PBR Wisconsin Power 25 Rankings: Week 5 Update


By Andy Sroka
Illinois and Wisconsin Assistant Director

For the fourth time this spring, we’re updating our WIAA Power 25 rankings. Five weeks in, the WIAA season is taking shape, and we even have some conference championships clinched already. The top programs in the state are settling in, and we’re also getting a clearer picture of the top D2, D3, and D4 programs that are aiming for a trip to Appleton at the end of June.

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 latest update to the state’s Power 25 rankings.

THE TOP-10

The top-six-ranked teams in the state combined to lose just once in Week 5 – and that came in No. 2 Pewaukee’s series split with No. 15 Greendale. So, with that, the teams ranked Nos. 1 through 6 are unchanged inside this update. Pewaukee rallied back from their first loss of the season to beat rivals Greendale on Saturday, so our staff felt good about keeping the Pirates as our No. 2-ranked team in the state.

Rain last Thursday and Friday somewhat limited the action we had scheduled, making this update a little lighter on changes. We’ll go through some of the Week 5 highlights next:

+ No. 1 Sun Prairie (14-1): The Cardinals opened the season as our top-ranked squad, and they’ve remained No. 1 since. They won both of their games at the start of the week, and the rain altered their weekend plans, unfortunately. Still, a dramatic 13-12 win over No. 7 Union Grove highlights their week, a game in which they showed that their offense can propel them back to state and beyond.

+ No. 3 Bay Port (15-1): Bay Port won its three games last week, all of which came against conference opponents, as the Pirates moved to 15-1 overall and 12-1 in the Fox River Classic. Two of their wins came against Preble and Notre Dame Academy, which helped them hold firmly onto their No. 3 spot in the state.

+ No. 7 Union Grove (18-3): The Broncos went 4-1 in Week 5, and their lone loss came in the aforementioned slugfest against top-ranked Sun Prairie. Their competitiveness in that ballgame, plus their four wins over Westosha, and Racine’s Case and Horlick, pushed them up a big spot inside the top-10, now at No. 7 overall.

+ No. 8 Franklin (15-3): It’s wild to see how things have shaken out since the first rankings update of the WIAA season. Franklin started 2-3 after the first two weeks of the spring, and it was enough to kick them off the Power 25. That was short-lived, seeing as they’ve been the only team to beat No. 11 Whitefish Bay this season, and now they’re fresh off two shutout victories against Southeast rivals No. 13 Oak Creek. The manner in which the Sabers won their two games in Week 5 against the Knights is what’s hoisted them all the way into the top-10, as they allowed just three hits, while their dynamic offense continues to generate runs. They’ve won 10 straight games and are prepping for a huge conference series with No. 5 Kenosha Tremper, starting Tuesday.

+ No. 9 Wauwatosa East (16-2): The Red Raiders dropped a conference game at the start of the week, to Sussex Hamilton, and that tee’d up a critical game against Menomonee Falls on Saturday. The two required extras in their first meeting of the season, in which ‘Tosa East earned the 1-0 win, and their second game required extras again. Another late rally, in the ninth this time, allowed the Red Raiders to pull ahead to eventually shut-out the Phoenix. The loss to Hamilton prevented them from moving up in this update, but they’ll take the way things shook out, as they’re still a half-game ahead of Falls in the Greater Metro.

+ No. 10 Menomonee Falls (16-3): Falls has won all 16 of its 17 games against teams not named Wauwatosa East this year, and they followed up their loss on Saturday with a win over non-conference No. 18 Hortonville later in the day. Falls and ‘Tosa East have proved that they’re very equally matched, as they’ve required lengthy extra-inning contests to determine both their GMC battles. All three of their losses came against top-15-ranked teams, so our staff felt that it would have been harsh to knock them for their 3-1 Week 5, and they’re right back to the spot they were ranked in the preseason, No. 10 overall.

BIG WEEKS

+ No. 11 Whitefish Bay (20-1): After a tough loss to No. 8 Franklin at The Rock a couple weeks back, the Blue Dukes have rebuilt another substantial win streak, up to nine in a row now. They’ve cooly handled their conference schedule, comfortably winning all 15 of their North Shore games en route to back-to-back conference titles. Tuesday’s meeting with West Bend East looks like one of the biggest obstacles between them and an undefeated season within their conference. Unranked in the preseason, No. 11 overall is the highest Whitefish Bay has been on the Power 25 in 2021.

+ No. 15 Greendale (14-4): The Panthers were only able to play twice in Week 5, though that did allow them to put all of their energy and attention onto rivals No. 2 Pewaukee, which may have allowed them to hand the Pirates their first loss of the season last Wednesday. Pewaukee got their revenge in game two on Saturday, but splitting with the No. 2 team in the state is a highly impressive feat. In our looks at this team this year, Greendale comes across as a fundamentally sound, competitive program that won’t be an easy out come playoff time.

+ No. 16 Kimberly (15-4): Five straight wins nudged the Papermakers up a couple spots up the Power 25, to No. 16 overall. Their doubleheader sweep of Waukesha West on Saturday felt like their most impressive wins of the week, though their three other wins against conference opponents helped them take a two-game lead in the Fox Valley Association, now 10-1 in conference, 15-4 overall. They travel to Neenah on Tuesday, with FVA games against Kaukauna and Appleton West later this week.

+ No. 17 DeForest (13-2): DeForest is playing some of its best baseball of the season right now, looking like they’re getting into a rhythm, especially within the Badger North, where they lead by two games. The senior-heavy Norskies have won five in a row, and their pair last week against conference rivals Waunakee still stand out, supported by their pair over Beaver Dam this week. In this update, DeForest jumped five spots to No. 17 in the Power 25.

WELCOME…

+ No. 25 Seymour (13-5): The Thunder have effectively dug themselves out from the hole they were in after their 1-4 start to the season. Losses to quality opponents like Hortonville, West De Pere, and Preble made for a rocky beginning to the spring, but Seymour has fully rallied back on this 12-1 stretch, featuring wins over the likes of New London, Denmark, D.C. Everest, Antigo and West De Pere. They played then-ranked WDP twice on Tuesday and combined to win both by the score of 19-0, and Seymour’s also the only team to have beaten Denmark this season. While their record might look a little misleading, substantial wins like this, and over a short period of time, have yanked Seymour up all the way onto the Power 25 heading into Week 6.

THE DIVISION 3 RACE

+ No. 19 St. Croix Falls (17-1): The Saints played just once in Week 5, but they made it count, with a 14-4 win over Heart O’North opponents Cumberland. Since their 1-0 loss to Osceola two weeks ago, SCF has won eight straight, and all have come against conference teams. They’ve allowed just 11 runs combined in those eight wins, and have scored 78 times themselves.

+ No. 20 La Crosse Aquinas (19-1): It continues to impress, seeing the Blugolds dominate the Mississippi Valley Conference against mostly D1 competition. This talented D3 squad has allowed five or more runs in a game this season just twice, once in their narrow, lone loss to Onalaska, and another time in an 11-5 win over Tomah. They’ve otherwise pinned opposing bats down while their own gifted lineup goes to work, led by one of the top senior hitters in the state, 1B Jared Everson, who’s committed to Minnesota.

Normally, we’d share these teams in the Bubble section below, but we thought we’d spend some time highlighting how exciting the D3 stage is this spring, as the playoffs edge closer and closer.

+ Mineral Point (19-1): It’s been tough to keep the Pointers off the Power 25, as they’re 19-1 overall and in the midst of a 13-game win streak. They score runs in bunches, and their one loss came on a day without their best player in the lineup, senior Liam Stumpf, a Missouri State recruit. They edged even closer to the Power 25 this as, maybe, its next team in, after winning on the road in Pecatonica, the Six Rivers leaders and one of the top D4 teams in the state.

+ Markesan (14-1): The Hornets opened the season on the Power 25 as the top-ranked D3 team in the state, rostering experience and seniors who’ve been to state before. Their loss to Flyway leaders St. Mary’s Springs has continued to age well, as Springs has won eight of its past nine. Markesan remains one of the top D3 contenders in the state, especially after handing Green Lake/Princeton its first loss in conference play this season.

+ Kenosha St. Joseph (13-1): The Lancers played another talented D3 squad this week, conference rivals St. Thomas More, and beat them 15-8 in game one, and they currently hold a 10-0 lead in a rain-postponed game that came on Thursday. Amidst those conference contests, St. Joseph earned a resume boost this week with wins over D1 Indian Trail and a 15-5 victory over South Milwaukee. They’re certainly towards the top of the bubble, and arguably the best D3 team in the Milwaukee area this spring.

+ Coleman (18-1): Outside of a 2-0 loss while hosting Oconto Falls, Coleman has won every one of its games this season, including both contests against Crivitz, which should ultimately carry them to winning its conference this season.

+ Ozaukee (10-0): Ozaukee is leading the Big East Conference at 9-0 (10-0 overall) and deserve a spot on this D3 list as they’re both undefeated and rostering the single most impactful player in the state: senior Noah Miller. Miller is the top-ranked prospect in the state, and one of the top players in the country, and his impact on both sides of the ball could help lead Ozaukee to a place at state in the final prep spring of his career.

+ St. Mary Catholic (12-2): Ozaukee will play the Zephyrs on Thursday in a key conference meeting, and St. Mary is another D3 squad that’s earned Bubble status to this point in the season. It’s a huge week for them, as they’ll take on another quality conference opponent, Random Lake, prior to their meeting with Ozaukee. Senior southpaw Mitchell Lukasik has been one of the most effective two-way players in the state this season, and he’s been one of this team’s most important players in 2021.

ON THE BUBBLE

+ Denmark (19-1): The Vikings remain teetering on the edge of the Power 25 after four more wins in Week 5. A one-run win over Westosha and a 6-2 win against Waupun were nearly enough to place them onto the rankings, but Seymour’s momentum and win over Denmark themselves unfortunately gave them the ammunition to land the last spot on the rankings just ahead of the D2 Vikings.

+ Stevens Point Area (12-2): Four wins combined on Friday and Saturday, against Wausau East and La Crosse Central, nearly brought the Panthers back onto the Power 25. They’re entering a critical stretch of the season, however, with nothing but away games left. They travel to D.C. Everest for a doubleheader Thursday, a series that will go a long way to determining a winner inside the Wisconsin Valley. Next week, they visit non-conference No. 17 DeForest for two, and they’ll also travel to Onalaska for two on June 12.

RELATED CONTENT