Prep Baseball Report

WIAA Playoffs: Janesville Sectional Preview

By: Maddox Durst
Staff Writer

The WIAA playoffs are coming down to the wire in the Badger State, as Regional play has come to a conclusion after an eventful week. Many of the top seeds survived their first couple of rounds of action—emerging as Sectional contenders come Tuesday, June 4.

With the talent that has evolved and will be showcased on Tuesday, the Prep Baseball Wisconsin staff will be rolling out preview pieces beforehand.

No. 21 Janesville Craig will be hosting a Division 1 Sectional on their home diamond at Riverside Park—welcoming three more ranked teams in No. 11 Westosha Central, No. 23 Badger and No. 8 Union Grove.


The Falcons strung together one of the more impressive year-long performances, staying under-the-radar throughout most of the preseason before making significant noise in the regular season. They eventually went on to win the Southern Lakes Conference—receiving contributions from everyone to emerge as the No. 1 seed in this Sectional.

A strong presence on the mound has separated Westosha Central in 2024, led by a pair of uncommitted juniors in RHP Brody Schulte (2025) and LHP Joseph Suokko (2025). Schulte was dominant in their first playoff game against a tough Mukwonago team in the Regional Final—twirling a complete game shutout in a narrow victory for the Falcons. Both Schulte and Suokko have impressed throughout the entirety of the season—dating back to the winter. Their performances will be integral to the success of Westosha Central on Tuesday.

Brody Schulte [3/27/24]

OF Carson Sieler (2025) has been a key piece as a newcomer for the Falcons—emerging as a table-setter from the leadoff spot on a consistent basis. It sets up the formula for Westosha Central to score with the help of other contributors such as C Mason Mitacek (2024; Wisconsin-Parkside), who has enjoyed a strong season at the plate and behind the dish for the Falcons.

Westosha Central has really been able to hit their stride this spring, and are primed to finish their season at the State Tournament. They will have a chance to get closer come Tuesday, where they’ll battle against the host in Janesville Craig.


After ranking toward the top of the Power 25 for a majority of last season, the Cougars were tasked with replacing their multitude of production within their senior class. After a slow start, Janesville Craig slowly began gaining momentum before—elevating near the lead in the Big Eight Conference, all while putting together a quality resume in the process to set themselves up for success.

The Cougars will get to be on their home field for the entirety of their playoff stretch—continuing into Tuesday. INF Charlie Claas (2024) has been a difference-maker with the bat in his hands for Janesville Craig—contributing numerous multi-hit games while playing solid defense on the infield. He is joined by their backstop in C Ryan Lemm (2025; Wisconsin-Milwaukee), a powerful left-handed hitter who has shown well behind the dish in the past. The combination of Claas and Lemm has proven to be influential in game results for the past month plus, as the Cougars enter Tuesday on an 11-game winning streak.

Ryan Lemm [3/3/24]

As for the pitching staff, RHP Drayton Lou (2024; St. Cloud State) has taken on a heavy load of innings for Janesville Craig as their workhorse—separating himself as an ace in the program. His presence on the bump will be key for the Cougars’ future success, as they’ll look to dethrone the No. 1 seed right away on Tuesday morning.

BADGER (23-5)

The Badgers enjoyed one of the strongest starts to the season—going undefeated through the first 11 games of the year, before cooling down to finish 12-5 for the rest of their 2024 campaign.

Now they are set to continue their strong year, this time at Sectionals. Badger has talent presented up and down their roster, starting with the excellence that OF Matthew O’Grady (2026) has brought to the table as a centerpiece in their lineup. O’Grady has dominated at the plate in his sophomore season—garnering attention in our Diamond Notes, along with being one of the top performing underclassmen in the Badger State.

Matthew O'Grady [2/17/24]

UTL Wade Blakeley (2024) and INF Ryan McCarthy (2025) round out some of the power in the order, along with a couple of two-way stars who have been performing on the varsity stage for multiple seasons.

Those two names include LHP/1B Gavin Stewart (2025) and RHP/INF Sam Polyock (2024; Wisconsin-Whitewater), each of which has taken on a majority of the innings for Badger on the mound. Polyock returned after a dominant 2023 season, and has maintained that momentum throughout the latter half of the season. Both will see some time on the bump heading into Tuesday.

The Badgers will have their hands full with a hot Union Grove at 1:00 p.m. in a matchup between two Southern Lakes Conference foes.


The Broncos round out this Sectional, and are arguably the hottest team in the state entering Tuesday. They started the year 2-4, and have now rattled off 21 straight wins to hop back in the top-10 of the Power 25 and give themselves a shot to make it to the State Tournament after falling a game short last season.

LHP Robert Barrera (2024; Illinois-Chicago) and RHP Landon Dessart (2024; Madison JC) have both excelled on the mound for the Broncos, as they will be a tough one-two punch to take down on Tuesday. Barrera has been a force all season—including winning a Prep Baseball Wisconsin Pitcher of the Week award after a 21-strikeout performance in the middle of the year. Dessart has clutched up for them all season, coming off of an elite junior campaign.

Robert Barrera [6/22/23]

The offense has continued to pick up momentum as the season moved along, working through some early struggles. INF Beau Bloxdorf (2024; Madison JC) has been the headliner at the top of the order for the Broncos, coming off of a 2-for-3 performance in a 5-1 win over Burlington, where he drove in a team-high three runs. OF/RHP Marshall Loch (2024; Southern Indiana), OF Braxton Hinds (2024; Bryant & Stratton (WI)) and INF Leo Weist (2025) are three more bats that have contributed to the depth of this unit, as they enter Tuesday as the highest ranked Power 25 team in their respective Sectional.

Riverside Park is the lone location playing host to four Power 25 teams on Tuesday, as the Sectional Final game will be ready to take place at 4:00 p.m. to send a program to Appleton.