Prep Baseball Report

WIAA Teams to Watch: Badger

By: Isaiah Glidden
Area Scout, Content

The 2024 Wisconsin high school baseball season is here and, as usual, excitement is abound throughout the state. Players and coaches have been working in preparation for the spring season and, as is the case each year, there are some very talented players and teams across the Badger State.  

Teams across the state have goals and aspirations to finish their seasons in their respective WIAA Division State Championship, but there is plenty of work to be done before that becomes reality. In the weeks leading up to the opening day, we released our initial Power 25 Rankings, which can be found here. Now we will take a look at teams that earned Power 25 consideration with these 'Teams to Watch' pieces.

Please keep checking back throughout the season as we will be your one-stop shop for everything related to high school baseball across Wisconsin. Each week we will be releasing our Power 25, Players of the Week, Diamond Notes, Scout Blog and much more.

Our 2024 season coverage continues today.   

High School: Badger Badgers
Head Coach: Mike Ploch
WIAA Division: 1
Conference: Southern Lakes
2023 Record (Finish): 14-13 (D1 Regional Semifinalist)

Key Players Lost: Crete Slattery (Ripon College)



No. of Returning Starters: 7
No. of Returning Pitchers: 5

Wade Blakeley WI 2024 INF -
Sam Polyock WI 2024 RHP Wisconsin-Whitewater
Travis Bates WI 2024 RHP Clarks Summit
Christian Wolff WI 2024 RHP Iowa Central CC
Magnus Schanz WI 2024 OF -
Ryan McCarthy WI 2025 INF -
Zach Walton WI 2025 OF -
Riley Lussmyer WI 2025 RHP -
Gavin Stewart WI 2025 LHP/1B -
Trent Ertmann WI 2025 C/INF -
Jack Norton WI 2025 C -
Hayden Stinnett WI 2025 C -
Matthew O'Grady Jr. WI 2026 OF -
Bradley McCarthy WI 2026 RHP/INF -


RHP Sam Polyock (2024; Wisconsin-Whitewater) is coming off a standout junior campaign in which he pitched to a sub-1.00 ERA (.724) while also punching out 69 in 58 innings. He will once again be considered this team’s ace heading into his fourth and final prep season. Both LHP/1B Gavin Stewart (2025) and RHP Christian Wolff (2024; Iowa Central CC) return a 2.47 ERA from last season, adding to the overall depth of this rotation.

Offensively, OF Matthew O’Grady Jr. (2026) will be looking to make a large impact during his second prep year. INF Wade Blakeley (2024) will be a senior leader for the offense and he returns a .247 batting average from 2023.

INF Ryan McCarthy (2025) and OF Zach Walton (2025) are a pair of veterans that will look to build of solid sophomore campaigns, too.

In 2024 they are off to a 1-0 start, as they took down Fort Atkinson in a close battle. In that game, RHP Riley Lussmyer earned the win, as he scattered three hits while punching out seven. The aforementioned Polyock also showed what he can do with the bat as he tallied four hits to drive in two runs.

Find more information on the 2024 Badger program below: