Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 11 Wilmot Union

By Andy Sroka
Staff Writer

The Wisconsin high school season kicks off on March 27th, the first day for regular season games.

Leading up to the opening week of games we will be rolling out team previews of high school teams all across the state and across all classifications, eventually launching our Preseason Power 25.

We will bring you a snapshot of what to expect along with top players and keys to success for that particular team.

Team: Wilmot Union
Preseason Rank: 11
2017 Record: 16-6
Conference: Southern Lakes
WIAA Division: 1
Head Coach: Josh Pye
Playoff Run: Regional finalists
2017 Final Rank: NR
Returning Starters: 6
Returning Pitchers: 3


Jacob Curely, C
Troy Hickey, LHP (Madison JC)
Ryley Orszula, 1B
Joshua Schattner, RHP (Winona State)


Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Gunner Peterson WI Wilmot 2018 OF/RHP Illinois State
Kyle Gendron WI Wilmot 2018 RHP Winona State
A.J. Frisby WI Wilmot 2018 OF/RHP  
Justin Paasch WI Wilmot 2018 SS  
Tanner Peterson WI Wilmot 2018 2B/OF Illinois State
Cam Wischnowski WI Wilmot 2019 OF
Evan Henry WI Wilmot 2019 C


Tanner Peterson might be the younger brother of the Panthers’ star outfielder, but he’s hardly ridden on his coattails. Peterson got playing time on last year’s edition of Wilmot’s team as a sophomore at second base, despite being a natural outfielder by trade. He’s made a name for himself, regionally, because of his athleticism and easy actions as a defender in the outfield and his knack for hard hit contact on the regular. The outfield is currently occupied by his brother and two other seniors, so Peterson is playing second base, mostly, for the Panthers.

He hit .338 as an underclassman last year and his talent suggests that there’s even more here. If he’s able to take a leap in production, the Panthers are that much better. The depth Peterson provides on offense and the versatility he brings on defense is what makes Wilmot a contender for a state championship.

Tanner Peterson (2.25.18)


Of all the teams previously covered on this list, Wilmot Union might be bringing back the most talented returnees without losing too many of its since-graduated members of last year’s roster. They’ll be led by the Peterson brothers offensively and Kyle Gendron (Winona State) on the mound, yet to mention a stellar supporting cast.

Much of the same lineup that helped Wilmot get to the regional finals last year is back which probably makes them the favorites to win their first Southern Lakes Conference title since 2014. They’ll still need to get past Burlington to deny the Demons a third straight title, but the Panthers have all of the pieces to do so.

Tanner and his older brother Gunner Peterson are two of the team’s best overall players and have reached the status as two of the best outfielders in the state within their respective classes. We broke down Tanner’s skillset in the X-Factor section above, but his older brother Gunner has been entrenched as one of the most talented players in the state for some time now. In fact, he’s probably become the most notable outfielder not named Jarred Kelenic, and it’s reflected with a No. 8 overall ranking in the 2018 Wisconsin class, No. 2 among outfielders. For the Panthers, he’s an all-around performer. He hit .449 last year and had a 3-1 record and a 0.88 ERA on the mound. He’s 6-foot-1, 185 pounds and athletic and his simple, smooth swing from the left side generates easy gap-to-gap contact that should make him a very dependable run producer for Wilmot this spring.

Gunner Peterson (7.11.17)

Head coach Josh Pye will pencil the brothers in daily but he’ll also have the good fortune of supporting the brothers with an array of role players who can help lift the Panthers to new heights this spring. Senior outfielders A.J. Frisby and Cam Wischnowski are the primary reasons why Tanner is going to be slated in at second base. The seniors are incumbent starters and make up one of the state’s most talented outfields when Gunner joins them out there.

Frisby is currently the No. 22-ranked outfielder of his state’s class because he’s got a quick bat that helped him hit .321 as a junior -- but there might be way more in there that could help the Panthers in 2018. Wischnowski hit .308 as a junior from the left side of the plate and he’ll be one of the bats that makes the bottom half of this lineup formidable. Senior SS Justin Paasch is going to be more important for his handiwork in the infield than at the plate, but his .286 average says he can handle the bat, too.

Having a lineup as deep as Wilmot’s will prevent opposing pitchers from ever catching their breath.

That won’t be an issue for Gendron, though. The Panthers’ go-to arm was 6-1 last year with a 1.16 ERA and he virtually came out of nowhere as a staff No. 1. As a junior, Gendron was more of a back-end option for Coach Pye entering last spring, but it was evident just how hard the righty had worked over the winter and it was clear his game evolved. He forced his way to the front of the rotation and earned all-conference, all-area, all-county, all-region honors because of all that hard work, and was even an all-state honorable mention. It’s going to be a treat to see what Gendron has in store for us this spring.

Gunner and Frisby are actually slated to back up Gendron in the rotation. Even though they’re more talented as outfielders, the two are more than capable of shouldering the load as the next-best options after their ace.


The Panthers are returning so many high-level athletes, on both sides of the ball, that you have to consider them an actual threat when it comes to the Division-1 state playoffs. They have an ace, more than just one reliable offensive generator, and the depth in the lineup to take the pressure of their arms.

No one’s a pushover in the SLC, but Wilmot may be the benefactors of a transitional year for many teams within their conference. The Panthers can claw their way to sectionals and beyond if their offense picks up where it left off and Gendron takes another step, developmentally.

Find more information on the 2018 Panthers below:

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