Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 12 Denmark

By Maddox Durst
PBR Wisconsin Staff

The Wisconsin high school baseball season kicks off on March 28, opening day for regular season action under WIAA regulations. Over the next week, leading up to opening day, we’ll be publishing our team previews ahead of the 2023 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. We also utilized some of the information published inside the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association's 2023 Yearbook, which is available for purchase here.

Our 2023 preseason coverage continues today.

Team: Denmark
Preseason Rank: No. 12
2022 Record: 28-3
Conference: North Eastern
WIAA Division: 2
Head Coach: Bill Miller


Izaac Dittmer UTL Denmark 2023 -
Rheis Johnson C Denmark 2023 Saint Mary's (MN)
Lucas Miller RHP/INF Denmark 2023 Wisconsin-Whitewater
Ethan Ovsak RHP/OF Denmark 2023 -
Nolan Perry OF Denmark 2023 -
John Wertel OF Denmark 2023 -
Drake Derricks INF Denmark 2024 -
Jaycob Dittmer RHP/INF Denmark 2024 -
Josh Dvorak RHP/INF Denmark 2024 -
Ebyn LaForest INF/C Denmark 2024 -
Grant Schroeder RHP Denmark 2024 -
Joshua Gajeski INF/C Denmark 2025 -
Eli Kapinos INF Denmark 2025 -


+ RHP Owen DeGrand (2022; College of Lake County JC)
+ OF Hayden Konkol (2022; St. Cloud State)


Lucas Miller (2/12/22)

+ RHP/INF Lucas Miller (2023; Wisconsin-Whitewater commit) comes back, once again, as the ace of the Vikings, after finishing with an unblemished record of 11-0 on the mound last season, including a 1.27 ERA. Miller, standing at 6-foot-0, 155 pounds, took the reins as the Vikings’ go-to arm last season from his older brother Brennen (2021; College of Lake County JC), who was one of the top players in the state back in 2021. Lucas was unfazed and put up similarly impressive numbers and he intends to do the same as a senior now, finally. Miller has a high-spin fastball that gets on hitters quickly, coupled with a smooth, athletic delivery that should be able to produce a big jump in velocity once he hits a college campus, if not as soon as this season. He also spins an advanced breaking ball that helped him stifle opposing hitters in 2022, and we’re confident he can charter yet another award-winning season at Denmark this spring.


486: Number of wins that Denmark head coach Bill Miller has overseen in 30 years of coaching the Vikings. Miller looks to climb up to the 500 win mark in his 31st season, which would make him one of 19 coaches in the state of Wisconsin to ever accomplish the feat. He would join the list of names of legendary coaches throughout the WIAA’s history, including Jim Hughes of Franklin and Milwaukee Washington, Tim O’Driscoll of Arrowhead, and Jack Friess of Cedarburg.


The 2022 season shaped up to be a quality carbon copy of the 2021 season for Denmark, as the Vikings repeated as Division 2 state champions, with a dramatic walk-off victory over Jefferson, who was the runner-up for the second straight season. Denmark looks to reload once again, as a healthy amount of last year’s state-winning roster returns in 2023, which actually wasn’t the case when they transitioned from the 2021 to the 2022 season, yet they won a D2 state title again anyway.

On the mound, the Vikings bring back 22 of their wins from last season. Leading the pack in that category is Miller, who earned great success in the WIAA in 2022, as mentioned inside the X-Factor section above. At his side is RHP Ethan Ovsak (2023) who went 8-1 on the bump last season with a 0.75 ERA. That one-two punch tees up Denmark well in the North Eastern Conference, a conference in which they’ve only lost two games over the last two seasons.

RHP/INF Jaycob Dittmer (2024) will be a nice complement to Miller and Ovsak too, as the righty threw some for Denmark last year, acquiring three wins in his time on the mound and the experience there helps extend the depth they boast inside the staff, which will keep them a tough out throughout the postseason. He also hit .291 and was a second team all-conference honoree as a sophomore in 2022.

Offensively, Ovsak and Miller are two of the top contributors in the Vikings’ lineup, as they hit .355 and .357 in 2022, respectively, but there’s more here. UTL Izaac Dittmer (2023) returns as a middle-of-the-order presence in his senior season after hitting .327 as a junior. C Rheis Johnson (2023; Saint Mary’s, MN), in his third season on the varsity team, brings a veteran presence from behind the dish and at the plate for Denmark and some right-handed bat strength as well. The solid 6-foot, 200-pound catcher has been a part of both state-winning teams during his prep career, and he can help captain them to a legendary third straight.

INF Joshua Gajeski (2025), RHP Grant Schroeder (2024), and OF Kaden Derricks (2026) will be taking on major spots at the varsity level as role players for Miller’s crew.


Despite having to replace a couple of impact players, the Vikings return a solid core of their state-winning team from a season ago, including a majority of the pitching staff. Denmark has the rare chance to win a third straight state title, something only two other programs have accomplished in the history of the WIAA (Nekoosa, 1980-1982; Sun Prairie, 2012-2014). They’ve won 59 games across these past two title-winning campaigns, and they’re structured in a way this spring that has us even more confident in them earning the opportunity to defend their D2 title in Appleton for a third straight season.

Make sure to follow @PBRWisconsin on Twitter for the most up-to-date coverage throughout the 2023 season.

Find more information on the 2023 Vikings below:

+ Team Website
+ Team Schedule