Wisconsin Power 25: Week 6


By Wisconsin Staff

The PBR Wisconsin staff updated the Power 25 rankings for the latest time today, Monday, following a wild Week 6 that featured a ton of top-25 upsets. The amount of Power 25 losses resulted in a huge shake-up on the rankings, as six teams exited the top-25 which allowed for six programs to climb on – five of which are on the board for the first time this season.

And even the teams ranked at the top of the rankings weren’t immune to the upset last week. The top-five teams on last week’s rankings combined for seven losses in Week 6, including No. 1 Whitefish Bay. In all, there were 32 losses on the Power 25 last week, which made for a wild update to the rankings today.

Let’s break down how our first week of quality weather has teed up the one we have on deck, as conferences heat up, too.

TOP-3

+ No. 1 Whitefish Bay (13-1): The Blue Dukes were dealt their first loss of the spring on last week Monday to conference rivals Homestead, a team they topped 16-3 at the very start of the season. After trouncing West Bend West in a rebound victory on Wednesday, Whitefish Bay just narrowly beat another North Shore opponent, Hartford Union, 3-2, as they showed some signs of losing the No. 1 status on the Power 25. Lucky for them, the rest of the Power 25 struggled, including several of the teams situated just behind them. WFB has a busy week of conference action before they take on Arrowhead at Cahill Park in a stellar non-conference matchup this Saturday.

+ No. 2 Franklin (13-1): The Sabers are winners of nine straight and were closely considered as the new No. 1 team in the state, following a perfect 6-0 week. What stood in their way from poaching the top spot was the quality of competition, I suppose you could say, as Franklin handily swept Bradford and beat Racine Park twice by a combined score of 35-0 – though, those teams have won just four games total between the two this spring. Franklin has the opportunity to stack quality wins on top of each other as soon as this week, in their three-game Southeast series against rivals Oak Creek, which stands to play a critical role in the race for the conference title.

+ No. 3 Milton (13-1): Milton scored three quality wins this week to shoot up the board by five spots, vaulting past some teams that hit some unexpected bumps in the road in Week 6 action. It was to the Red Hawks’ gain, as Milton started the week with a big win over Janesville Craig, which they were ranked just behind on the Power 25 at the time, and they went on to hand Edgewood its first loss of the year, and they capped the week with a signature win over the top-ranked Division 2 program on our board, Beloit Turner. While Milton’s offense hasn’t been firing at the pace that it had back at the start of the season, the Red Hawks are pitching well, and if the bats can reignite, Milton’s as dangerous as any program in the state.

CLIMBING

+ No. 6 Eau Claire North (11-2): The Huskies strung together a solid 3-1 week which led to a minor jump in our most recent Power 25 update. Eau Claire North got their week started with a two-game series against crosstown rival, Eau Claire Memorial. Although they split the two games, both of the games were very competitive. The Huskies finished their week with two dominant 15-5 wins over Wausau East and Wausau West. Eau Claire North did benefit from teams above them losing some games but nonetheless the Huskies are enjoying a very productive season thus far. 

+ No. 7 Oak Creek (12-2): With just two losses on their record, Oak Creek seems to be playing some of their best baseball as of late. They started their week with a three game sweep over conference opponent, Indian Trail. Sophomore OF/LHP Cade Palkowski seems to be finding his groove for this Knight squad as he tossed a complete game in their first matchup against Indian Trail. Classmate of Palkowski, RHP/OF Payten Jibben has also been enjoying a successful season as he also twirled a complete game gem. With other arms like Luke Klekamp (2022; St. Johns River State College) on this roster, the depth really shows which is something that will only help as the playoffs roll around. 

+ No. 9 Marquette University (12-3): After falling in last week’s Power 25 update, Marquette is back on the rise after enjoying a successful week 6. The Hilltoppers pitching staff has continued to do solid as they allowed a combined four runs in their four games last week. In their matchup against Wauwatosa East, RHP/OF Gavin Gawronski (2022; North Central College commit) and RHP/OF Sam Wronski (2023) combined for a shutout performance. RHP/INF Luke Agnew (2023; Wichita State commit) also has been a key contributor for this Marquette pitching staff as he tossed a complete game gem in their win over Sussex Hamilton. If the Marquette staff can continue this dominance and if the bats can come around ever so slightly, they have the chance to continue their already impressive season. 

+ No. 10 Beloit Turner (13-2): In Beloit Turner’s first three games of the week, they cruised to three dominant wins, outscoring their opponents by 30 runs. To end their week, Beloit Turner took on No. 3 Milton and despite the tough loss, they battled all the way to the end. In that matchup the Turner pitching staff held a talented Milton to just four runs but their offense was quited which seems uncommon as their offense has been putting up some big numbers throughout the season. Even with the loss they endured, we saw no reason why Beloit Turner should not rise up a few spots in our most recent Power 25 update. 

+ No. 11 Westosha Central (13-1): With only one loss on their record, Westosha seems to be one of the top teams in the Badger State. With names like RHP/INF Adam Switalski (2023; Indiana commit), LHP Michael Mulhollon (2022; Wichita State commit ), and RHP Scotty Schulz (2023) in their everyday rotation, we knew that they would bolster on of the best staffs in the state. But the offense has been productive for Westosha as well. In two games last week, they put up a combined 21 runs. If the offense can keep this up, there is certainly enough depth in the rotation to carry them to a deep playoff run. 

+ No. 12 Sun Prairie (10-3): After cruising to a 3-0 week, the defending Division-1 state champions are rising five spots in this Power 25 update. The Cardinals started their week off with two dominant wins over Janesville Parker where they scored 28 combined runs and only allowed one. Sun Prairie’s best win to date came as they took down then No. 2 Arrowhead on Friday to cap off their productive week. They also handed Arrowhead their first loss of the season and were a reason why Arrowhead dropped two spots. A handful of players on this year’s roster were members of that state team last year so they know what it takes to get there. That coupled with a talented roster make this Sun Prairie squad a dangerous one. 

+ No. 14 De Pere (8-2): After making their debut on Week 4’s Power 25 update, De Pere has been steadily rising ever since. This bump can be attributed to them winning all three of their games last week, bouncing back from a 2-2 record the previous week. In De Pere’s first game of the week took down a solid Bay Port squad and followed it up with a win over Notre Dame Academy. The Red Birds then capped off their 3-0 week with yet another dominant win, this time against Sheboygan South. If De Pere can keep up this consistent play there is no reason why they shouldn’t keep rising in our Power 25 rankings. 

+ No. 16 Greendale (12-4): It has been sort of a rollercoaster year for Greendale as they have been up and down in our rankings. Last week they seemed to put it together as they grabbed two wins from a tough New Berlin West squad, which outweighed their one loss. The Panthers also added in a dominant win over Milwaukee Lutheran. Greendale certainly has the talent to carry them to wins each and every night. If they can keep up the production we saw from them last week, they have the chance to make a push as conference games begin to wrap up.

WELCOME…

+ No. 15 Mosinee (15-2): Mosinee had been teetering on the edge of the Power 25 at times this spring, and after earning victories over Merrill, Shawano, and then-ranked Kettle Moraine, they looked like shoo-ins for a spot on the board this week. Well, Mosinee doubled down on themselves by topping powerhouse Pewaukee in Saturday’s doubleheader, winning both ballgames, 2-1 and 5-3. The 5-0 week combined with several meaningful wins over significant programs has Mosinee making a loud Power 25 debut at No. 15 overall. Mosinee split its season series with Medford, which is off the Power 25 for the first time this season after this update, and their only other loss came against a strong Wautoma program by the score of 2-1. Otherwise, Mosinee is leading the Great Northern Conference and 15-2 overall, looking like one of the top Division 2 programs in the WIAA, led by a couple upside sophomores, SS/RHP Keagen Jirschele (2024) and C Gavin Obremski (2024), as well as seniors like RHP/OF Trevor Garski (2022), INF Drake Grod (2022), and INF Tanner Unertl (2022).

+ No. 17 Kenosha Tremper (14-1): The Trojans have been one of the most consistent teams in southeastern Wisconsin in recent years, earning at least a share of the Southeast Conference title in three of the past four seasons. This year, having graduated a substantial number of players from last year’s Regional championship squad, Tremper looked like it was prepared for something of a transitional season. Yet, here we are on May 9, and Tremper has won 14 of its 15 games while trailing Franklin by just one game in the SEC. Seniors INF/RHP Jalani Hudnall (2022; William Penn), 1B Ivan Jake (2022), and RHP Wyatt Modory (2022) have steered this program into yet another winning season, while junior and sophomore reinforcements have supported them, especially underclassman INF/RHP Rory Dutton (2024), who garnered POTW attention last week. Tremper still has SEC series on the schedule with Franklin and Oak Creek, so they’re in control of their own destiny for the conference title in 2022.

+ No. 21 Kenosha St. Joseph (9-0): It may have taken the Lancers too long, from our end, to see the Power 25 for the first time this season. The reigning Division-3 champions returned five starters and two of their top arms to the roster in 2022, and following a 25-1 season they remain undefeated so far this spring. Three Metro Classic first-teamers return – 3B Brady Davidson (2023), RHP Andrew Setter (2022), and 2B Jacob Ashmus (2022) – and they’ve also been boosted by the presence of freshman C Peter Visconti II (2025), who’s among the most talented ‘25s we’ve seen in the state to this point. Junior RHP/OF Luke Schuler (2023) bolsters this team on both sides of the ball once again, and the Lancers look more than capable of racing to another spot at the state tournament again in 2022.

+ No. 23 University School (14-1): The Wildcats spent a week on the Power 25 after our first update back on April 18 but fell off a week later after dropping their first game of the season to Brookfield Academy a day later. But the Wildcats haven’t lost since, and the quality wins they amassed early in the spring (over the likes of Catholic Memorial and Greendale) buoy the seven-game win streak they’re currently on. They handed Saint Francis their first two losses of the spring last week after pushing past Division-1 Germantown, 1-0, the Saturday before. USM has an intriguing mix of talent on both sides of the ball, and we’re eager to see their crucial Metro Classic series with Lake Country Lutheran this week, one that should ultimately determine the conference champ by season’s end.

+ No. 24 Brookfield East (10-3): The Spartans sprung up through the Bubble and onto the Power 25 while riding a 4-0 week that featured wins over a hot Menomonee Falls team, as well as one of the state’s most talented teams, Arrowhead. In Saturday’s meeting with the Warhawks, B’East notched 20 hits and nine of those came against one of the top sophomore arms in Wisconsin. INF Cade Honkamp (2022; Wisconsin-Whitewater) had the kind of week to garner POTW consideration, and he lifted East offensively and catapulted them onto the Power 25, at No. 24 overall. East’s three losses this season came against quality opponents (Union Grove, Brookfield Central, and Marquette), even if they were lopsided finals. And while East has a difficult schedule through the rest of this month, they also roster the kind of talent to hoist them through it, still well within reach of the GMC crown, too.

+ No. 25 Amherst (14-0): Division-3 Amherst has won all 14 of its games this spring and they boast a potent one-two punch at the top of their rotation, behind RHP Ben Lee (2022; Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and RHP Wyatt Blaskowski (2023). The two have combined to allow just four earned runs this season in over 40 innings, split evenly, and Lee has K’d 41 batters this spring and Blaskowski has punched out 36. While Lee’s dominance was more or less anticipated as one of the top seniors on our state rankings, what Blaskowski’s doing is remarkable. The junior righty has allowed only seven hits and three walks in 21 innings this spring, and he’s also hitting .310. Meanwhile, Lee has seven extra-base hits this season – including two homers – and nearly twice as many RBIs (25) as the next most on the roster. Senior OF Jake Hoffman (2022) is hitting .500 with five doubles this year, and SS Landon Moe (2022) is a returning all-conference player who’s been similarly effective this year, too. Amherst returned 100 percent of its roster in 2022 and they’re one of the best bets to represent their area at D3 state next month.

FALLING

+ No.  4 Arrowhead (9-2): The Warhawks dropped two games last week and, as a result, fell a pair of spots in these updated Power 25 rankings. They started out strong, sweeping through conference foe Muskego in a two-game set, before dropping a close 4-3 road game against Sun Prairie on Friday. They returned home to host Brookfield East on Saturday, falling to the Spartans 12-5 while being out hit 19-to-11. Despite the pair of losses, Arrowhead is still firmly one of the state’s most talented programs and there’s an abundance of upper-echelon prospects scattered throughout this roster. INF Ethan Hindle (2023; Kentucky) is scorching hot, while C Thomas Curry (2023; Missouri), RHP Mason Buss (2022; Kansas State), and INF/RHP James Vargas (2022; Upper Iowa) are all playing quality baseball right now. The Warhawks draw Fort Atkinson, Kettle Moraine, and top-ranked Whitefish Bay this week. 

+ No. 5 Kimberly (10-3): Last week started out strong for the Papermakers, as they took home three straight victories against Appleton North, Fond du Lac, and Appleton East, respectively. They hosted Menomonee Falls on Saturday in two non-conference games and dropped a pair to the Phoenix, however, including a tight-knit 11-10 loss and 9-2 defeat. Kimberly still sits atop the Fox Valley Association standings with an undefeated conference record, dropping all three of their games to non-conference opponents. A roster that features plenty of talent paired with a rich history of winning still has the Papermakers slotted inside the top five of these updated rankings and as one of the WIAA’s top teams. 

+ No. 8 Janesville Craig (11-3): The Cougars were off to hot start in the beginning of the season but have seemed to cool off slightly. Last week, Janesville Craig ripped off two wins over then-ranked Middleton but then endured a loss against No. 3 Milton and Verona giving them a 2-2 record for the week. Milton is certainly not a bad loss and neither is Verona as they have a talented squad so we saw no reason to drop them that many spots. If Janesville Craig can find their succes they had at the beginning of the season they have the chance to contend for Big Eight conference champs. 

+ No. 13 Hudson (10-3): Hudson was streaking entering last week, having won four straight games that included a series split with rival Eau Claire Memorial and sweeping through a competitive River Falls team. Things cooled off for Hudson, however, as the Raiders dropped back-to-back games against New Richmond and D.C. Everest, sliding down a handful of spots in our updated Power 25. Still, there are some positives to takeaway from Hudson’s play thus far, including the all-conference type of contributions they’re getting out of LHP Ben Berkhof (2023) and LHP/1B Owen Weadge (2022; St. Cloud State). The Raiders trail Eau Claire North in the Big Rivers conference standings by a few games, but they’ll play the Huskies twice next week in what’ll certainly be a marquee matchup up in the state’s western region. 

+ No. 18 Pewaukee (14-5): The Pirates are another team that have had some ups and downs throughout the season. Pewaukee seemed to be figuring it out as they ripped off 11 wins in a row. They then ran into a Mosinee squad that has been playing their best baseball as of late and they lost both games of the double-header. Nonetheless, this Pewaukee squad is talented and if they can put it all together when it matters, they have the chance to do something special as playoffs roll around. 

ON THE BUBBLE

+ Coleman (17-0): Since 2011, Coleman has won the Marinette & Oconto Conference outright eight times, they shared it with Peshtigo in 2015, and Wausaukee was the only other outright winner during that stretch in 2014. Coleman represented the conference as the Division 3 state runners-up in 2021, and despite graduating a handful of starters, WBCA Hall of Fame head coach Kent Casper has the Cougars positioned to win more than just its conference again in 2022, winners of 17 in a row to start their season.

+ Homestead (10-3): The Highlanders knocked off No. 1-ranked Whitefish Bay in a huge upset last week, and they’ve won six in a row since an April 25 loss to Hartford Union – and they’re 9-1 overall since slipping out of the gate to an 0-2 mark.

+ Wautoma (11-2): The Hornets earned sincere Power 25 consideration this week, despite a Week 6 loss to conference rivals Adams-Friendship, 1-0. They topped the Green Devils earlier in the year, 5-4, and are responsible for one of Mosinee’s two losses this year – the highest ranked debuting team on this week’s update. Sophomore OF/LHP Logan Dunn (2024) has been one of the top two-way players in the state this season, and seniors RHP Hoyt Keller (2022; Wisconsin-Oshkosh) and C Kyler Fenske (2022; Marian, WI) are two more players who have motored Wautoma to an 11-2 record this spring.

+ Altoona (13-1): Altoona was poised to earn a potential spot on the Power 25 this week entering Saturday, still undefeated, but a 5-2 loss to Viroqua handed them their first loss and delayed that consideration – at least for another week. The Railroaders are led by junior C/INF/RHP Evan Gustafson (2023; Oregon State), one of the top-ranked ‘23s in Wisconsin, as well as OF CJ Varsho (2023), and sophomore INF Trent Cornell (2024).

+ Appleton North (10-2)
+ Union Grove (10-3)
+ Ashwaubenon (10-3)
+ Saint Croix Falls (10-0)
+ Denmark (14-3)
+ Catholic Memorial (10-6)
+ Menomonee Falls (10-4)
+ Green Bay Preble (10-3)
+ Lake Country Lutheran (11-2)
+ Jefferson (13-4)
+ Edgewood (10-2)
+ Regis (10-0)

**Click here to view the PBR Wisconsin Power 25 board in full.**


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