcoming 2024 High School season, we will be taking a look at six of the top 10 teams for Class B heading into the spring.


Defending B2B State Champions top our preseason Class B poll for the 2024 season. They return a solid senior class that starts Nebraska Commit '24. LHP/OF Colin Nowacyk has dominated the last two seasons and is a preseason candidate for POTY. However, he is one of many weapons Coach Dunn has to deploy this year. Four more seniors are committed to playing at the next level and will be the Wolves core in search for the three-peat - Chriss Thiessen OF (Missouri State), SS Jeff Grossart (Missouri Western), RHP Owen Hess (Morningside), 1B Brodie Sellmeyer (Morningside). Thiessen and Grossart will anchor the lineup at or near the top in all statistical categories while having the 1st and 3rd most plate appearances, respectively. Hess will be looking to help replace some productive arms lost from last year's team. He had 16.2 IP the previous season with 10Ks and only 2BB. A guy to keep an eye on who could have a significant impact for this Wolves is '26 C Maverick Christiansen; he caught the majority of games last year as a freshman, and the experience and knowledge he gained will be vital for the Wolves early on in the season.


The Titans return the most feared bat in the state in '24 3B Kale Fountain (LSU). He is getting 1st round buzz for the 2024 MLB draft, and rightfully so. He stands 6'5, 230 lbs, and has light tower power. As good as Fountain is, and we are on the side, he is all that and then some; this team is much more than one player. They return seven starting position players and five pitchers with 15+ innings from last year's state runner-up team. On the mound, they are anchored by '24 RHP Colton Homolka (Southeast CC), '24 LHP Beckett Lund (Hutch CC), and 26 RHP Bryce Fountain (Nebraska), all of whom have the stuff and experience to get Norris back to where they want to be. Around Kale in the lineup, '25 OF Crew Moeller, '24 C Logan Michael, and '24 OF John Hood should see a good amount of pitches to hit. The Titans have been knocking on the door of a State Championship for a couple of years now; a deep pitching staff and a more balanced lineup could be the combination they need.


An experienced pitching staff will be the strength of Elkhorn's team in 2024 as they look to fill holes left by a graduating senior class in the field. 24 SS/RHP Gil Schroeder (Southeast CC) - .346 with ten extra-base hits, 24 RBIs with 25.1 IP, 32 Ks, 19BB -, '24 RHP Andrew Salvatore - 1.95 ERA, 43 IP, 17 Ks - will be leaders on this Antlers team. Overall, Coach McCright returns six starting position players and six pitchers who threw over 15 innings to a team that just missed the state semifinals last season. That experience should be the difference towards the end of the season when heartbeats start to quicken, and Tal-Anderson is rocking.


A solid finish to the Skyhawks' 2023 season saw them make the state semifinals. Returning one of the top arms in the 2025 class in Nebraska, commit RHP/SS Jace Ziola, as he has all the makings to match up with any Pitcher in the state. New Head Coach Damon Day is coming in with a talented but inexperienced roster with six players committed to play at the next level - Kyler Seamon (Briar Cliff), Jacob Bussom (Birar Cliff), Barrett Jurgensen (Doane), Shawn Michael Robinson (St Cloud State), Nolan Wall (Highland CC) and Jace Ziola (Nebraska) - and ten players ranked between '24-'26 classes this team will be a lot different at the end of the season than they will in the beginning.  


The Warriors are coming off a 20-5 season in 2023 and a state tournament appearance, looking to do more in 2024, with a good mix of experience from last year's team and some new faces ready to step up and produce on the varsity level. They are led by multi-sport athlete '25 OF/C Conor Booth (Nebraska) - .412, five doubles, four triples, four HR, 14 SB in 2023 - he can change games by himself with his athletic ability. On the hill they return their top 4 arms in Wins, Inning pitched and appearances with three Seniors leading the way - LHP/1B Eli Johnston (3Ws, 2.24 ERA, 40.2 IP, 29 Ks, 14 BB), RHP/UTIL Barrett Nelson (2Ws, 3.0 ERA, 18.2 IP, 18ks, 9BB), LHP/OF Ryan Bokelmann (5Ws, 1.51 ERA, 37IP, 59 Ks, 21BB) - joining them is an underclassman that will be on a lot of schools radars if he isn't already - '26 RHP/UTIL Kaden Christen - as a freshman he pitched to a 1.72 ERA over 20.1 IP racking up four wins with 28ks to 12 BB. The experience on the mound will be what Coach Weyers leans on to get the Warriors back to Tal Anderson in 2024


Upperclass production and experience return for the Vikings in the 2024 season after missing out on the state tournament last season. First-year Head Coach Jerry Dittenber will have three quality arms at his disposal - 24 LHP Nash Peterson (Southeast CC) 17.2 IP, 20ks - 25 RHP Brennan Miller 37.1 IP, 42ks - Bruin Sampson 36.1IP, 45 Ks - Miller and Sampson have the size and stuff to impress recruiters at the next level. On the other side of the ball, the Vikings return a core 4 in - 24 INF Eli Russell (Southeast CC) .295, 8 XBH - 24 INF Landon Oelke .262, 5 XBH, 20 RBIs - 25 OF Hunter Thoms .365, 5 XBH, 31 SB - '25 C Drew Koch .346, 7 XBH, 22 RBIs. Waverly is two years removed from the state title appearance. After missing out on the excitement last year, I expect this upperclassmen group to be very motivated to get the program back deep into the postseason in Coach Dittenber's first season.


 A significant group returns, including all the innings on the mound from the 2023 season. At the front of those returners, SS/RHP FInn Hochstein (Hutchinson CC), the two-way talent, is ranked 49th in our 2024 class and will lead the way both at the plate and on the mound for the Bluejays. Coach Anderson will have a handful of two-way talent - '25 RHP/INF Kolton Loos, '26 RHP/INF Brycen Burt, '25 RHP/INF Connor Sveeggen - to mix and match pitching rotations and batting lineups to best set up the Bluejays for success in 2024


Coach Hempel returns a solid core of players from the Class B semifinals appearance in 2023. Replacing the production of the current Creighton Bluejay Connor Capece will be the biggest challenge for the Cougars. They return three arms with experience: '24 LHP/1B Isaac Bies, '24 RHP/3B Jack Miller, and '26 RHP Charlie Yeshnowski. After a strong freshman year, Charlie will be on recruiters' radars in 2024. Gross will also return two outfielders in '24 Nate Pechar and '24 Bryson Sargent, along with three infielders in '24 Jack Miller, '25 Carson Kozeal, and '24 Colby Duncan, giving them a solid offensive core of experience. 


Five seniors committed to playing ball at the next level headline the Blair 2024 squad. '24 RHP/SS J'Shawn Unger (Nebraska) is coming off a 2023 season where he missed due to injury, but the Husker commit has a long, athletic frame with fastball that has been up to 93. It will jump out of his hand when healthy Unger is one of the top arms in the state. Future Jackrabbits in OF Brady Brown and SS/C Nate Watcher look to lead the offensive attack. Brady is an athletic OF who runs down balls in center and has a blend of speed and power that make opposing arms uncomfortable. Nate is a versatile defender who can play both of the most valuable defensive positions at a high level, and his longer body helps him create leverage and good barrel control and make a dangerous combination. Under-the-radar seniors - RHP Tanner Jacobson (Cloud County) and 1B/LHP Dylan Swanson (Doane) will give the Bears more quality and experienced depth than most teams they play. 


The Patriots might start and play the most seniors of any class B team, and coming off a state tournament appearance last year, this position might be a bit low for Coach Emanuel's 2024 team. Iowa Western Commit '24 RHP/INF Dawson Thies and '24 RHP/INF Timmy Hunt should give them a chance to win any game they toe the rubber. They will flex their muscles defensively on the mound and infield, where a Senior will occupy every position and eat up most, if not all, of the innings. Offensively, '24 OF Braxton Wentworth, '24 INF Cody Pluta, '24 INF Caleb Daniel, '24 C Statton Corey, and '24 OF Aidan Washburn bring a ton of ABs back that will be key in manufacturing runs for the pitching and defense that should keep almost every game close in 2024.