On the Bubble: Stevens Point


By Andy Sroka
Staff Writer, Associate Scout

On Tuesday, April 21, the WIAA Board of Control asserted to cancel all 2020 spring competitions, baseball included. While saddened for the graduating class of 2020, the PBR Wisconsin staff will do its best to highlight what could have been this spring, in what was set to be an exciting campaign filled with intriguing storylines to know and players to follow.

We published our ‘Watchlist Squads’ post on Monday, April 20, spotlighting almost 20 need-to-know programs that fell short of official ‘Bubble’ or Power 25 status for our preseason team rankings. Today, and for the remainder of the week, we’re going to be individually detailing our ‘On the Bubble’ teams – teams that earned serious consideration for our Preseason Power 25 Rankings, but ultimately fell just short.

Our 2020 preseason coverage continues today.

Team: Stevens Point Area
Preseason Rank: On The Bubble
2019 Record: 20-5
Conference: Wisconsin Valley
WIAA Class: D-1
Head Coach: Kraig Terpstra
Playoff Run: Sectional Semifinalists
2019 Final Rank: No. 13
Returning Starters: 2
Returning Pitchers: 3 

OUTLOOK

A program as big as SPASH’s is consistently able to rebuild on the fly, which would have been absolutely necessary for its 2020 campaign, considering they graduated so many members of their 2019 squad. This is a program that captured eight of the 10 Wisconsin Valley titles from 2010 to 2019, including the last two seasons.

The Panthers were going to look a whole lot different in 2020, however, but different doesn’t mean worse. There’s an interesting and borderline deep pitching staff here, headlined by one of the top arms of the 2021 class: RHP Logan Schulfer (Wisconsin-Milwaukee). He’s a right-handed flamethrower with a power changeup and is capable of becoming one of the premier shutdown arms in the state next spring, and would have been the region’s top arm as a junior, too. He’s backed by fellow juniors Kenny Schultz and Jacob Sankey in the rotation, but more likely by a couple key seniors, who we’ll detail below.

There were also a couple underclassmen to know here that could’ve helped hasten the process to reload: sophomore C Brandon Vlcko and freshman RHP/INF Devin Mrozek. Vlcko is a hulking 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, who uses it well from the right-handed box and inherent strength. We last saw Mrozek late in the summer where he was all the way up to 84 mph on the mound with the feel to spin a breaking ball. These two would have been given a change to help plug the holes left behind by its 2019 graduates.

SENIOR SPOTLIGHT

It was clear from the get-go, Stevens Point’s 2020 campaign was set to be scored by the success of its seniors. INF/RHP Austin Beyer, C Vinnie Fonti (Wisconsin-Stout), RHP Connor Mrozek (Bryant & Stratton, WI), RHP/INF Jamie Praefke (Wisconsin-Stout), and LHP Kaleb Schulist (Wisconsin-Parkside) were all set to conclude their prep careers with their third straight WVC title.

That’s a lot of next-level talent in one dugout, even if it’s as stacked a squad as we’re used to seeing in Stevens Point. The Panthers had some sorting out to do inside their lineup, but it probably wouldn’t have taken long to see this familiar face back inside the Power 25 and atop the Wisconsin Valley.

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