Prep Baseball Report

WIAA Playoffs: Marshfield 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.

The series will start with the Marshfield Sectional, where it will be a battle between No. 7 Stevens Point Area, Eau Claire North, River Falls and No. 17 Hudson. Check out how they have reached this point, in addition to some of the key players, below.


Not too many teams have enjoyed the success that the Panthers have witnessed throughout the entirety of the 2024 season, as they look to make a run back to the state tournament after making it to the semifinals last season.

The pitching staff for SPASH has emerged as one of the most elite in the game—priming them to be a tough out in Sectionals. It starts with LHP Noah Marschke (2024; Madison JC commit), who has stepped into their ace role after being sidelined from throwing last season. He tossed a complete game with seven strikeouts against a pesky Wausau East team in the Regional Final—advancing the Panthers to Marshfield. RHP Ty Rechner (2024; Wisconsin-Stevens Point) is a fellow senior who joins him as SPASH’s second starter, as he will be key to their success in a doubleheader style type of tournament.

As for the bats, Marschke and Rechner have been a solid presence in the middle of their order—producing at a high rate throughout most of the season. OF Braylen Nystrom (2024; Wisconsin-Stevens Point), one of the veterans in this program, has flexed his muscles and been a power threat for the Panthers, as he finished 2-for-3 with an RBI in the 3-1 win over the Lumberjacks. OF Jaxon Stelter (2024) and INF Jacob Garth (2024; Bryant & Stratton (WI)) round out a scrappy top of the order that is looking to continue to make some noise throughout the state in the near future.

Braylen Nystrom [2/25/23]

SPASH will get the games started with a battle against Eau Claire North, beginning at 10:00 AM.


The Huskies enter Sectionals as the lowest seed amongst the pool of four teams, yet will be a tough out come playoff time. They maintained the first place spot in the Big Rivers Conference for part of the season, and now have gained that momentum back in this playoff run.

It wasn’t necessarily an easy path to get to Sectionals for Eau Claire North, as the Huskies had to take down their intra-city rival in Eau Claire Memorial in the Regional Final. At Carson Park, they were able to do so behind a four-run sixth inning, proving to be the difference-maker. C Jack Gorman (2025), after a strong summer on the tournament circuit in 2023, has emerged as one of Eau Claire North’s top hitters. He finished 2-for-3 with an RBI in the win. INF Logan Hesselman (2024; Wisconsin-Eau Claire) and RHP/1B Chase Watkins (2024; Wisconsin-Eau Claire) play integral roles toward the top of the lineup for the Huskies, as they will each need to produce in order for Eau Claire North to keep their season alive.

Jack Gorman [7/18/23]

Watkins will be heavily relied upon on the mound, as he has been the ace of this unit all season. RHP Aiden Ecker (2024) clutched up in relief in Thursday's game against the Old Abes, as he will have a key presence in the bullpen and in a spot-start scenario come Tuesday.


After losing a strong 2023 senior class, the Wildcats have been able to bounce back in a big way—emerging in second place in the Big Rivers Conference, and now getting a shot to make it to the State Tournament with the help of two wins on Tuesday.

The No. 3 seed boasts two key pieces in the middle of their lineup: INF/RHP Cayden Mueller (2024; Winona State University) and C Chase McQuade (2024; Concordia (MN)). Both have produced at a high rate for River Falls throughout the entirety of the 2024 season, and will now be relied upon even more this upcoming Tuesday. UTL Henry Zimmermann (2024; Winona State University) has been a piece toward the bottom of the order who has excelled in live gameplay—stacking on multi-hit games numerous times this past season.

While Mueller is an arm that the Wildcats will look to get contributions from, it’s RHP Auden Pankonin (2025) who has emerged as a high-follow uncommitted prospect this spring. After showing well in the winter, the right-hander has been elite for River Falls. Pankonin shut down Marshfield in their first playoff game—allowing zero hits in 6.1 innings of work with eight strikeouts. He has taken over the ace role and will be key for the Wildcats’ success on Tuesday.

Auden Pankonin [3/16/24]

River Falls will follow the first matchup, as they will take on their rival in Hudson—starting at 1:00 PM in Marshfield.

HUDSON (20-7)

After hitting a rough stretch in the middle of the season, the Raiders have emerged as a dominant force and will be carrying an eight-game winning streak into Sectionals on Tuesday.

The champions of the Big Rivers Conference have benefited from the production of their newcomer in OF/C Logan Hagman (2027), a star freshman who enters this week hitting .393 with 35 hits on the season. He has been a mainstay at the top of the lineup, and recently moved down to the cleanup spot to emphasize his run production, all while playing solid defense in the outfield. C Hunter Carlson (2024; Wichita State) has truly gotten hot over the past couple of weeks—garnering attention in our Diamond Notes, in addition to going 2-for-3 with a run scored against D.C. Everest in their lone playoff win. INF’s Landon Zeuli (2024; Winona State University) and Sam Abrahamson (2026) are two more pieces on the offensive end that have really shined for Hudson as of late—putting the No. 2 seed in a quality spot for Tuesday.

Logan Hagman [5/11/24]

Much of that also has to do with the work of their pitching staff, as LHP Bradyn Bezanson (2024; Maryville University) got things started with a five-inning no-hitter against the Evergreens. He struck out seven batters in his outing—dominating from start to finish in a 10-0 win. LHP Aaron Schwechler (2024; Wisconsin-La Crosse) has emerged as a solid No. 2 starter all season—looking to get some time on the mound if Hudson wins game one on the day.

All four teams have the spark to make a run to the State Tournament, as the Marshfield Sectional will present some of the most action-packed games of the day, with the championship game getting started at 4:00 PM.