PBR Wisconsin Preseason Second Team All-State


By Andy Sroka & Steve Nielsen
Wisconsin Staff

Today is Tuesday, March 31, and in another world we’d be celebrating the first pitch of the WIAA spring season. Unfortunately, the state’s high school baseball season is on this indefinite pause, but that won’t stop us from spotlighting what was set to be an exciting campaign.

We began to celebrate the would-be opening day by releasing the PBR Wisconsin Preseason First Team All-State list earlier today, and we're onto the Second Team list below. We’re going around the diamond and dubbing the state’s best players of this preseason honor – that’s eight position players, four pitchers, and one two-way talent.

THE FIELD

PITCHERS

Brady Renfro LHP / Antigo, WI / 2020

Renfro could have just as easily earned Second Team honors in the outfield, given his heavy lifting on offense, but he’s heading to Valpo in the fall more so for his gifted arm on the mound, one that shut out the Division-2 favorites West De Pere in last year’s semifinals. He led the team in starts and is bringing back a 1.78 ERA, and he punched out 68 batters in 44 innings last spring. At the plate, he hit .441 and drove in 35 runs with the help of 12 doubles, four triples, and a pair of homers. Renfro notched a pair more doubles in the D-2 title game against Union Grove, too, which helped the Red Robins score eight times en route to the state championship win. With a similar lineup and rotation, spearheaded on both sides by Renfro, Antigo looks capable of repeating. 


Ryan Stefiuk LHP / Green Bay Preble, WI / 2020

Green Bay Preble has earned three consecutive trips to the state tournament with the help of Stefiuk and teammate Max Wagner. Stefiuk is a live-armed lefty who K’d 69 batters in 45 innings in 2019, yielding just six earned runs all year entering the tourney, good for a 0.93 ERA. The Vandy commit is primed to put it all together in his senior spring to help the Hornets earn more than just a fourth straight trip to Grand Chute.


Connor Kurki RHP / Iola-Scandinavia, WI / 2020

Kurki is a tall, lanky righty with substantial upside he’ll hopefully unlock in his senior season, as well as at Coastal Carolina, where he’s committed. He helped the Thunderbirds reach state back in his freshman season, in 2017, and they have the talent to get back there if we’re back in action this spring. Kurki maintained an ERA a tick above 1.00 in his junior spring, and it’d be interesting to see how he utilized the latest offseason, so we’re hoping we get the chance to see him back on a mound in Wisconsin soon. 


Logan Schulfer RHP / Stevens Point, WI / 2021

Few in the state possess the kind of arm strength you’ll find in the SPASH righty Schulfer. He’s been up into the low-90s for us in the past, and there’s plenty reason to suggest there’s more in the tank this spring, his junior season. He had a sub-2.00 ERA for the Panthers in 2019, but we’re hoping we get a chance to see Schulfer back in action this spring for the always-competitive Stevens Point. He can lead a solid squad beaming with senior depth to get SPASH back to the state tournament. 

CATCHER

Bryce Miller C / Franklin, WI / 2020

A big summer has our hopes set high for Miller, a Jefferson JC commit. His role on the Sabres goes beyond stat lines, as the team’s everyday backstop. Franklin has some seriously interesting youth in its program, especially on the mound, that it was set to rely on in 2020, and Miller was one of the few seniors around to pave the way. His reliable defense and strong right-handed bat are critical to the team’s 2020 success – and Miller is also returning a .366 batting average. Given the success he found at the plate later in 2019, he could energize a youthful Sabres squad from the batter’s box, too.

FIRST BASEMAN

Anthony Pogodzinski 1B / Eau Claire North, WI / 2020

Eau Claire North had a triumphant march to the D-1 title in 2019, and the Huskies’ first baseman was a staple to the team’s robust middle of the order. Pogodzinski returns a .408 batting average to a team that graduated a couple members of its core in the order. The weight will fall on Pogodzinski’s shoulders, though he’s more than capable of picking up the slack. The recent UW-Eau Claire commit swings a fast and strong left-handed bat that tallied 13 extra-base hits last spring, and is geared to do even more damage in his senior season. 

MIDDLE INFIELDERS

Ryan Taylor SS / Verona, WI / 2021

Taylor broke out completely in 2019, emerging as one of the state’s best players within its 2021 class. It all started in Verona, where he hit .468 for the Wildcats all while playing a sterling shortstop. The breakout continued into the summer where he further shined for his travel team and he eventually landed a spot on Team Wisconsin at the PBR Future Games. Soon after his solid performance at LakePoint, Taylor committed to Central Florida. The junior should be back at the center of the action for Verona, and it’ll be on him to help navigate a young, talented team through the Big Eight – though they have the chance to make some noise in the postseason. 


Jack Erickson SS / Hudson, WI / 2020

From Hudson, Creighton commit Erickson was the Raiders’ best bat and go-to arm in relief in 2019. Last year’s squad was only able to get in 18 games last spring, but Erickson was still able to make the most of it from the batter’s box, where he recorded 11 extra-base hits in that span, including three doubles, four triples, and three homers. He’s a versatile defender with foot speed who can flourish in the outfield or up the middle of the infield, but he’ll most likely operate as the Raiders’ everyday shortstop in 2020. 

THIRD BASEMAN

Colton Coca 3B / Case, WI / 2020

Going back to this time last year, Coca, a Central Michigan recruit, was showing advanced strength from both the mound and the batter’s box. He’s long wielded what has the makings of a special right-handed bat. It’s a loose, fast swing that generates premium power potential, and it helped him hit over .500 for the Eagles last spring. We’re eager to see him next on the mound, too. It was at an event a year ago where he was up to 89 mph with the feel to spin a tight 12/6 breaking ball. There are some rare traits here that could propel Coca to record some silly offensive numbers in his final prep spring.

OUTFIELDERS

Spencer Bartel OF / Sun Prairie, WI / 2020

Bartel finished the 2019 spring season on our First Team All-State list, and he starts this spring on our more exclusive Preseason squads, in the Second Team outfield. The Sun Prairie senior hit .489 last year and slugged .800 for the Cardinals, a team that is, very possibly, the D-1 favorite in 2020. The Madison JC commit added seven doubles and triples each, as well as a solitary homer – and he struck out only six times all year. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Bartel transform some of those doubles and triples into home runs this spring, entrenched in the middle of a stellar lineup. 


Michael Lippe OF / Whitefish Bay, WI / 2022

Whitefish Bay’s 2022 class has the chance to go down as a legendary one when all is said and done, and the state’s top-ranked sophomore, Lippe, can be the face of it. Few prospects in Wisconsin, really regardless of age, are as physical as the Louisville recruit. He stands at a defined and sturdy 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, which has helped him create some advanced bat speed and juice from the barrel, all while maintaining some explosive tools. He’s a 6.88 runner which obviously helps him track things down in the outfield, and it’s easy to see him build off a terrific freshman campaign, in which he hit .426. The Blue Dukes will be new to the D-1 scene in 2020, but they’ll get acclimated quickly with Lippe and Co. steering the wheel. 


Alex Ryan OF / Lakeside Lutheran, WI / 2020

Ryan is bringing an historically impressive high school career for Lakeside Lutheran to a close in 2020. The Valpo recruit is a twitchy and well-rounded athlete and it seamlessly translates to the high school diamond, especially as the Warriors’ everyday center fielder. He returns a .452 batting average from his junior spring, in which he also recorded a 1.83 ERA as the team’s No. 1 arm. Our staff is hoping Ryan is able to earn the opportunity to close his excellent prep career in a fitting fashion.

UTILITY

Eric Erato INF / RHP / Sussex Hamilton , WI / 2020

Maybe the most important member of Hamilton’s 2019 state-bound team, Erato, is back this year to help the Chargers improve on a quarterfinals exit in the tournament. He’s another phenomenal multi-positional athlete in the state’s senior class who predominantly occupied second base when he wasn’t starting on the mound. Last year, the Northern Illinois recruit hit .380 with seven doubles, a triple, and a home run. Erato was even more of a constant from the rubber, where he brings back a 1.68 ERA and 75 Ks in 60-plus innings of work. 


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