No. 10 Menomonee Falls Opens Season With 17-2 Victory Over No. 20 Brookfield East

Diego Solares
Staff Writer/Area Scout

Opening Day of the WIAA season is officially upon us and the PBR Wisconsin team was on hand to cover a preseason top-25 matchup between two Greater Metro Conference foes, as the No. 10th ranked Menomonee Falls Phoenix hosted the No. 20th ranked Brookfield East Spartans at Trenary Field. It was the Phoenix who came out on top in an emphatic fashion, defeating the Spartans 17-2 in just five innings of play.

Menomonee Falls started the game off strong by scoring two runs in the first. Senior OF Luke Nowak (East Carolina) beat out an infield single in the first at-bat of the game and proceeded to manufacture a run by himself, as he stole two bags and scored on an overthrown ball into left field. Senior 3B Brandon Anderson drove in the other run for Menomonee Falls on a sacrifice fly.

After another Phoenix run in the second inning, the Spartans finally scratched a run across in the top of the third inning. Sophomore OF Keegan Bracke doubled down the left field line and came across to score after senior INF Harrison Toone (Southwestern CC) barrelled a single to right field.

It was all Menomonee Falls after that run scored, however, as the Phoenix’s offense exploded for 14 runs over the next two innings. Nowak drove in a run of his own on an RBI groundout and RHP/OF Billy Howard (2021; uncommitted) scorched one into the right-center gap for a two-run double. Anderson singled in another run, DH Evan Falkner (2021) drove in three runs on the day, while seniors C Zachary Alburg (Wisconsin-Parkside) and OF Cole Fialco (Mchenry County CC) each drove in two runs as well. A handful of balks by multiple Spartans’ pitchers contributed to the Phoenix’s offensive outburst, too.

The main takeaway from this game was a strong all-around performance from Howard, who remains one of the top uncommitted prospects in Wisconsin’s senior class. Not only did he collect three hits in this game, all of which were barrels, but the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Howard started on the mound for Menomonee Falls and carved up the Spartans’ offense. He tossed five innings of three-hit ball, allowing just one earned run and striking out four. Although the overpowering velocity that we had seen from him in the past wasn’t present today, Howard had success because of his ability to locate all three of his pitches for strikes and keep hitters off balance throughout the game. His fastball mostly played at 77-80 mph, but he kept it at knee height for a large chunk of his outing and consistently pounded the zone with it. He confidently threw both his curveball and changeup whenever he wanted for strikes, too. It was a strong first building block for the ace of this Menomonee Falls’ pitching staff.

Menomonee Falls improves to 1-0 on the season and travels to Breitlow Field this Thursday for a matchup with Wauwatosa West. Brookfield East starts the spring off 0-1 and they’ll host Germantown on Thursday as well. 


+ RHP Billy Howard (Menomonee Falls): 5 IP, 3 H, ER, 4 K, BB, 76 pitches, 3-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, 2 RS
+ C Zachary Alburg (Menomonee Falls): 1-for-2, 2B, 2 RBI, BB
+ OF Luke Nowak (Menomonee Falls): 1-for-5, RBI, 3 RS, 2 SB

+ DH Evan Falkner (Menomonee Falls): 1-for-2, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 2 R
+ OF Keegan Bracke (Brookfield East): 2-for-2, 2 2B, 2 RS