Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 4 Union Grove

By Andy Sroka & Josh Fields
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: Union Grove
Preseason Rank: No. 4
2022 Record: 20-7
Conference: Southern Lakes
WIAA Division: 1
Head Coach: Nathan Meyer


Brady Clark RHP/OF Union Grove 2023 -
Ty Geschke OF Union Grove 2023 -
Owen Nowak OF/LHP Union Grove 2023 McHenry County JC
Nathan Williams INF/OF Union Grove 2023 -
Robert Barrera LHP/OF Union Grove 2024 Illinois-Chicago
Beau Bloxdorf MIF Union Grove 2024 -
Landon Dessart RHP/UTL Union Grove 2024 -
Hudson Dresen INF Union Grove 2024 -
Hayden Jamison C Union Grove 2024 -
Marshall Loch RHP/UTL Union Grove 2024 -
Jack Wolf LHP/OF Union Grove 2024 -


+ SS Josh DeGroot (2022; Mesa CC)
+ RHP AJ Hansche (2022)
+ OF Remmi Sweet (2022)


Marshall Loch (2/4/23)

+ OF/RHP Marshall Loch (2024) has shown some of the highest upside in the state’s junior class at times, and he earned playing time on both sides of the ball as a sophomore in 2022. He punched out 24 batters in 15-plus innings, but walks created some trouble for him, and he found some barrels too, which bloated his ERA – though his next-level talent still shined through. Offensively, he hit .282 in 39 at-bats, and he swings a fast, athletic right-handed bat that we’re optimistic we’ll generate more offense in 2023. He attended February’s Kenosha ID where we had this to say about his prospect status:

... Loch registered some of the day's best metrics during athletic testing as he recorded an event-high 31-inch vertical… wider setup with relaxed hands before gathering back, creating separation and directly impacting the ball, creating a max EV of 98.2 mph. Loch really caught our attention during his ‘pen, where he ran his fastball up to 88.2 mph with some major ride and carry (19.6 max IVB) from his higher ¾ slot. He also spun in a curveball with a sharp two-plane break for strikes that flashed some out pitch potential. He rounded out his ‘pen with an intentful changeup with late fade and depth.


+ While it is unclear what role, if any, sophomore 3B/RHP Kody Hage (2025) will play on varsity in 2023, he could help fill some of the offense lost from a year ago, since the Broncos graduated several key members of last year’s roster. Hage has some right-handed bat strength and uses the whole field well, which could translate to some run production should he earn playing time as an underclassman this spring.


Despite graduating some key members in 2022, including their starting shortstop and a top arm, Union Grove still projects to be a force within the Southern Lakes and beyond in 2023, returning just about every other everyday starter to a team that won 20 games last year and is consistently one of the state’s most competitive.

This is a balanced roster, though they have some big upside on the mound, where we could see major strides in development taken by the ‘X-Factor’ Loch, as referenced above, as well as fellow juniors LHP/OF Robert Barrera (2024; Illinois-Chicago commit) and RHP/MIF Landon Dessart (2024). While we like Loch’s long-term potential as a pitching prospect, both Barrera and Dessart are very interesting prospects in their own right, and each performed well as sophomores on varsity a year ago. Dessart threw the second most innings on the team (33.2) and he struck out 33 batters and finished the spring with a 2.50 ERA. Barrera K’d 22 batters in 17 innings, used primarily as a go-to relief option, which earned him a pair of saves and he allowed just three earned runs all year.

Robert Barrera (7/2/22)

We got the chance to see both Barrera and Dessart this offseason, and each impressed us at various points. Barrera, who just recently committed to UIC, has really progressed over the past year or so, and he sat in the 86-88 mph range during a bullpen earlier this month, touching an 89.1 max on a fastball that carries through the zone from a high release. He has a couple useful secondaries too, a slider and a change, that should help him transition into a starter for Union Grove this season.

As for Dessart, he stood out as a two-way performer at February’s Kenosha ID, where we had this to say about his performance:

... showcased himself as a legitimate two-way prospect at the event on Saturday. Dessart stands 6-foot-1, 170-pounds with more fill and strength coming to his athletic frame. He hits with a solid base and slight crouch set up with relaxed hands and gets himself into a strong hitting position consistently on time. He has a short compact flat bat path which allows him to backspin line drives to both gaps. He registered the third-highest EV of the day at 95.3 mph and drove a ball 319 feet in the air. He also showcased a strong throwing arm during the defensive portion of the event topping out at 89 mph and this arm strength transferred over to the mound nicely. Dessart shined brightly during his ‘pen, with an athletic and repeatable delivery. He showed a consistent ability to drive the fastball through spots topping out at 85.5 mph and showcased a couple of legitimate secondary weapons with his sharp breaking slider and curveball 

Landon Dessart (2/4/23)

The three arms combine to make up a particularly strong rotation that usually makes a team a tough out in the playoffs, especially as elimination games get played closer to each other. All three will be critical to the team’s offensive production, too. Additionally, look for LHP/OF Jack Wolf (2024) to make a mark within this pitching staff as well, listed at 6-foot-2, 160 pounds, after earning some playing time as an outfielder in his sophomore season.

Senior OF/LHP Owen Nowak (2023; McHenry County JC) returns as Union Grove’s most productive hitter, and he was named the conference’s player of the year in 2022, following a spring in which he tallied 19 extra-base hits, including five home runs and 11 doubles, generating 26 RBIs and 35 runs. He also stole 22 bases and led the team with a 1.124 OPS, and he struck out just seven times in exactly 100 at-bats. And while he’s pivotal to this daily lineup, he also pitched in over 17 innings on the mound in 2022, deployed as a relief option, and he’ll most likely be used that way again in 2023.

Owen Nowak (3/19/22)

OF/INF Nathan Williams (2023) is a multi-sport star at his high school. He was the team’s starting quarterback in the fall and he’s also an elite hockey prospect – and as you can imagine, this translates into an excellent baseball player as well. He led the Broncos with 28 RBIs in 2022 which stemmed from a .361/.404/.578 slashline and a 0.983 OPS. Williams recorded 12 extra-base hits as a junior, including two homers, and it’s exciting to think about what kind of numbers he and his classmate Nowak can put up as seniors now.

Nathan Williams (4/14/22)

While Nowak and Williams can be leaned on to energize the offense, the Broncos are blessed with depth in its junior class that includes the two-ways mentioned before like Loch, Dessart, and Barrera. Each earned their fair share of at-bats as sophomores, and Dessart actually returns a .345 average with four doubles and 12 RBIs collected last year; Barrera hit over .300 as well.

Elsewhere offensively, C Hayden Jamison (2024) should be a big piece for Union Grove. He’s another who showed well this past offseason at the Kenosha ID:

... listed at a strong 5-foot-11, 195 pounds. Jamison impressed during his round of BP with a swing geared to drive the ball in the air, especially to the pull-side, registering a max carry distance of 329 feet and a max EV of 93.4 MPH. During catcher defense he recorded the quickest pop-times of the day at 2.00-2.09.

MIF Beau Bloxdorf (2024) will be important to the team, especially defensively, as he’s most likely to shift over from second base to short, replacing the team’s everyday starter from a year ago. Bloxdorf is a loose and athletic right-handed swing, so even if it didn’t result in much authoritative contact as a sophomore – .221 average in 77 at-bats – we feel good about his bat-to-ball skills helping him become a more productive member of the lineup, too. Plus, he earned his walks and reached base in 38 percent of his plate appearances, helping turn the lineup over to his fierce run-producers. Either way, Bloxdorf’s best traits lie on the infield, where he’s shown soft glovework up the middle with above-average arm strength.

Beau Bloxdorf (10/15/22)

There are more familiar names that complete the rest of this lineup, like RHP/OF Brady Clark (2023), OF Ty Geschke (2023, and INF Hudson Dresen (2024). Geschke's another multi-sport star on this roster, a 6-foot-3 athlete and one of the top volleyball players in Wisconsin, who led Union Grove to its first Sectional title this year.


The Broncos have established a winning culture under head coach Nathan Meyer, who’s entering his sixth season, who’s looking to guide his team to a fourth straight Southern Lakes title. The 2023 version of Union Grove is a competitive one with an exciting mix of proven performers and upside juniors who can reach an extra gear this spring after earning experience as underclassmen last year. The Broncos are a formidable squad, once again, and they’re our picks to emerge from another tough year to be competing inside the SLC.

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

Find more information on the 2023 Broncos below:

+ Team Schedule
+ Team Twitter