PBR Wisconsin Power 25 Rankings: Week 6 Update


By Andy Sroka
Illinois and Wisconsin Assistant Director

For the fifth time this spring, we’re updating our WIAA Power 25 rankings. Over six weeks in, the WIAA season is nearing the end of the regular season. 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

+ Business as usual for No. 1 Sun Prairie (19-1), as the Cardinals have won nine straight since dropping their first and only loss of the season. Sun Prairie also scored a huge conference win on Friday against No. 18 Madison Memorial that has them poised to run the season’s table as the top-ranked program in the state from beginning to end. They play the Spartans again today before ending their regular season with a two-game series against Middleton and a non-conference meeting with Waunakee on Saturday.

+ The No. 2 Bay Port (19-1) Pirates have been ranked as either the No. 2 or 3 team in the state since the preseason and in each of the updates that have followed. They’re back up to No. 2 while playing some of their best baseball of the spring, winners of nine straight. Since their 9-7 loss to Ashwaubenon, Bay Port has allowed just 13 runs in nine games combined, while registering double-digit run totals in six games over that same stretch. The senior-heavy bunch is gelling at just the right time, as they prepare to end their conference play at Pulaski on Wednesday, closing their season by hosting West De Pere on Saturday.

+ Now all the way up to No. 3 in the state, the Franklin (19-4) Sabers just completed their toughest stretch of the spring, and they went 6-1 across it, winning both of their series against No. 17 Oak Creek and No. 8 Kenosha Tremper, with an extra-innings win over No. 13 Greendale mixed in between. The Sabers’ are fresh off a season sweep of their nearby rivals Oak Creek, winning Monday’s contest in convincing 11-3 fashion. They took two of three in a narrow series with the Trojans, and they’re right on Tremper’s heels in the Southeast standings, back by a half-game, with three games against Racine Case on the schedule this week, while Tremper and Oak Creek battle themselves.

+ An uncharacteristic loss to Sussex Hamilton, 14-12, and Franklin’s huge week made way for No. 4 Pewaukee (22-2) to drop a couple spots in this update. The Pirates still look like one of the most balanced and competitive teams in the state, and it’ll be entertaining to watch them compete inside the D1 postseason soon.

+ No. 5 Muskego (17-2) has simply been on cruise control, owning one of the state’s most talented rosters, balanced by senior experience and exciting prospects still in the midst of their first seasons at the varsity level. The Warriors are the Classic Eight champs, a huge accomplishment for this program, as it was one of the most gifted conferences in the state this spring.

+ No. 6 Union Grove (20-3) has won all of its games since its explosive and narrow loss to No. 1 Sun Prairie a couple weeks ago. They only had two on the schedule in Week 6, earning a doubleheader sweep of conference opponents Wilmot on Saturday.

+ With just three losses – and three of the best losses in the state – No. 7 Menomonee Falls (18-3) is now ranked higher than it's ever been this spring, up three spots in this update. Two of the Phoenix’s losses this year have come against Greater Metro rivals No. 15 Wauwatosa East, in two dramatic extra-inning battles. Falls has been dialed in, and own quality wins over the likes of No. 14 Hortonville, West Bend East, Germantown (twice), Sussex Hamilton (twice), among others.

+ Dropping two of three games to No. 3 Franklin has No. 8 Kenosha Tremper (19-3) slip down a few spots in this update, though the Trojans still appear to be one of the toughest teams in the state. They’re up a half-game on the Sabers in the Southeast, though they’ll need to handle No. 17 Oak Creek in their three-game series if they want to claim the conference outright.

+ A 1-2 record in Week 6 pushed No. 9 Eau Claire North (17-3) down five spots. The Huskies dropped a Big Rivers game to River Falls and another non-conference contest to Holmen. They’re now tied with Hudson for the BRC, at 8-2, and they have two on the schedule with the Raiders this week, beginning today.

+ No. 10 Whitefish Bay (23-2) has been one of the stories of this WIAA season, and despite a 9-6 loss last week to a scrappy West Bend East squad, the Blue Dukes enter the top-10 of the Power 25. They’re back to back North Shore champs and they’ve been looking onward to the playoffs, having clinched their conference for some time now.

ON THE RISE

+ No. 11 De Pere (16-3) won their crosstown battle between West De Pere by a 12-1 score, and two other convincing wins over capable squads like Manitowoc Lincoln and Ashwaubenon boosted the Redbirds to the spot just outside the top-10 rankings.

+ Since their loss to top-ranked Sun Prairie near the end of May, No. 12 Kimberly (18-4) has won seven consecutive games against some totally competitive teams, like Waukesha West, Neenah, Kaukauna, and Appleton West. It seems like the ‘Makers are getting into a rhythm at just the right time, with the playoffs lurking.

+ An extra-innings loss to one of the hottest teams in the state, Franklin, wasn’t enough to halt the momentum that No. 13 Greendale (18-4) has built. This is a hard-nosed bunch led by experience and a senior core that should be a very tough out come playoff time. Their recent series split with Pewaukee still serves as a fresh reminder of the kind of team they can be on their best day.

+ No. 14 Hortonville (18-5) was very busy last week, and yet, the Polar Bears won all six of their games. They can really pitch, but we knew that, and it’s been their streaky offense that’s been seeing the ball well that has propelled them up four spots in this update. Last week, Hortonville defeated Fond du Lac, Oshkosh’s North and West, Appleton North, and Waunakee twice.

+ No. 18 Madison Memorial (12-3) a narrow 9-8 loss to conference rivals and top-ranked Sun Prairie had our staff thinking that the Spartans are capable of keeping up with the Cardinals, and others, come playoff time. We’ll see how they handle their second game against the state’s No. 1 team again today, before a two-game set with Madison West ends their regular season.

+ No. 22 Medford (20-3) has won five straight games en route to clinching the Great Northern. And a reminder, the GNC has the state’s most recent D2 champion, Antigo, so it’s a wonder if this underrated conference can produce another state contender again in 2021. Meanwhile, congratulations to junior INF/RHP Caleb Guden (uncommitted), who now owns the Raiders’ program records for hits and RBIs in a season. Medford will play Edgar on Thursday for the chance to break their school record for wins as well.

WELCOME… 

+ It’s probably been too long by this point, but at last, welcome No. 20 Denmark (24-1) to the Power 25. The Vikings have the most wins in the WIAA this season behind one of the state’s top pitching staffs, led by three seniors: LHP Reece Piontek (Concordia-St. Paul commit), RHP Logan Paplham (Lake Land JC), and RHP Brennen Miller (College of Lake County JC). And on Monday, fittingly, these three combined to throw two no-hitters against Luxemburg-Casco. Piontek earned the first in game one himself, and Paplham got nearly all the way there in game two, and Miller finished it off. The Vikings have allowed just one run in June, underscoring their talent within the rotation.

+ And another D2 squad makes its season debut on the Power 25: No. 23 Lake Country Lutheran (22-2). The Lightning have won 10 in a row, and their most recent 12-2 win against St. Thomas More helped push them onto the rankings, finally. Also, a 6-5 win while hosting Wauwatosa East substantially enhanced their resume to the point where we felt like LCL was a must-add to this update, now firmly among the state’s top D2 contenders.

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