WIAA Diamond Notes: Week 4


By Diego Solares
Staff Writer/Area Scout

The WIAA season is in full swing, now in the middle of Week 5 action. At the end of this past weekend and at the start of this week, we’ve been accepting Player of the Week submissions from coaches in the state containing their nominations for the Week 4 POTW honors.

This week may have been our most competitive race for this honor yet and we landed on this power southpaw from D2 Amery: junior Kale Hopke. Hopke K'd 33 batters in 12.2 innings last week, propelling him to the honor.

There were a number of other impressive performances that were in the mix for the award and deserve recognition. Here’s a look at some of the most notable.

COACHES NOTE: If you are interested in submitting a player for our Week 5 POTW award (statistics counted from May 24 through 29), please nominate a player by emailing [email protected] or reply to our 'reminder' email distributed Sunday afternoon; please include relevant statistics to accompany your nomination. We can only accept nominations on behalf of WIAA coaches, thank you.

DIAMOND NOTES: Week 4

Carson Klaus, Adams-Friendship, 2022: Klaus continues to trend upward from a prospect standpoint and he’s a big reason why Adams-Friendship has been so successful this year. Klaus threw a combined seven innings across two outings last week, both wins, striking out 15 batters total. His lone start was a five inning appearance against Nekoosa and he later appeared in relief against St. Mary Catholic, shutting the door on a talented Zephyrs team over two scoreless innings. Klaus got the job done offensively as well, finishing the week with a 7-for-18 performance at the plate with four doubles, a home run, and two stolen bases.

Mason Kirchberg, DeForest, 2021: Kirchberg slugged the Norskies to a successful week offensively and back into our Power 25 rankings. The Wisconsin-Oshkosh recruit clobbered four home runs in 14 at-bats across the week, with a double and seven total hits. He also drove in 13 runs and scored six of his own. Kirchberg has consistently been a key piece of the Norskies’ offense and he’ll look to build off this strong week four performance in week five.

Nick Nowak, Waukesha South, 2021: Nowak has been on a tear for the Blackshirts all spring and the Madison JC signee had arguably his best all-around performance of the year in week four. Nowak went 11-for-19 on the week with five extra-base hits, two walks, and he scored five runs as well. He got the nod for Waukesha South against a talented Catholic Memorial lineup and nearly helped his team pull off an upset win, allowing just one earned run across eight innings, striking out nine and walking none. Nowak’s value on defense for the Blackshirts is noteworthy, as he caught multiple games and played 2B/SS/3B as well.

Carson Hansen, Pewaukee, 2022: Pewaukee’s leadoff hitter has been on an absolute tear offensively lately. The left-handed hitting Hansen went 10-for-13 at the plate last week with three doubles and he brought five runners home, scoring five times on his own, too. On the season, Hansen is hitting .571 with 14 extra-base hits and 27 RBIs, scoring 28 times.

Luke Nowak, Menomonee Falls, 2021: Nowak is one of the top seniors in the state and continues to play like one for the Phoenix. The East Carolina commit went 10-for-14 at the plate with two triples and a double, driving home six runners in total. Nowak hits out of the leadoff spot for Menomonee Falls and has been their offensive spark all season, scoring six runs and putting himself into scoring position nearly every time he reached base last week.

Tristan Ellis, Purdue, 2022: Ellis had one of the loudest offensive weeks in the state, as the Greendale junior went 7-for-13 at the plate with two grand slams, driving in nine runs total. He’s also the presumed ace of this Panthers’ squad and struck out 10 across 7.1 innings pitched, allowing just three earned runs.

Kurtis Price, Sauk Prairie, 2022: Price was one of two Sauk Prairie nominees this week, as the uncommitted junior corner infielder homered twice and drove in seven, totaling six hits in 10 at-bats.

+ Tyler Uselman, Sauk Prairie, 2021: The second Sauk Prairie nominee, Uselman went 8-for-13 at the plate with two doubles, six singles, and he drove three runs in as well. He also scored five runs and only struck out once throughout the week.

Theo Zeidler, Bay Port, 2022: Bay Port is absolutely rolling right now and they’ve only lost once this season, avoiding defeat several times because of Zeidler’s play. This is his second-straight nomination for this award and he’s the only Bay Port player to receive a mention, which is noteworthy given how talented that roster is. Zeidler went 6-for-10 this past week and eight runs, four of them coming from the grand slam he hit on May 21st. He started that same game and struck out seven batters and four innings, earning the win for the Pirates on the hill.

Jack Grable, New London, 2022: New London has been playing quality ball as of late and arguably their best performance on the mound all season came from Grable on May 18th. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound southpaw hurled a no-hitter against Green Bay East/West, striking out seven and walking just one in the process.

Tyler Schmitt, Madison Memorial, 2022: Schmitt went 6-for-7 with a double and he scored four runs for JMM last week. He also hopped on the mound and allowed two earned runs across five innings, striking out four and earning the win for his team.

+ Kobe Vosberg, Cuba City, 2022: Vosberg’s work on the mound for Cuba City last week was impressive, as he struck out 11 batters in a five inning no-hitter against Darlington and did all of it on just 66 pitches. 

Crete Slattery, Badger, 2023: Slattery went 4-for-7 last week for Badger, doubling twice and driving in five. He also scored a run and only struck out once, reaching base in all but one of his plate appearances.

Cal Dobbe, Wauwatosa East, 2021: A senior on this Tosa East squad, Dobbe had a strong all-around week for the Red Raiders. The Wisconsin-Whitewater commit struck out five in 6.2 innings against Brookfield Central in what would eventually be an extra-inning victory for Tosa East. He also went 6-for-12 at the plate with a double, triple, and he drove five runners in, too.

Owen DePrez, Luxemburg-Casco, 2022: DePrez’s strong week started on the mound, where the junior ace of the Luxemburg-Casco staff struck out 11 batters in a complete game no-hitter. He also hit a double and triple, driving in a pair of runs in 12 at-bats.

Owen Latendresse, D.C. Everest, 2021: Latendresse paced D.C. Everest throughout the week, as he went 9-for-17 with six extra-base hits, including a home run. He drove in 11 runs total and swiped four bags, stealing home twice. Opposing pitchers seemed to navigate around Latendresse throughout his hot streak, as he was walked five times in five games and finished the week with a .636 OBP.

+ Garrett Engel, Bonduel: The Bonduel backstop had a strong offensive week, as he homered and doubled twice, tallying nine hits total on the week. Engel also drove in five runs and scored nine times, further adding onto the value he provided for Bonduel’s offense in week four.

Simon Bares, Ozaukee, 2021: Ozaukee’s off to an 8-0 start this spring and they’ve had at least one player receive mention on all four of our Diamond Notes additions thus far. This time it's Bares, who went 6-for-6 on the week with a double and seven RBIs, scoring seven times and not striking out once. He also pitched four scoreless innings for the Warriors, striking out five and only allowing two hits.

Mason Ruh, Wisconsin Lutheran, 2021: Committed to Northern Illinois, Ruh led the Vikings to arguably their most successful week of the season. They knocked off No. 12 Arrowhead at American Family Field and also defeated New Berlin Eisenhower; both games he pitched in. Ruh failed to allow a run across 10 innings, scattering five hits and striking out 18 batters. He continues to pitch well each time he toes the rubber for Wisco.

Jason VanDenLangenberg, Seymour, 2021: The Seymour senior backstop went 7-for-16 on the week, homering twice and driving in five total runs. He also doubled three times, walked four times, and scored four runs - doing a little bit of everything for a quality Seymour team.

Brett Stuessel, Sparta, 2021: The ace of Sparta’s staff, Stuessel pitched a complete game two-hitter against West Salem last Saturday in arguably his best start of the spring. Committed to Milwaukee Area Tech, Stuessel retired 15 batters via the strikeout and walked just one, holding West Salem to just two hits in the contest.

+ Bow Hartwig, Johnson Creek, 2021: In the five games that Johnson Creek played this past week, Hartwig went 13-for-20 with eight doubles, a home run, and 13 RBIs - all while scoring nine runs as well. On the season, Hartwig is currently batting over .600 for Johnson Creek.

Sage Stellmacher, Markesan, 2021: A huge piece of the Hornets’ offense, Stellmacher doubled three times and tallied seven hits total last week, driving in three. He also scored seven times and swiped two bags.

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