Prep Baseball Report

WIAA State Finals: Day Two Recaps

By: David Go & Maddox Durst
Staff Writer

Take a look into all of the action from Tuesday's slate of games at the State Tournament up in Appleton. The Division 3 and 4 Semifinals took place, determining who will play in the respective championship games on Thursday.


In the final game of day two at the State Tournament, La Crosse Aquinas was all over Cumberland from the start—looking to make their return to the Division 3 championship game by the end of the evening.

They were able to do so, much of which to do with the prowess of RHP Aedan David (2026) both on the mound and at the plate.

David faced two batters over the minimum in this one—striking out three batters in the process. The right-hander worked his FB up to 84 mph throughout the five-inning start—cruising in the low-80s while filling the strike zone.

That allowed the Blugolds’ offense to find its rhythm, one of the top units in the Division 3 field. David wasted no time in the batters box with runners in scoring position, as the sophomore barreled a double past the third baseman to put Aquinas out 2-0 early on.

A single from 1B Kyle White (2026) got the job done in the second frame, as INF Jonny Deets (2027) came around to score after a leadoff walk and a stolen base.

SS Eddie Peters (2024; Xavier commit) provided the big hit for the Blugolds in the fourth inning, launching a double to the base of the wall in left field to drive in a pair. He expanded the lead to 5-0, and then came around to score on a single turned in by David.

Right away in the next inning, Aquinas strung together three straight hits and an error to plate three runs and go up 9-0. Then, David capped off his nearly perfect outing with an RBI single, as he finished 4-for-4 with four RBIs, in addition to his no-hitter on the bump.

The Blugolds look to avenge last season’s loss in the championship game with a win on Thursday, as they will have to go through the No. 2 seed in Kenosha St. Joseph to do so. First pitch is set for noon.

No. 3 Bonduel vs. No. 2 Kenosha St. Joseph’s

Kenosha St. Joseph’s two first-inning runs proved to be sufficient in their 2-1 semifinal win over the Bonduel Bears on Tuesday.

St. Joe’s Mason Ballard and Bonduel’s Cade Johnson dueled for six innings, each scattering seven hits and punching out three. Dylan Love earned the save with his scoreless seventh inning for the Lancers.

Buffalo basketball commit Eric Kenesie opened the Lancers’ half of the first with a single, scoring a batter later on Peter Visconti’s double to center field. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Louisville commit Dominic Santarelli drove him in with a hard groundout to second base.

Kenesie, the school’s all-time leading scorer on the hardwood, is a premium athlete with above-average bat-to-ball skills and plus speed on the basepaths and in the outfield grass. The second-ranked sophomore Santarelli carried a strong presence in the box but was pitched around, walking twice.

Seniors Easton Reinke and Noah Weier strung together a pair of doubles to cut the Lancer lead in half, but wound up being the Bears’ only run of the contest - St. Joe’s nearly retired Bonduel in order over the final four frames.

Ballard pitched to contact, relying on his standout defense to make plays in the six-inning performance. The Lancer offense produced throughout - eight of the nine hitters reached base. Kenesie, Visconti and Santarelli combined to reach base five times in nine plate appearances atop the Lancer order, manufacturing the two runs in the initial inning. Patrick Davidson and Dominic Rinaldi each shined from the bottom of the order with Davidson knocking a double and Rinaldi the lone Lancer with multiple hits.

Bonduel’s Johnson kept the Lancers’ potent offense off-balance for the final five frames but didn’t receive support from his offense. He added a single and a walk in his offensive efforts.

Kenosha St. Joseph will play for their fifth state title on Thursday against the winner of the Cumberland vs. Aquinas.

No. 4 Pacelli vs. No. 1 Eleva-Strum

Top-seeded Eleva-Strum narrowly overcame Pacelli 3-2, taking the one-run advantage on a two-run Carter Gunderson double in the sixth inning. Gunderson finished 3-for-3 and tossed four shutout innings to close the game for the Cardinals.

Pacelli opened the game with two first-inning runs on a Lucas Haemmerle double, scoring Malise Beduhn and Asher Jordan who reached on hits of their own. The rally proved to be the lone Pacelli runs of the game.

The left-handed hitting Haemmerle has a short, compact swing with an advanced up-the-middle approach, resulting in three hard-hit balls. His presence in the box was mature and his athleticism evident.

The two teams, both dubbed the Cardinals, traded zeroes for much of the game, the lone blemish coming when Calvin Barneson singled home Carter Gunderson for the top-seeded Eleva-Strum.

The Eleva-Strum half of the sixth inning opened with a pair of outs before Gunderson came through off the recently-entered reliever Peyton Flees with a double over the head of the left fielder.

Eleva-Strum relieved Tyler Webb with Gunderson after Webb tossed just three innings, allowing two earned runs. Gunderson struck out four and allowed four baserunners in his four inning outing.

The NIACC commit sat 84-86 mph, reaching 88 a few times. Though he relied primarily on his fastball, his curveball had late break with 12/6 shape at 70-71 mph.

Pacelli countered with Keltin Opper, who allowed the three Cardinal runs in his 5 ⅔ innings, striking out six. Opper is a lanky lefty who worked on both sides of the plate with the fastball, also featuring a big breaking ball.

Eleva-Strum High School represents a pair of communities, Eleva and Strum, about 20 miles south of Eau Claire. Pacelli is a private Catholic high school in Stevens Point.

The win was Eleva-Strum’s first-ever in the state tournament. They’ll compete for the Division 4 title against Northwood/Solon Springs on Thursday at 9:30 a.m.

No. 3 Northwood/Solon Springs vs. No. 2 Johnson Creek

Abraham Ahlberg led the Green Eagles to a dominant 7-0 win over Johnson Creek on Tuesday to advance to the Division 4 state finals.

The Colorado-Mesa commit tossed 6 ⅔ shutout innings with nine strikeouts, allowing just six baserunners in the near-complete game. Offensively, he added three hits including a double and an RBI, scoring three times from the two-hole in the Northwood/Solon Springs lineup.

Northwood/Solon Springs set the tone early as the first four hitters reached base. Isaiah Ahlberg reached on an error to begin the game, scoring a batter later on Abraham’s RBI double. After stealing third base, the senior Ahlberg scored on a wild pitch/dropped third strike.

After holding the potent Johnson Creek lineup scoreless in the first and second, Abraham Ahlberg singled and scored on a sacrifice fly. Dylan Taggart drove in the fourth run a batter later. The Green Eagles tacked on three more runs in the fifth inning of their convincing seven-run win.

Abraham Ahlberg sat 85-88 throughout the game, reaching 89 on multiple occasions. His slider had stayed on plane with late lateral movement - a true swing-and-miss pitch. The changeup mimicked the fastball but with heavy arm-side run at 79-81 mph.

Aiding Ahlberg in the effort was his brother Isaiah, who scored twice from the leadoff spot. Jared Schultz drove in two and scored twice, also completing the final out for the victors.

Johnson Creek’s Dugg Hartwig allowed two earned runs across four innings before giving way to Dylan Bredlow, who threw three innings, surrendering a lone unearned run while striking out four.

Northwood/Solon Springs is a combination of schools playing out of Minong, Wisconsin, a town 50 miles south of Superior. They’ll play for their first-ever state championship on Thursday at 9 a.m. against the winner of Eleva-Strum and Pacelli.