Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 25 New Berlin West
March 24, 2022
The Wisconsin high school baseball season kicks off on March 29, opening day for regular season action under WIAA regulations. Over the next two weeks, leading up to opening day, we’ll be publishing our team previews ahead of the 2022 spring season, touching on programs spanning all state classifications, counting down through the official PBR Wisconsin Preseason Power 25 Rankings.
Perennially, we’ve submitted a Preseason Questionnaire to high school head coaches across the entire state. Their responses have been flooding in and we’re using the detailed insight they’ve provided in our team-by-team preseason analysis.
Our 2022 preseason coverage continues today.
Team: New Berlin West
Preseason Rank: 25
2021 Record: 14-10
Conference: Woodland West
WIAA Division: 2
Head Coach: Steve Altstadt
||2022||College of Lake County
KEY PLAYERS LOST
+ INF Ty Deckert (2021)
+ INF Nate Wiese(2021)
+ OF Zach Grusczynski (2021)
+ RHP/INF Ben Johnson (2021; Carroll University)
LHP Vincent Gohlke (@NBW_Baseball, 2022) is an uncommitted lefty with a loose, quick arm, sitting 83-85 mph. He consistently earns swings and misses in and around the zone, while working the corners.#PBRatTheRock | @GRBMKE pic.twitter.com/dG5RcfzvII— PBR Wisconsin (@PBRWisconsin) July 23, 2021
+ LHP/1B Vincent Gohlke (2022; Illinois-Chicago commit): After not pitching last year due to Tommy John surgery, Gohlke is poised to have a dominant year this upcoming season. Last year, Gohlke turned in a quality year at the plate since he wasn’t able to pitch, slashing .472/.541/.778 which helped New Berlin West have one of their most productive seasons of recent memory. This year, the Vikings have a healthy Gohlke on the mound which is even more intimidating for opposing teams. On the mound, we have seen the southpaw reach 89 mph with his fastball and spin in a sweeping type slider for strikes. Being a four-year varsity member and having the toolset that Gohlke possesses makes him one of the key pieces to this Viking roster.
Things are looking promising for New Berlin West, as head coach Steve Altstadt led the Vikings to their first winning record in five years last season, which also happened to be his first at the helm. Though they’ll be without four of their top offensive performers from last year’s squad, New Berlin West brings back all of their top pitchers and adds the star-studded firepower of Gohlke, who didn’t take the mound for them in 2021.
A second-team all-conference honoree last season as a sophomore, RHP Tyler Hewitt (2023) will look to build off the success he had in his first season at the varsity level in this encore. Hewitt recently attended our Milwaukee Preseason ID, where he showed an uptick in stuff by running his fastball up to 84 mph and spinning an above-average breaking ball to pair. He made six starts last season, pitching to a 1.62 ERA and was the anchor they leaned on throughout. Now, with Gohlke back, this duo will look to pack a punch as a formidable pairing atop this rotation, but they won’t be without help on the back-end. RHP Jarien Jones (2022; College of Lake County) logged innings last year and is back looking to make an impact in his final season at the high school level, with RHP/INF Rocco Conrad (2025), OF/RHP Myles Rewolinski (2023), and OF/RHP Jedd Czysz (2023) set to contribute on the mound, too.
With a few of their top bats now gone, C Dominic Kibler (2023; Kent State) will be leaned on to pace this team offensively and, from what we’ve seen of him in the past, appears more than capable of doing so. Last year for the Vikings, Kibler slashed .382/.511/.706 which led to a very productive summer circuit as he turned many heads with his offensive prowess. Over the past year or so Kibler transformed himself into one of the top left-handed bats in the Midwest eventually earning a spot on Team Wisconsin during the 2021 PBR Future Games and then culminating in a commitment to the Golden Flashes shortly after.
The Vikings have depth behind Kibler and Gohlke, looking to support two top left-handed bats in the state with a lineup capable of scoring runs. MIF Jackson Heuer (2022) posted a .304 batting average and reached base at a .451 clip in 71 at-bats last season, bringing an experienced presence with a track record of contributing to the top of this lineup. Both Czysz and Rewolinski will be counted on as potential middle-of-the-order types, with names like the aforementioned Conrad, C Justin Fiene (2022), and INF Daniel Kibler (2025) all candidates to see consistent playing time.
On paper, the Vikings appear to be a well-rounded roster that compliment each other well. They have stars who’ve proven themselves at the varsity level, return a large chunk of their innings from last season, and add an intriguing group of youngsters to the mix. Things won’t be easy for them, especially with perennial powerhouses in Pewaukee and Greendale lurking at the top of this conference, but the Vikings will look to build off the success they started last year.
Make sure to follow @PBRWisconsin on Twitter for the most up-to-date coverage throughout the 2022 season.
Find more information on the 2022 Vikings below:
PRESEASON POWER 25 COUNTDOWN