Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 13 Sun Prairie
March 28, 2022
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: Sun Prairie
Preseason Rank: 14
2021 Record: 29-2
Conference: Big Eight
WIAA Division: 1
Head Coach: Rob Hamilton
||North Dakota State
||Bryant & Stratton (WI)
KEY PLAYERS LOST:
+ C Josh Caron (2021; Nebraska)
+ 3B Liam Moreno (2021; Missouri State)
+ MIF Carson Shepard (2021; Ohio)
+ 3B/1B Carter Wambach (2021; McHenry County JC)
+ LHP Brady Stevens (2021; Upper Iowa)
+ OF Durlin Radlund (2021)
+ RHP Jason Starr (2021)
+ INF Davis Hamilton (2022; North Dakota State): The son of Sun Prairie’s legendary head coach, Hamilton is a multi-sport star for the Cardinals that’s had high levels of success on the football field, hockey ice, and especially the baseball diamond. He started at shortstop and logged innings on the mound for last year’s championship team, returning as a staple at both positions for this year’s squad. Hamilton, a former PBR Future Games participant, batted .360 last season at the top of a murders’ row offense and he’s one of the state’s top returning left-handed bats. Expect him to have an even bigger season than he did last year and, with a historic 2021 class gone, the Cardinals will heavily rely on Hamilton this spring.
7: The number of state championships that head coach Rob Hamilton has at the helm of Sun Prairie’s program. This spring will be Hamilton’s final season as the Cardinals’ head coach and he leaves behind a historic mark on the WIAA landscape. He enters this spring with a career .792 winning percentage and is in the top-25 on the state’s all-time career wins list with 421. Things won’t be easy for Sun Prairie this spring, but they’ll always be a contender as long as Hamilton is steering this ship.
Sun Prairie’s 2021 graduating class was historic - and there’s really no other way to describe this group. They came everso close to a state title in 2019, losing to Eau Claire North 5-4, and almost certainly would’ve been players for the 2020 trophy if the season wasn’t canceled. Finally, that vaunted senior group won their much-deserved championship ring last season, finishing the year with a 29-2 record and a resounding 11-2 victory over Bay Port in the final game. The Cardinals, unquestionably really, maintained the top spot in our Power 25 rankings all season and scored more than 10 runs in 16 of their 29 contests.
Things will certainly be different for Sun Prairie in 2022 and graduation left behind a void that will be extremely difficult to fill. Some key pieces do return, like Hamilton, but it’ll take a collective group effort and fresh faces rising to the occasion if this team wants to replicate the success of their predecessors.
RHP/INF Jackson Hunley (2023) is a name-to-know on this roster, as the 6-foot-3, 170-pound uncommitted junior makes his way back this spring after a successful sophomore campaign. Hunley served as one of this team’s top arms, pitching to a perfect 7-0 record, and he started both the semi-final and championship games at last year’s state tournament. He also saw plenty of success offensively, hitting right in the middle of a high-octane lineup and holding his own, batting .345 while playing third base. Expect to see Hunley in a similar role on both sides of the ball this year and an extra step in development could certainly add a boost to this team.
3B Jackson Hunley (Sun Prairie, 2023) has long levers in the box that he repeats well – 6-foot-3, 170 pounds. All over the barrel in BP today, and ran a noteworthy 7.00 flat.#MadisonID | @PBR_Uncommitted— PBR Wisconsin (@PBRWisconsin) March 13, 2022
👤 PROFILE: https://t.co/9sjffdWRN1 pic.twitter.com/oUy78W9igz
A handful of returnees to note on this team include OF Addison Ostrenga (2022; Iowa Football), who’s a supremely talented athlete at 6-foot-4, 220-pounds that’s headed to the Hawkeyes for football next fall. He doubles as a quality baseball player as well, earning an invite to our Future Games a few years ago, and returns after batting .299 for the reigning state champs. His younger brother, OF Sam Ostrenga (2024), saw some playing time last year and returns as well, adding another familiar face to this lineup. On the mound, RHP Ethan Petsch (2022; Wisconsin-Whitewater) brings a perfect 8-0 record back to this team and should see as many innings as he saw last spring, if not more.
There’s a few more names to note on this roster, some of which may have been on this team last season and didn’t see much playing time because of the 2021 bunch ahead of them. INF Branden Garde (2022) is headed to Bryant & Stratton next fall as a sure-handed defender on the infield with a clean right-handed stroke to pair. Another college commit on this team, C/1B Aidan Ripp (2022; Wisconsin-Eau Claire) should see more time behind the plate with Caron’s departure. C Jaiden Jung (2023) is another candidate for a catching role on this team and the 6-foot, 190-pound junior backstop made a positive impression to our staff this summer, bringing some added thump to this lineup.
Down to their final out in the top of the seventh, GRB Rays Yellow rallies for six to pull ahead late. C Jaiden Jung’s (DeForest, 2023) clutch three-run HR pushed them ahead by four. Strong RH bat who’s taken some aggressive swings this weekend.#BadgerState | @GRBRays pic.twitter.com/YvB2pTgeJq— PBR Wisconsin (@PBRWisconsin) July 4, 2021
Sun Prairie’s pedigree as one of the state’s top programs is known to all, but the Cardinals will be without a core group of players that anchored them over the last three seasons. There’s still talent on this roster either way and with one of the WIAA’s historically great coaches at the helm in his final season, Sun Prairie will battle for another Big Eight conference title with their eyes set on a more lucrative prize.
Make sure to follow @PBRWisconsin on Twitter for the most up-to-date coverage throughout the 2022 season.
Find more information on the 2022 Cardinals below:+ Team Website
+ Team Schedule
- WI Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 7 Pewaukee 3/29/22
- WI Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 2 Arrowhead Union 3/29/22
- WI Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 6 Milton 3/29/22
- WI Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 3 Franklin 3/29/22
- WI Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 5 Hortonville 3/29/22
- WI Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 4 Kimberly 3/29/22
- WI Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 1 Whitefish Bay 3/29/22
- WI Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 10 Catholic Memorial 3/28/22
- WI Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 13 Sun Prairie 3/28/22
- WI Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 14 Janesville Craig 3/28/22
- WI Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 8 Eau Claire North 3/28/22
- WI Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 12 Bay Port 3/28/22
- WI Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 9 Oak Creek 3/28/22
- WI Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 11 Eau Claire Memorial 3/28/22
- WI Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 16 Stevens Point 3/26/22
- WI Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 15 Hudson 3/26/22
- WI Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 18 Muskego 3/25/22
- WI Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 19 Greendale 3/25/22
- WI Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 20 Beloit Turner 3/25/22
- WI Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No 17. Waterford Union 3/25/22
- WI Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 23 Marquette University 3/24/22
- WI Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 22 Medford Area 3/24/22
- WI Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 21 Verona Area 3/24/22
- WI Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 25 New Berlin West 3/24/22
- WI Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 24 Brookfield Central 3/24/22