Wisconsin Power 25: Update


By Andy Sroka
Illinois & Wisconsin Assistant Director

Even though we’re officially two weeks into the WIAA season, there are still teams in the state that have not yet played a game yet this spring – including several on our own Power 25 rankings – and there are only a handful of teams that have played more than a few games. So, because of this, we’re not able to update the rankings themselves for the first time this season.

However, we’re still going to take today to spotlight the teams that have gotten off to hot starts regardless of the weather. We’ll also take you through the Power 25 teams off to uneven starts this season, and we’ll highlight some of the teams just off the rankings to be aware of as the weather finally starts to become a little more manageable.

HOT STARTS

+ No. 1 Whitefish Bay (3-0): Rostering one of the most dangerous lineups in recent memory, the Blue Dukes haven’t let the cold affect their run production. The team has scored 15, 16, and 17 runs in its three wins and they’ve allowed just five runs combined this season as they look ahead to their toughest yet in a road trip to conference opponent Hartford Union later today. 

This loaded senior class has helped the program hit the ground running. RHP/INF Mitch Voit (2022; Michigan commit) tossed an Opening Day no-hitter and starred in the win that followed from both the mound and the plate, teammate OF Michael Lippe (2022; Louisville) connected for his first homer of the year on Saturday, a grand slam, but Bay has been receiving contributions from just about everyone in its daily lineup so far. The Blue Dukes have met the lofty preseason expectations we had for them so far, and our expectations for this group were already very high.

+ No. 20 Beloit Turner (3-0): Turner has exploded from the starting line while looking like, arguably, the top D2 team in the state in the process. They scored 13 or more runs in their three overwhelming wins – one against Whitewater and a sweep of East Troy that followed. Looking ahead, the Trojans have a two-game set with Brodhead and visit Clinton on Friday.

Last week, the Trojans helped break in Beloit’s brand new ballpark with a 14-4 win over East Troy in which senior leader OF/LHP Jackson Burk (2022; Western Illinois) hit an inside-the-park homer that attached the exclamation point to his team’s hot start to the spring. Junior center fielder Connor Hughes (2023; uncommitted) is also off to a loud start from the left-handed batter’s box, which has helped boost Beloit Turner into what might just be the top-ranked D2 program on our Power 25 when we’re first able to update the rankings, hopefully this time next week.

+ No. 22 Medford Area (5-0): Medford has simply taken care of business in 2022, so far, with five straight wins to start the year. Their top test came against reigning D2 champs Denmark on April 1, that followed a 10-0 win over New Richmond earlier that day. Since, the Raiders defeated Maraton, 4-1, and swept a Saturday doubleheader with Auburndale, 10-2 and 10-3. They’ll play Lakeland twice this week before making the trip down the The Rock Complex in Franklin where they’ll play No. 1 Whitefish Bay and No. 18 Muskego in some must-see non-conference action.

Like aforementioned No. 20 Beloit Turner, Medford similarly looks like one of the state’s top D2 programs after its impressive start to the spring. It’s no surprise to see INF/RHP Caleb Guden (2022; Air Force) heavily featured in the team’s post-game box scores to this point, but Medford’s offensive depth has shined through early on this season. OF/RHP Seth Mudgett (2022; uncommitted), INF Tanner Hraby (2024; uncommitted), and RHP/INF Logan Baumgartner (2023; uncommitted) have each played key roles in the team’s five wins. Guden and Baumgartner combined to limit Marathon to just two hits in their narrowest contest of the season so far, and they’ve also done some of the offensive heavy lifting, alongside Hraby and Mudgett. We’re eager to see this Great Northern Conference squad tested against some of the state’s traditional powers in action this weekend.

+ No. 23 Marquette University (4-0): The Hilltoppers can be called one of the state’s hottest starters, with a 4-0 record on the young season, with wins over Sussex Hamilton, Wauwatosa East, and a pair over No. 10 Catholic Memorial on Saturday that allowed them to really make some noise. A pivotal Greater Metro ballgame is on deck today with Menomonee Falls that should really help shape Marquette’s sights on a conference title, and more.

WATCHLIST

+ Westosha Central (3-0): The Southern Lakes projects to be a tightly contested race in 2022, and the Falcons look fully capable of snatching the conference crown. Off to a 3-0 start, few programs in the state can boast the quality of starting pitching like Central rosters, led by LHP Michael Mulhollon (2022; Wichita State), who has 20 Ks in 8.2 innings this season, against just one hit allowed and three walks. Meanwhile, junior RHP/INF Adam Switalski (2023; Indiana) just pitched six shutout innings against Indian Trail on Saturday and allowed just three hits and struck out seven, and he pitched two scoreless in Central’s opener, like Mulhollon, and teammate RHP Scotty Schulz (2023; uncommitted) has been utilized as a lockdown closer-type. So those three have helped prevent Westosha Central from allowing a run so far this spring, and we’ll see how long they can keep that streak up with a series against Wilmot on deck this week.

+ University School of Milwaukee (4-0): USM is certainly rostering some serious talent, but it’s all clicking even earlier than anticipated in 2022, as they’re playing like one of the state’s top D2 teams thus far. The Wildcats have notched quality wins over No. 10 Catholic Memorial and No. 19 Greendale to rocket up our radar, poised for a place on the Power 25 if they can maintain this level of momentum for the next week. UTL Vidal Colon (2023; uncommitted) is one of the state’s top uncommitted juniors, and it’s no surprise to see him leading his team offensively, with nine hits that include a double, two triples, and a homer, and he’s yet to strike out this season.  LHP/1B Graham Kasten (2024; uncommitted) has also tallied nine hits this spring, as well as seven RBIs, a team-high. RHP/INF James Reese (2022; Lafayette) is one of the state’s top two-way players, and he’s added seven hits of his own, as well as six RBIs, and from the mound, Reese has struck out 17 batters in nine innings, allowing just one run on four hits in the process.

+ Middleton (4-1): Middleton’s lone loss in 2022 came to a talented Kentucky program during its spring trip to Florida, and they opened that trip with a win over a different Kentucky school to break even. Since returning to Wisconsin, the Cardinals have won three straight, including two lopsided wins against Madison East and a 3-2 victory over Waunakee. RHP/1B Easton Zempel (2022; Winona State) has been a shutdown starter in his team’s season so far, as he led Middleton to its opening win in Florida with seven Ks in four frames, followed by five no-hit innings pitched against Madison East, with another eight punch-outs.

+ Wautoma (4-0): The Hornets have won all four of their games so far this spring, and each of these wins have been complete, competitive performances which have shaped Wautoma into a D2 contender worth watching this season. Wautoma pitching has allowed just four runs combined this season; RHP Christian Weiss (2023; uncommitted) pitched five shutout innings in the team’s opener against Shiocton, RHP Hoyt Keller (2022; uncommitted) K’d eight in four scoreless against Wild Rose, and neither starter C/RHP Kyler Fenske (2022; Marian, WI) nor OF/LHP Logan Dunn (2024; uncommitted) allowed an earned run in their starts against Two Rivers and Mosinee. Dunn has been one of the area’s top run-producers, with a double, triple, and homer already this spring and Weiss has accounted for some timely hitting as well, which has contributed to the team’s undefeated start.

+ Watertown (3-0): The Goslings enjoyed some out-of-state success early on in the year and it’s carried over into the WIAA, where Watertown just defeated Reedsburg, 6-2, with games against Baraboo and Portage on the schedule this week. OF Evan Sellnow (2022; uncommitted) leads the team with four hits this spring, including a double, and three RBIs; Connor Lehman (2022; uncommitted) also has four hits and three RBIs. RHP/INF Ayden Schauer (2022; Wisconsin-Whitewater) has 14 strikeouts in 9.1 innings this spring, and he’s allowed just one earned run along the way.

+ La Crosse Aquinas (5-0): The Blugolds are 5-0 and trending as one of the state’s top D3 teams in 2022, backed by a high-powered offense that’s scored 12-plus runs in each of its games so far this spring. Jackson Christenson (2022; uncommitted) has been red hot offensively from the top of the order, regularly teeing up the offense directly behind him. SS Eddie Peters (2024; uncommitted) has 15 RBIs in these five games; Calvin Hargrove (2023; uncommitted) has been similarly productive offensively from the three-hole as well.

+ Amherst (4-0): Four overwhelming wins have pushed Amherst onto our watchlist this spring. They opened 2022 with a 16-3 win over Oconto, 14-5 over Barron, and they swept Whitewater in last Saturday’s doubleheader, 12-1 and 3-1. RHP/1B Ben Lee (2022; Wisconsin-Milwaukee) is used to pacing his team from both sides of the ball with seven hits and seven RBIs. RHP Wyatt Blaskowski (2022; uncommitted) has recorded 12 Ks in six innings so far this spring. 

+ Ripon (4-0): The Tigers have been pitching especially well this spring, which has lifted them to four straight wins out of the gate. Henry Willet and Jacob Riddick combined for 12 Ks in their opener against Omro; Bodie Greff K’d six in four no-hit frames in their recent win over Markesan, too.

MORE POWER 25 UPDATES

Note: Three Power 25 teams have not yet played a game: No. 2 Arrowhead, No. 4 Kimberly, and No. 5 Hortonville.

+ No. 3 Franklin (2-0): The Sabers opened their season with two conference wins over a competitive Indian Trail squad that required a big rally in game two to score their second win of the year. On the horizon, Franklin has a three-game series with Racine Park this week.

+ No. 6 Milton (2-0): Milton’s off and running this spring with a quality win in its opener over ranked No. 21 Verona Area, 5-1, and they followed it up with a 10-1 victory over Monroe. The Red Hawks have four games on the docket this week with a few challenging match-ups among on-the-rise teams like Oregon (2-0) and Middleton (3-0).

+ No. 7 Pewaukee (2-1): The Pirates are off to an uneven start as their bats have been cold this spring, and it created a narrow win in its opener at Waukesha North and it split a tightly contested two-game series with Wisconsin Lutheran. It sets the table for a huge match-up with conference rivals No. 19 Greendale (5-1) on Tuesday.

+ No. 8 Eau Claire North (1-0): The Huskies’ 11-1 win over Rice Lake this past weekend allowed the program to get off to a loud start in 2022. Conference play continues this week with a series against New Richmond.

+ No. 9 Oak Creek (0-1): Oak Creek slipped up in the opener opposite Racine Horlick, 2-1, as they stranded 11 runners though did get their expectedly excellent outing from their ace Luke Klekamp. Poor weather has halted them from getting back on track, but their next opportunity will come in this week’s Southeast series against Kenosha Bradford.

+ No. 10 Catholic Memorial (2-4): The Crusaders have managed to play six times already this spring, but things haven’t gone their way to this point. After scoring an Opening Day win over St. Thomas More, CMH dropped four of its next five; they split with Muskego, lost to D2 University School (one of the hottest teams around), and dropped both games in Saturday’s doubleheader to rising Marquette University. They have a mid-week conference series with Kettle Moraine in an attempt to get back to .500.

+ No. 11 Eau Claire Memorial (3-1): Outside of a narrow 4-3 loss in Saturday’s doubleheader with La Crosse Central, the Old Abes have looked sharp out of the gates, with lopsided wins otherwise. They bounced back from Saturday’s game one loss with a 12-2 win over Central, after having swept Wausau West in a doubleheader on April 2. Their next two series are big ones, starting this Thursday and Friday against River Falls, and No. 15 Hudson will follow next week.

+ No. 12 Bay Port (3-3): Bay Port spent opening week in Florida for spring back and returned to Wisconsin 2-2 overall, winning their first WIAA matchup against conference opponent Pulaski, but Green Bay Preble handed them their first loss back home on Saturday, 5-4. They’re busy this week with three games, beginning today with Green Bay Southwest, followed by Sheboygan South and De Pere on Tuesday and Thursday.

+ No. 13 Sun Prairie (2-0): The defending D1 champs opened their season with a series sweep of Madison La Follette and haven’t gotten a game in since, though their next opportunity comes in one of their most important conference meetings of the season, with back-to-back games against No. 21 Verona on Tuesday and Thursday. Another critical series is on the horizon, with a home/away series against No. 14 Craig looming next week.

+ No. 14 Janesville Craig (2-0): The Cougars have yet to allow a run in 2022, with shutout wins over Badger and Madison Memorial so far. Their narrow 1-0 win over Memorial should make for another test today as they travel to the Spartans for a rematch today.

+ No. 15 Hudson (2-0): The Raiders opened 2022 with a doubleheader sweep of Wausau West on Saturday, setting the table for a busy Week 3, featuring five games scheduled, including two-game sets with opponents Chippewa Falls and Marshfield.

+ No. 16 Stevens Point Area (2-0): SPASH scored its two first wins of the year in a convincing doubleheader sweep of DeForest, 7-3 and 11-1 on Saturday. The Panthers have a few challenging games on the schedule next, however, starting with a two-game series against D.C. Everest and they’ll visit No. 22 Medford Area next week Tuesday.

+ No. 17 Waterford Union (1-1): The Wolverines opened the spring with a one-sided win over Badger, 15-4, but Southern Lakes staple Union Grove took it to Waterford last Tuesday with a 10-4 win. They were set for a rematch on Friday but it was postponed, but they have another SLC heavyweight on deck this week, Burlington.

+ No. 18 Muskego (1-2): Muskego faced a difficult first three games against ranked opponents, No. 19 Greendale and a two-game conference meeting with No. 10 Catholic Memorial, and dropped two. The youth and inexperience may cause a slow start to the spring for the Warriors, but the talent remains intact for them to rally back as the season rolls on; they have Whitnall, Germantown, and No. 22 Medford Area on the schedule this week.

+ No. 19 Greendale (5-1): The Panthers have looked like an energized group at the beginning of this season, with five wins and one loss that’s not looking too bad, considering how competitive D2 University School has looked thus far. Outside of that USM loss, Greendale scored wins over No. 18 Muskego, Cudahy, West Allis Central (twice), and Mukwonago. They have a huge Woodland West meeting with No. 7 Pewaukee on Tuesday.

+ No. 21 Verona Area (1-2): The Wildcats split a hard-fought conference set with Madison West and opened their season with a 5-1 defeat to No. 6 Milton which has them situated at 1-2 this spring. This week, they’ll battle No. 13 Sun Prairie twice this week in an early, critical Big 8 series.

+ No. 24 Brookfield Central (2-0): Speaking of Greater Metro programs, the Lancers are also undefeated so far this season, and their first win game against fellow GMC opponent Wauwatosa East, and they followed that up with an 8-7 victory over Brookfield Academy this past Saturday. Central has Germantown slated today, West Allis Hale on Tuesday, and they’ll square off with No. 7 Pewaukee at The Rock on Friday evening.

+ No. 25 New Berlin West (2-0): While the Vikings have just played twice this year – two convincing wins over Pius XI – New Berlin West looks like an authentic D2 state contender. We were on hand to watch them in their latest win over Pius last week, and came away impressed with the team as a whole. While we’re used to seeing No. 7 Pewaukee and No. 19 Greendale duke it out over the Woodland West Conference title year after year, the Vikings look capable of poaching it from those two heavyweights.


For more information, visit our Power 25 page with links to preseason analysis, and it’s also where you can find in-season coverage as we start to publish it throughout this season. Each day, we publish our WIAA Daily Roundup, which contains scores and game recaps from the day prior. And beginning Wednesday, we’ll announce our first PBR Wisconsin Player of the Week spanning performances from the first two weeks of the season, because of the limited amount of games played during those first 14 days of WIAA play. Each Friday that follows, we’ll highlight the nominees we received by coaches and publish their statlines inside of our Diamond Notes.

Follow us at @PBRWisconsin on Twitter and Instagram for additional coverage this season.

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