Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 18 Mineral Point


By Andy Sroka
Staff Writer, Associate Scout

On Tuesday, April 21, the WIAA Board of Control asserted to cancel all 2020 spring competitions, baseball included. While saddened for the graduating class of 2020, the PBR Wisconsin staff will do its best to highlight what could have been this spring, in what was set to be an exciting campaign filled with intriguing storylines to know and players to follow.

We published our ‘Watchlist Squads’ post on Monday, April 20, spotlighting almost 20 need-to-know programs that fell short of official ‘Bubble’ or Power 25 status for our preseason team rankings. We also declared 18 more programs official ‘On the Bubble’ teams, teams that earned sincere Power 25 consideration.

Today, we continue our countdown to No. 1, the top-ranked team on the PBR Wisconsin Preseason Power 25. We’ll be releasing a team a day in our lead-up to No. 1, and we’re onto No. 18 this evening.

Team: Mineral Point
Preseason Rank: No. 18
2019 Record: 27-1
Conference: South West Athletic League
WIAA Class: D-3
Head Coach: Jordan Tibbits
Playoff Run: D-4 State Runners-Up
2019 Final Rank: No. 24
Returning Starters: 6
Returning Pitchers: 3

OUTLOOK

Last year’s Division-4 state race ended in a heavyweight bout between two undefeated squads, Webster and Mineral Point. These two rosters had a collection of next-level talent sharing the field, something that’s not quite as common among these smaller schools.

The Pointers were downed in that title game, running into one of the state’s best players and a loaded Webster squad, but they returned several impact names in 2020 and were fully geared to take to their new D-3 environment with relative ease. They would have entered this season as our D-3 favorites, starting the spring as the No. 18-ranked squad in the state.

This team’s seniors were set to stabilize this roster, and we’ll detail that group further in the section below, but they are no-doubt led by junior Missouri State recruit OF/RHP Liam Stumpf. Stumpf is one of the top players in Wisconsin’s 2021 class and he carries some genuine two-way traits. He hit .489 as a sophomore in 2019, smacking a whopping 12 homers, 11 doubles, and three triples all while punching out 56 batters in 38 innings, used more often in long relief last spring. Stumpf was probably set to take on a starter’s role in 2020 with the graduation of Curtis Cox, but the Pointers would have had one of the best one-two punches with Stumpf and senior LHP Grady Gorgen (McHenry County JC commit) at the helm.

Liam Stumpf (7/31/19)

Sophomore OF Dominik McVay broke out at our Madison-area showcase in March. He’s a physical 5-foot-10 athlete who ran an event-best 6.58 in the 60-yard dash. McVay swings a strong right-handed bat and earned regular playing time as a freshman for the Pointers, hitting over .300 in his first spring at the level.

Stumpf and McVay were set to be excellent complements to this talented senior core that was already accustomed to a winning atmosphere. They were primed to get back to Grand Chute later this spring, and it’s unfortunate that they won’t get the chance to see it come to fruition.

SENIOR SPOTLIGHT

The aforementioned Gorgen was set to lead the top of the pitching staff, returning a 9-0 record, 1.19 ERA, and 60 Ks in 40 innings. He had some trouble with his control, but Gorgen has an interesting arsenal he’ll look to flesh out further over the border at the Illinois JUCO McHenry County College. When he’s not pitching, Gorgen is roaming the outfield and he’s bringing back a .430 batting average, bolstering this starting lineup.

Senior backstop Justin Baehler (Century JC commit) looked sharp in the fall just before the offseason and it helped him land a spot at the next level. He’s a robust right-handed hitter who looks like he’s really starting to grow into some pop. He hit 12 doubles and a pair of homers last spring, but he could have reversed those numbers in his senior season. Baehler is also an above-average backstop, so he has an interesting profile to follow at the next stage of his career.

Justin Baehler (9/22/19)

SS Isaac Lindsey is one of the top basketball players in the state, and is headed to UNLV in the fall for it, and he won’t get the chance to end his baseball career on a high note. He hit .479 as a junior, which led the team, and would have been an ideal table-setter hitting ahead of the likes of Stumpf, Baehler, and Gorgen. This lineup was going to be a deep one, especially for a D-3 program.

INF Grant Bossert also hit over .300 as a junior (.329 as a matter of fact), helping solidify the Pointers’ deep lineup and one that could effectively back up its pitching rotation.

For a D-3 squad, the Pointers lack a real weakness – few programs of this size can boast about depth, and it’s the default weakness for Mineral Point, but there is talent across the diamond. They have go-to arms, a few loud bats, and some youth that could boost the offense and rotation after these juniors and seniors take their turns in the order. The Pointers were unfortunately robbed of getting the chance to avenge last year’s loss in the D-4 championship game.

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