PBR Wisconsin Power 25 Rankings: Update


By Andy Sroka
Illinois and Wisconsin Assistant Director

For the first time this spring, we’re updating our WIAA Power 25 rankings following the first two weeks of play. We waited to update board until the majority of programs across the state were able to get in at least a handful of games to this point, and it’s allowed us to make some big changes on the top-25 board.

In case you missed any of our previous coverage, here’s some links you can bookmark as we continue on our trek through the spring:

And now, onto our first update to the state’s Power 25 rankings.

THE TOP-FIVE

+ The top-five teams on the Preseason Power 25 hold their spots in this first update: No. 1 Sun Prairie (5-0), No. 2 Oak Creek (6-0), No. 3 Bay Port (5-0), No. 4 Kimberly (3-0), and No. 5 Union Grove (9-0).

There’s not a ton to report within this group, as these five have been expectedly dominant out of the gate. The top-ranked Cardinals remain undefeated after a lopsided sweep of Madison La Follette to start the season, and this past week they earned two hard-fought wins over ranked conference rivals Verona Area.

Oak Creek swept Southeast conference opponents Bradford in three games, and they ended Week 2 on a high note with a 5-4 win over a quality Greendale squad to maintain an undefeated spring.

Bay Port has a few quality wins in the early going prior to a challenging week ahead. The started their spring with a narrow win over Kaukauna, who’s proven to be a tough out in the time since. The Pirates also earned an overwhelming doubleheader sweep of Green Bay Southwest on Saturday and beat a tough D2 New London squad last Thursday.

The Papermakers started their season with a win over then-ranked Brookfield East and backed it up with wins this past week over Appleton East and Fond du Lac.

And Union Grove is enjoying one of the best starts in the state, with nine straight wins to open their season. We were excited about the potential Union Grove had on the mound – and they haven’t disappointed – but Broncos bats have scored 102 runs in their team’s nine games so far, combining for one of the top run differentials in the state (+81).

ON THE RISE

+ Pewaukee (9-0) is up a couple of spots, now ranked No. 6 overall, with a handful of lopsided contests courtesy of one of the most competitive pitching staffs in the state. They battled through a couple games against Wisconsin Lutheran last week and earned a doubleheader sweep of a solid Columbus squad by a combined score of 23-4. They have New Berlin West on deck, so that’ll be a good test for this group. Though, one of the biggest storylines of the spring in the early going is that the WIAA lifted Pewaukee, among a few others, up to the D1 ranks for this year’s postseason, announced just last week.

+ Few teams have more quality wins than No. 7 Wauwatosa East (8-0), who won a pair of games against Hamilton and Wisconsin Lutheran on Saturday that followed a dramatic 1-0 win against No. 10 Menomonee Falls on Thursday. East’s pitching was their preseason strength, and it remains the thing that will carry them through this spring, though their bats have been up to the test early.

+ Both No. 8 De Pere (3-0) and No. 9 West De Pere (6-0) are top-10 ranked teams now. De Pere’s 6-0 win over Kaukauna has aged really well, and they scored two overwhelming wins on Saturday against Sheboygan South that primed them for a big week ahead, starting Monday against No. 24 Notre Dame Academy.

West De Pere has collected some noteworthy wins against the likes of Appleton West and New London, and they’re continuing to show like a squad capable of making it back to state. They’ll face the Kaukauna test next, this evening.

+ No. 11 Eau Claire North (8-0) are making sure that it’s totally justified to continue to call this program the reigning D1 champs. The Huskies have made eight straight wins to start the season look pretty easy; they won two-game sweeps of Rice Lake, D.C. Everest, Menomonie, and Wausau West. They have a series against Chippewa Falls and Rapids on deck this week.

+ No. 14 Eau Claire Memorial (6-1) is up a few spots on this updated Power 25 despite suffering their first and only loss of the season, a 5-3 defeat to Hudson. Hudson’s looking like a strong team to watch this spring, so no shame there, and they bounced right back to beat the Raiders 10-0 two days later. They also own quality wins over Waunakee and two over Onalaska.

WELCOME…

+ No. 12 Whitefish Bay (9-0) has been one of the surprises to the spring, and a welcome one. Blue Dukes seniors Brady Counsell and Brady Marget are two highly regarded prospects in the state, and they’ve been overpowering opposing pitching all spring, which has helped them stack quality win after quality win, propelling them all the way to No. 12 in this update. WFB owns wins over a solid University School squad, Marquette University, West Bend West, Burlington, and No. 17 Catholic Memorial.

+  We wondered what it’d be like for No. 22 Green Bay Preble (5-1) to journey into this season without its legendary Class of 2020 stars in the dugout, but Preble’s proved that it's built a winner here, and they haven’t really missed a beat. They split a Saturday series with ranked Notre Dame Academy, which gave them their sole loss, but they’ve been strong otherwise and we’re eager to see how they handle the No. 3 Bay Port Pirates tonight, in a game we’ll be in attendance for.

+ No. 23 Indian Trail (6-1) made early season waves right away with two wins, back-to-back, against then-ranked Franklin. The Sabers claimed the final game of the series, handing the Hawks their first loss in the process, but IT has won four straight since, including one over a talented and senior-laden Wilmot squad. They have a three-game set against ranked rivals Tremper this week, which will tell us a lot about the Hawks’ chances to emerge from the rigorous Southeast.

+ One of the most fun storylines to pay attention to this spring will be the D3 race, as there are a handful of really talented programs within that division this year, and we’re calling St. Croix Falls (7-0) one of the state’s best, ranked No. 25 and the second D3 team on the Power 25. Markesan is 5-0 and up to No. 20 in this update, but keep an eye on SCF and their dominant senior LHP Jared Lessman, who has some staggering statistics early this season. Sophomore INF/RHP Brayden Olson makes up one of the division’s best staffs, and really one of the best in the state. The Saints have two wins over Bloomer already, a team that’s 6-0 otherwise, and they beat Heart O’ North staples Cumberland, 11-1, and Northwestern, 9-2, to further solidify their status as D3 contenders.

TRIPPED UP

+ The Classic Eight is, as anticipated, beating each other up, which has pushed those programs down the board, though they’re still plenty talented and ranked; No. 13 Muskego (5-2), No. 15 Arrowhead (4-2), and No. 17 Catholic Memorial (5-3). Muskego and Arrowhead split their two games, both of which were expectedly competitive. Arrowhead won both its games against Catholic Memorial back on May 1, but suffered a 2-1 loss to Milton last Saturday to spoil the end of the week. CMH is still, we feel, the most talented D2 program in the state now that Pewaukee has moved up a division, with three narrow and tightly contested losses against a couple of the best teams in the state.

+ We didn’t want to go too hard on No. 18 Verona Area (2-2), considering they competed admirably against No. 1 Sun Prairie in their two losses last week. They still strike us as one of the most talented teams on paper, but they have a lot to prove in an important week against Janesville Craig (4-1), Madison Memorial (3-1), and Milton (4-2).

+ No. 19 Hortonville (3-1) dropped its game to Kaukauna on Saturday, 5-2, and unfortunately suffered a drop having played only four official games so far without a signature win, which magnified their first loss of the spring.

ON THE BUBBLE

+ Greendale (5-2): Ranked No. 25 in the preseason, the Panthers can still call themselves one of the next teams in, with a pretty strong resume, having lost two games to two of the state’s traditional powers, Burlington and Oak Creek.

+ Jefferson (6-0): The Eagles have been off to a flying start, but their opponents have just two wins combined this spring, which has lessened the impact of those wins thus far. Still, Jefferson is a D2 state contender with a talented roster.

+ Franklin (5-3): Don’t count out the Sabers. After an 0-2 start, Franklin won four straight and dropped a 7-6 ballgame to No. 13 Muskego on Saturday to close the week. They’re young, so the hot/cold start to the spring adds up, and they could find themselves back onto the Power 25 in no time.

+ Boyceville (5-0): The Bulldogs look like the favorites to the D4 title this spring, with stand-out seniors in the dugout who have been putting up head-turning stats game in and out. As a team, Boyceville has outscored their opponent 78-6 in five games this season, led by seniors RHP/INF Walker Retz and C Trett Joles.

+ Denmark (8-0): Denmark has, legitimately, one of the deepest pitching staffs in the state. Though they’ve also been productive offensively so far, which has them up for Power 25 consideration early. The D2 Vikings will have an influential week, with match-ups against Freedom and Kewaunee, and Little Chute a week from today.

+ Beloit Turner (6-0): Like Rock Valley rivals Jefferson, the Turner Trojans are also off to a 6-0 start, though without a signature win to propel them onto the rankings thus far. Still, this is a program accustomed to building a winner, having won or shared the RVC crown in each of the past four seasons.

+ Hudson (4-2): We can’t count out Hudson’s hot start that included a win over No. 14 Eau Claire Memorial, against the state’s top-ranked senior pitcher no less. There’s a ton of talent inside this Raiders dugout, and while a two-game losing streak spoiled their tremendous start, we expect them to rally back soon – and a Tuesday/Thursday meeting with rivals River Falls could push them even closer to the Power 25.

Click here for the full look at the updated WIAA Power 25 Rankings.

RELATED CONTENT