Prep Baseball Report

WIAA Playoffs: Kimberly Sectional Preview

By: Kyle Rodriguez
Wisconsin/Illinois Staff

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.

Our series continues with the Kimberly Sectional—featuring numerous intriguing storylines that look to take place on Tuesday. The Papermakers, ranked at No. 5 in the Power 25, will host No. 1 De Pere, No. 22 Bay Port and Appleton East at Sunset Park, with games getting underway at 10:00 a.m.

DE PERE (22-3)

The expectations for this De Pere squad are sky-high as they enter this postseason ranked as the No. 1 program in the state. As their first playoff action rolled around, they did not disappoint, shutting out West De Pere. This now sets a match-up between the unexpected Appleton East team who has been the shocking story of this postseason. With a David and Goliath story forming, De Pere seeks to crush David and continue their playoff run.

The rotation of De Pere is led by RHP Easton Arendt (2024; Winona State University commit) and RHP Axel Donaldson (2024; Madison JC). Arendt is coming off a stellar performance against West De Pere throwing a complete game shutout with four strikeouts. Donaldson has yet to touch the mound this postseason and is primed for an amazing first appearance. Working off of the spectacular regular season, these two look to propel De Pere into a long postseason run.

Easton Arendt [7/11/23]

On the offensive side of the ball, 1B Landon Raygo (2024, Bryant & Stratton (WI)) looks to set the tone and continue his season-long success. In the game against West De Pere, Raygo had the team's lone RBI—driving in Arendt after he tripled in the first. When Arendt and Donaldson aren’t on the mound, they will be looking to help the team with their bats. The two have been a staple in the lineup—producing on all sides of the field. These three top off one of the best lineups in the state, which is looking to make some more noise this postseason.

They will get things started with the aforementioned matchup at 10:00 a.m. against the Patriots.


Appleton East has been the shock of this postseason stunning all of Wisconsin with their playoff performance. Coming out of a rough regular season, the expectations were not high for this squad going into the playoffs, but they have been on a roll looking to prove everyone wrong. Through this playoff success, they have knocked off Kaukauna and rival Appleton West—setting their sights on the No. 1 team in the state in De Pere. With their toughest battle yet this Tuesday, Appleton East looks to take down Goliath.

The offense for the Patriots is headed by INF/RHP Cade Prestigiacomo (2025) who’s put together a great season with the bat. Hitting .333/.465/.439 with an OPS of .903, Prestigiacomo looks to continue his success this postseason. MIF AJ Thompson (2026) is another bat this squad will be looking to rely on. Thompson had a solid year and will look to produce some more to push forward their postseason hopes.

On the pitching side, the staff is led by once again Prestigiacomo along with RHP Matt Bixler (2025). The two of them along with the rest of the Appleton East staff look to shut the doors on De Pere and any potential team that stands in their way.

BAY PORT (19-8)

Bay Port has entered this postseason ranked as the twenty-second-best team in that state and is one of the hottest teams in Wisconsin. After a rough start to the season starting 1-6 Bay Port has rattled off eleven straight wins and hopes to stay hot in their upcoming battle against fifth-ranked Kimberly. Their most recent victory saw them take down Pulaski as their pitching and hitting are looking to be firing at all cylinders.

RHP Craig Kabat (2024; Gonzaga) and LHP Ethan Plog (2024; Iowa Western CC) are the aces of the rotation and have been lights out this postseason. In their game against Pulaski, Kabat punched out ten while going five innings. Then, Plog came in to close the doors allowing only one hit in two innings securing the win for Bay Port. With the two of them pitching at one hundred percent the Bay Port rotation looks to be one of the most feared this postseason.

Craig Kabat [6/23/23]

OF Carter Kallies (2024; Wisconsin-La Crosse) has been the top offensive producer for Bay Port this season. Kallies outstanding season has been a much-needed spark plug to this well-rounded lineup that can attack at any moment. In the Pirates’ postseason run, OF Evan Cichanofsky (2025) is looking to maintain a hot bat. Cichanofsky has been dominant all year and it was shown in the win over Pulaski where he had two hits and an RBI. These two, along with the rest of the lineup, are looking to do some damage and continue their hot streak.

Bay Port will play the host of the event, Kimberly, beginning at 1:00 p.m.


No. 5 Kimberly has been one of the most dominant teams in all of Wisconsin. With one of the most well-rounded teams in the postseason, they are looking to march their way to the State Tournament. Standing in their way first will be No. 22 Bay Port who will be looking to make a statement against Kimberly.

The Papermakers’ rotation took a hit when stand-out RHP Sawyer Deering (2025; Tennessee) was shut down for the season due to an injury, but luckily for Kimberly, they have the arms to fill the newly created void. LHP Brady Koester (2024; Notre Dame) is the ace of the rotation and is looking to build off of the momentum from an outstanding regular season. While Koester didn’t have his best stuff during their playoff win against Hortonville, RHP Connor Olson (2025) was able to pick him up allowing zero hits over three innings closing the door on the Polar Bears. Olson is another piece of this dominant rotation that will look to shut down any offense that comes their way.

While Deering is shut down on the mound he is still able to be the catalyst in a powerful Kimberly lineup. In their game against Hortonville, Deering went 2-for-3 with a home run, continuing his season-long dominance with the bat. C Brady Coons (2024; Concordia (WI)) is another piece of this lineup that makes it so powerful. With five home runs on the season, he looks to continue his power-filled campaign with a big postseason. The Kimberly lineup is filled with bats that are ready to pop when it matters. Their arms combined with these bats make the Papermakers one of the most feared teams in the postseason, as they will be fighting for a spot in the State Tournament.

With all four of these teams playing their best baseball at the moment, it’s going to be a battle to make it to the State Tournament. Whoever punches their ticket on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. at Sunset Park, will have earned every right to play for a title.