Prep Baseball Report

PBR at The Rock 15U: Day 1 Quick Hits

By Wisconsin Staff

Welcome back to The Rock for the 15U PBR at The Rock Championships.

Under a modified format, the PBR Wisconsin staff hosted its second tournament of the summer, and after each gameday, we'll be highlighting the best things we saw, starting today after a light Day 1.

+ Our first day back at The Rock started off with a bang, as P2P Millers defeated Triboh Baseball 16-0 at Fenway Park. LHP Andrew Rakow (MN; 2023) started on the mound for the Millers and impressed, striking out four batters in two innings of work. He sat an easy 77-79 mph on his fastball, touching 80 mph with some deception. Rakow relied heavily on his fastball in this brief outing and was plenty comfortable elevating it for strikeouts.

Pacing the Millers potent offense today was Jacob Kilzer (Maple Grove, MN; 2023). Kilzer reached base in all three of his plate appearances. He scorched a fastball off the left field wall for a double earlier in the game and sat back on a curveball for an RBI single in his final at-bat.

+ Another explosive offense to keep an eye on through the next three days belongs to Pro Player Canes (Padjen). The top half of this Canes lineup powered the team to an overwhelming 9-1 win against PTA Cardinal at Milkmen Field in the afternoon. SS Joey Pflug (Westosha Central, 2023) set the table effectively tallying a couple hits, including a double, while scoring twice atop the lineup. He roamed shortstop confidently, too, fielding groundballs fluidly on the move. Canes catcher Austin Leonard (Hampshire, IL; 2023) was a dependable target behind the plate, softly blocking balls in the dirt while controlling the run game. Hitting third in the order, he also scalded a double down the left field line that drove in three runs to break the game wide open. 

And RHP Cooper Jaworski (Hampshire, IL; 2023) pitched over some trouble in the first to cruise the rest of the way. He sat 74-77 mph throughout, and touched 80-81 early on, mixing in a sharp breaking ball he was throwing at will. Jaworksi K’d four batters in three innings and walked only one.

+ Back in early March, RHP Presley Wachowiak (Catholic Memorial, 2023) completely broke out at our Fox Cities I.D. event where he was up to 86 mph that paired especially well with a tight, sharp curveball with swing-and-miss potential off a 12/6 plane. Well, that curveball proved as a swing-and-miss offering on Thursday night for Midwest Halos against MVP Elite. Sitting anywhere from 78 to 83 mph throughout his 3.2 innings, touching a single 85, Wachowiak went to the breaking ball early and often, earning some ugly chases and knee-buckling looking strikes. Working downhill, Wachowiak’s fastball really carries through the zone and is tough to pick up, and it complements his 12/6 curve excellently. The Catholic Memorial righty is emerging as one of the premier prospects in Wisconsin’s incoming sophomore class, and he’s still uncommitted.

The Halos also called on ‘24 grad Jack Poellet (Living Word Lutheran) to relieve Wachowiak in a big, bases-loaded, two-out spot and Poellet struck out the first batter he faced to get out of the jam. At the very end of May, Poellet was up to 75 mph at our 13 & 14U tourney, and on Thursday, he was living in the 75-78 mph range, and topped 79 in that first at-bat – and went on to strike out three in 1.1 innings en route to the Halos 8-4 win. Poellet is becoming an early ‘24 prospect to watch and circle.

+ A low-scoring pitcher’s duel took place at Phillies field during our second block of games. Kenosha Braves’ RHP Tanner White (Tremper, 2023) and Illinois Premier’s A.J. Burnett (Romeoville, 2023) each poured in solid outings for their respective teams. White tossed 5.1 innings, striking out seven and allowing three earned runs. Burnett threw five frames, surrendering two earned runs and striking out six in the process. Both consistently worked around the zone with their fastballs and showed feel for their off-speed pitches.

+ STiKS Academy Red trailed Cangelosi Sparks (Mensik) 3-2 heading into the bottom of the fourth before scoring six runs, eventually holding on to win 7-5. Anthony Chung (Homestead, 2023) led the way offensively for STiKS. Hitting out of the two-hole, Chung finished 2-for-3 with one of the hardest hit balls of the day, an RBI double to left-center field. RHP Samuel Wronski (Marquette University, 2023) and LHP Gavyn Bowen (Pewaukee, 2023) combined for the win. Wronski started and went five strong innings, scattering six hits, three runs and striking out two. Wronski sat 74-76 mph with the fastball and consistently landed a 64-65 mph curveball for strikes. Bowen has a lean, high-waisted frame and a long arm action that comes from a slinging ¾ slot. The fastball comes out clean and sat anywhere from 71-75 mph. 

LHP Nate Anderson took a tough no decision for Sparks. The left-hander went four innings, allowed two hits, struck out seven and did not allow an earned run. Anderson coils at balance point, stays closed down the mound and controlled the zone with his fastball that worked mostly 76-77 mph, touching 78. His go-to offspeed offering is a swing-and-miss straight changeup. Anderson throws it with fastball arm speed and showed advanced feel for the pitch throughout.  

Luke Jurack (Hinsdale Central, 2023), Cooper Malamazian (Nazareth, 2024) and Chris Daugherty, paced the Sparks offense with two hits apiece and warrant a close follow the rest of the weekend. Jurack led off and was 4.51 on an infield single in his last at-bat while Malamazian and Daugherty collected two RBI’s a piece.

+ The most competitive game of the night was a clash between Slammers Coyote and Brew State Baseball which ended in a 3-3 tie thanks to a late game-tying RBI single by Slammers extra-hitter Andrew Neumann (Libertyville, 2023). The game was a classic pitchers duel for awhile with RHP Adam Behrens (Warren; Slammers) vs RHP Thomas Janisch (Wauwatosa West, 2023; Brew State) going back and forth. Behrens challenged hitters throughout with a lively fastball that topped at 81 mph and sat mostly 77-80 mph in the early going. Behrens struck out 10 in 5.1 innings pitched. Janisch had a steady fastball/curveball mix working throughout leading to seven strikeouts in his four innings of work. 

The middle infield for Brew State, 2B  Keli Grennier and SS Noah Dreier, hit at the top of the order and combine for a fun double play combination to watch. Both have advanced range, slick hands and have feel for the position. Grennier finished 1-for-3 with a double, run scored and Drier went 1-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored.

A bat to watch for Slammers Coyote is Luca Morelli (Stevenson, 2023). The strong bodied right-handed hitter came off the bench and barreled a single right back up the middle and then took a competitive second at-bat before hitting into a fielder's choice. Morelli is ready to hit when he steps in the box and looks to attack the fastball.