Power 25 Update: May 12


By Steve Nielsen & Andy Sroka
Wisconsin Staff

With conference races reaching their conclusions, and regionals right around the corner, the state’s Power 25 ranking is heating up, and this week was particularly wild. Four teams were bounced out, making way for four new squads to take their spot – three of which are making their rankings debuts. There’s a lot to discuss below, so let’s get to it.

CLICK HERE for a look at the complete Power 25.

CREAM OF THE CROP

  • We have a new No. 1 for the second time in as many weeks. Janesville Craig (17-1) capitalized on Burlington’s loss to Jefferson on Saturday by going a sterling 4-0 last week, including a huge victory over Waunakee. The Cougars have been, arguably, the most consistent team inside the top-five this spring. While they do have a loss this spring to that same Burlington team, Craig hasn’t lost since (eight straight wins) and will put their No. 1 title to the test immediately with a two-game set this week against Madison West.

  • As for those Demons (15-3), they slip just a single spot on the rankings, to No. 2, after Saturday’s defeat at home to Jefferson. Earlier in the week, Burlington bested Waterford in games on Tuesday and Friday and also defeated Waukesha West on Saturday before dropping the day’s second contest to Jefferson. They’re still the real deal and have as sincere title hopes as any other program in the state.

  • We have a new top-ranked Division-2 team, too: West De Pere (17-2) vaults past Waupun after the Warriors dropped their first game of the spring. The Phantoms, meanwhile, haven’t lost since April 26 and won all four of their games last week.

  • Kimberly (13-2) is pushed up a spot on the rankings, to No. 5, after putting in a 4-0 week’s work. The Papermakers have now won seven straight and this talented 2019 class is putting it all together down the final stretch of the last regular season of their amateur careers.

TRENDING UP

  • By Green Bay Preble’s (14-2) lofty standards, the Hornets got off to an uneven start this spring. They lost twice to close April out but have been diligently rectifying that brief shaky stretch since. Preble’s now winners of 10 in a row and are fresh off a 4-0 week in which they defeated Bay Port, 1-0, avenging a loss to the Pirates back on April 16 – they also earned two wins over Green Bay Southwest and one other against Seymour.

  • Webster (18-0) is now higher than they’ve ever been this spring, at No. 7, after yet another spotless week. They allowed just two runs combined in their four games last week and shut out their toughest opponent of the spring thus far, D-2’s Lake Mills. While Webster is proving themselves to be the class of Division-4, they certainly have the talent to compete well outside their classification, as they proved with a D-3 title last year.

  • The Blue Dukes of Whitefish Bay (16-2) are winners of 10 straight and quietly continue to climb the Power 25. Their big win streak has earned them a spot inside the top-10 as a result, with their biggest week to date this spring. They secured a pair of wins over ranked West Bend West, which actually served as their first two wins over a ranked team this season. We’ve said it before, but the Blue Dukes have a compelling combination of eager underclass talent and more experienced senior leadership, which could make them a D-2 threat through the rest of the spring season.

  • Union Grove (17-3) keeps tallying wins, six straight now, and are consistently in each ballgame because of their pitching. The Broncos allowed a single run all of last week and tossed a pair of shutouts over Badger and Racine Park to get to this point. They outscored Badger and Park 32-1, combined, in their three wins.

  • Beloit Turner (17-0) is one of three undefeated teams remaining on the Power 25, and they notched another three wins last week to extend the streak. They’re all the way up to No. 13 on the rankings because of their blemish-free spring, thus far. Two games with Clinton this week before closing the regular season out with a pair of eye-catching contests on Saturday against ranked Catholic Memorial and Lake Country Lutheran.

  • Stevens Point (14-3) is riding a 10-game win streak now after tallying another three wins last week, and all three came against opponents with records above .500 – Appleton West and Chippewa Falls twice. Their offense is looking livelier than we expected of late, which is making the Panthers a much more well-rounded threat headed down the final stretch.

  • Franklin (12-5) spent the week sweeping a reeling Indian Trail squad in three games. It was the perfect way for the Sabers to bounce back from a big loss to Burlington on May 4. At 12-5 this spring, Franklin has a huge week ahead with five games on the slate: Monday at top-10-ranked Bradford and a visit to rivals Oak Creek on Thursday, with a three-game series against Horlick mixed in between.

DOWN BUT NOT OUT

  • After spending the preseason and the first four weeks of the spring as the No. 1-ranked team on the Power 25, Waunakee’s (14-5) been sliding down the board and kept on going in Week 6. The Warriors dropped three of their four games last week, including two against teams with records under .500: Sauk Prairie and Verona. They closed the week with a loss to new No. 1 Janesville Craig, too. Waunakee will be looking to rebound this week in its two games against Beaver Dam, as well as its contests against Medford and Mount Horeb.

  • Hortonville (12-5) slides five spots down to No. 12 after splitting their four games last week, featuring losses to Kimberly and Appleton East. The Polar Bears haven’t exactly been consistent this spring, and have four losses since April 23. They have just two games on the calendar this week, against Kaukauna and Appleton West, so we’ll see if they can make the most of them.

NEWCOMERS

  • Bay Port (13-6) spent the last couple of weeks outside of the Power 25, but they made their way back on in this week’s update, despite suffering a 1-0 loss to Preble. It helped that the Pirates do still own a win over the Hornets this season and that they also earned wins over ranked Oak Creek and a scrappy Holmen squad last week. Bay Port actually leapfrogs a couple of teams on the Power 25 and reemerges at No. 20 on the board.

  • Webster has some D-4 company on the rankings now, with Mineral Point (17-0) joining them as both representatives of the state’s smallest class as well as one of the three programs without a loss in 2019. The Pointers already have wins over Cuba City and Fennimore, two of the tougher members of the SWAL Conference, and look like a challenger to Webster’s heavy favorite state hopes.

  • The other two teams filling out the Power 25 both represent the D-2 class: River Falls (12-2) and Greendale (15-2). The Wildcats opened their spring with back-to-back losses but have yet to drop a game since – meaning they’ve won 12 straight. They just swept Eau Claire Memorial, which helped solidify their standing on the Power 25. As for Greendale, they’ve looked sharp all spring and have an offense capable of exploding for lopsided score columns. For example, they beat both New Berlin West and rivals Greenfield by a combined score of 50-5 last week. Surprisingly, they were shut out on May 6 in a loss to Wisconsin Lutheran, but it looks like this offense won’t be making a habit of it.

OUT

  • West Bend East (12-6) has cooled off of late, dropping five in a row before sweeping a doubleheader against Hartford. Still, the five straight losses isn’t enough for them to stick to the Power 25, so they’ll have to make way for the aforementioned newcomers. Things don’t get easier for them, either, with Whitefish Bay on the calendar next weekend.

  • The other ranked West Bend program, the West Suns, are now 11-8 after losing their last three, including a pair to the Blue Dukes. They also split Saturday’s doubleheader with Grafton but as losers of four of their last five, West is also on the outside looking in on the rankings. They keep dropping close contests, so you’d have to think they still look like a capable squad this postseason.

  • Slinger (13-7) dropped three of their five games last week after splitting their two-game sets with both Hartford and Homestead, and also suffered a Friday defeat to Brookfield East. It was a tough week to endure following their debut on the Power 25, but they can get back on the winning trail with three games this week against sub-.500 opponents Nicolet and Waukesha North.

  • Like the Owls, Sussex Hamilton (12-6) debuted on the Power 25 in last week’s update, but struggled in their first week as a ranked squad. They went 1-3, with back-to-back losses to Brookfield Central and a Friday loss to Menomonee Falls, before salvaging the week with a 7-3 win over Brookfield East on Saturday.

OTHER NOTES

  • Waupun (17-1) took their first ‘L’ of the year last week, and it came at the hands of a 15-3 Ripon team in walk-off fashion. Waupun returned the favor and avenged the loss two days later, but it still puts a blemish on their otherwise impressive record as defending D-2 champs.

  • Kenosha Bradford (13-5) is back to No. 8 in the state after sweeping Racine Park in three games last week.

  • Oak Creek (12-5) had an up-and-down week, going 3-2. They swept their conference series with Racine Horlick before losing both of their games in the Sun Prairie Invitational, to newly ranked Bay Port and No. 17 Sun Prairie. They have a loaded schedule this week to climb back up the board, with two games against Tremper and another against rivals Franklin.

  • De Pere (12-5) earned wins over Ashwaubenon and Notre Dame but dropped their game against Pulaski sandwiched in between the two.

  • Sun Prairie (14-6) hosted their annual invitational over the weekend and split their two games. They opened the weekend with a loss to a scrappy Holmen squad but made up for it quickly a win over ranked Oak Creek.

  • Ocononomowoc (10-3-1) saw their eight-game win streak snapped with Friday’s loss to Arrowhead.

  • The Wauwatosa East Red Raiders (13-4) rallied from a loss at the start of the week to Marquette University to defeat the Hilltoppers on Tuesday before sweeping crosstown rivals West in two games to close out the week.

  • Catholic Memorial (11-6) began their week with a loss to ranked Oconomowoc, but won their last three contests against Kettle Moraine and a pair over Mukwonago to finish strong.

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