On the Bubble: Webster


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: Webster
Preseason Rank: On The Bubble
2019 Record: 30-0
Conference: Lakeland West
WIAA Class: D-4
Head Coach: Jarrod Washburn
Playoff Run: D-4 State Champions
2019 Final Rank: No. 2
Returning Starters: 5
Returning Pitchers: 3 

OUTLOOK

It feels harsh to leave off the Tigers, who are still technically riding one of the most dominant runs of any squad in the state. Webster, despite an enrollment under 200 students, had one of the most talented teams in the state in the 2018-19 spring season, headlined by RHP Jack Washburn (Oregon State) – the 2018 PBR Wisconsin Player of the Year who earned all-state and All-PBR honors after his magical 2019 season. Washburn was backed up at the top of the rotation by RHP Hunter Rosenbaum (West Virginia), giving the staff arguably the state’s top one-two punch.

There were a few other critical 2019 players that pushed the Tigers to an undefeated season after a heavyweight fight with Mineral Point in the D4 title game.

With that 2019 class graduated, this year’s squad was going to look a whole lot different, despite being led by one of the top juniors in the state, Owen Washburn, a South Carolina commit who was set to star as a two-way talent yet again. Fellow standout 2021 Carsen Stenberg (uncommitted) was also set to miss the spring after suffering a knee injury in basketball, making Webster a little more thin than they’d been accustomed to over the last three seasons.

Still, getting to see Webster grind their way through the postseason would have been especially exciting to see – especially with the younger Washburn taking the reins and shouldering the workload.

SENIOR SPOTLIGHT

Seniors Coleton Peterson and Tanner Pardun had been integral role players to the 2019 D4 champs and were set to contribute in an even bigger way in their final prep springs. Peterson had been a multi-sport standout for the Tigers as a 6-foot-4, 200-pound athlete, and it helped him hit .371 in his junior spring and earn second team all-conference honors along the way. Pardun played in 27 games for Webster as a junior and was bound to see even more regular playing time in the outfield given the holes opened up by graduation and through injury.

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