Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 8 Eau Claire North

By Andy Sroka
Illinois & Wisconsin Assistant Director

The Wisconsin high school baseball season kicks off on March 29, 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 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: Eau Claire North
Preseason Rank: 8
2021 Record: 18-6
Conference: Big Rivers
WIAA Division: 1
Head Coach: Bob Johnson


Name Class Pos Commitment
Gabe Richardson 2022 3B Minnesota-Duluth
Andrew Milner 2022 LHP St. Mary's (MN)
Jalen Pascal 2022 RHP/OF
Cole Bakkum 2022 INF
Sam Feck 2022 1B
Jonah Hanson 2022 C -
Henry Wilkinson 2022 OF/RHP
Roscoe Rennock 2022 OF
Jack Klein 2023 INF -


+ INF Chad Kron (2021)
+ INF Evan Zachow (2021)



+ RHP/OF Jalen Pascal (2022; Minnesota-Duluth): Pascal is an athletic 6-foot righty with a live arm that spins a mid-80s fastball that really carries across the zone, and his high-spin slider can be an out-pitch when he has the feel to spot it, too. If Pascal is throwing more strikes in 2022, North has a potent pair atop its staff. His athleticism is also going to help him in the outfield and the right-handed batter’s box, when he isn’t handed the game ball to start that day on the mound.


Last season was actually one of head coach Bob Johnson’s most impressive, all things considered. He’s one of the winningest coaches in the region, 283-82 overall, and the 18 victories he led the Huskies to in 2022 were hard-earned, considering his roster consisted of almost exclusively inexperienced juniors who played next to no role on the 2020 team that won the Division 1 state title – outside of 3B Gabe Richardson (2022; Minnesota-Duluth commit).

It’s crazy how time flies, because it doesn’t feel all that long ago that Richardson was one of the state’s most impressive freshmen, and he played a critical role on that 2020 team that won state. Well, now Richardson returns in 2022 as Eau Claire North’s most experienced player, and a senior, ready to rally this tight knit group back to the top of the Big Rivers, onto state once more.

It’ll be Richardson’s responsibility to generate the majority of this offense from the middle of the lineup, but he’s also surrounded by plenty of returning pieces who hit over .300 as juniors last year: OF Cole Bakkum (2022; .337), 1B Sam Feck (2022; .325), C Jonah Hanson (2022; .328), OF/RHP Henry Wilkinson (2022; .321), OF Roscoe Rennock (2022; .359). That’s six hitters, including Richardson, who are back in this everyday Huskies lineup, one that projects to be the team’s strength in 2022. In fact, spots Nos. 1 through 5 in the lineup of last year’s regional final against rivals Memorial should make their way back into a similar arrangement in the order, something few teams across the state can boast. Junior INF Jack Klein (2023) is one of the few returning non-seniors in the lineup; he saw action for North as a sophomore last spring, typically at second base.

And as physical and productive Richardson’s right-handed bat has been across our looks these past three years, teammate Bakkum matched his production in 2021, and Feck was also responsible for keeping the offense flowing following those two. Hanson was a patient table-setter atop the order, a role that Rennock played, too, as the season went on. This is simply a competitive order, and each player feeds off each other to form a contagious group of battlers in the box, and they’ll be pesky challengers inside the Big Rivers, as always.

On the mound, they’re led by LHP Andrew Milner (2022; St. Mary’s, MN), a tall, lanky lefty who made his first year at the program count last spring. He’s a pitchability type with a projectable fastball and a big, sweeping curve, and if he had a diligent offseason, North has an authentic ace to lean on. Behind him will be the ‘X-Factor’ Pascal and the aforementioned Wilkinson, who is a valuable two-way player here as well. He was regularly featured in the everyday lineup as an outfielder, and he also ate a ton of innings for the Huskies as a junior, going 7-0 from the rubber in 2021.


Coach Johnson has created an environment at North that has made the Huskies scratch and claw for every run, out, extra base, and win no matter how talented they are – and it’s usually one of the most talented rosters in western Wisconsin. In 2021, despite their inexperience, North rallied to an 18-6 record but were still stymied by conference rivals Memorial, Hudson, and River Falls, going a combined 2-6 against the three. We’re willing to chalk that up to a Class of 2022 new to the varsity scene at the time, and we’re expecting to see North challenging for the conference crown again. They didn’t go more than two seasons last decade without winning the Big Rivers, and they haven’t won the BRC since 2018, so it just might be time they took it back.

Make sure to follow @PBRWisconsin on Twitter for the most up-to-date coverage throughout the 2022 season.

Find more information on the 2022 Huskies below:

+ Team Website
+ Team Schedule
+ Team Twitter