Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 12 Bay Port

By: Isaiah Glidden
PBR Wisconsin Staff

The Wisconsin high school baseball season kicks off on March 29, opening day for regular season action under WIAA regulations. Over the next week, leading up to opening day, we’ll be publishing our team previews ahead of the 2022 spring season, touching on programs spanning all state classifications, counting down through the official PBR Wisconsin Preseason Power 25 Rankings.

Perennially, we’ve submitted a Preseason Questionnaire to high school head coaches across the entire state. Their responses have been flooding in and we’re using the detailed insight they’ve provided in our team-by-team preseason analysis.

Our 2022 preseason coverage continues today.

Team: Bay Port
Preseason Rank: 12
2021 Record: 26-2
Conference: Fox Fox River Classic
WIAA Division: 1
Head Coach: Harvey Knutson


Theo Zeidler RHP/INF 2022 Bradley
Ky Mueller LHP/OF 2022 Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Brandon Black INF/RHP 2022 Wisconsin-Whitewater
Isaiah Grimm C/RHP 2022 Marian-WI
Cole Bensen RHP/OF
2023 -
Craig Kabat RHP 2024 -
Cal Casper C/RHP
2024 -


+ C/RHP Carl Cano (2021; St. Thomas)

+ RHP/INF Eli Frank (2021; Wisconsin-Whitewater)

+ RHP/1B Gavin Rusch (2021; Concordia-St. Paul)

+ INF James Bornick (2021; Marian-Wisconsin)

+ OF Jacob Kleeman (2021; College of Lake County)


Cal Casper (2024): Set to play his first year at the varsity level, Casper has the chance to be a key contributor to this Pirates squad on both sides of the ball. We recently came away impressed with him at our Madison Preseason ID. There Casper led all catchers, having the quickest pop time at 1.93, and added a solid overall round of BP. Although Casper did not pitch at that event, he is slotted in to come out of the ‘pen for Bay Port. With the number of players that Bay Port lost from last year’s team, they will rely on many players who have not had much varsity experience, Casper being one of them. 


RHP/INF Theo Zeidler (2022; Bradley Commit): While Bay Port did lose many key pieces from last year’s state runner-up team, they do return the reigning Fox River Classic POTY and second-team all-state member in Zeidler. Back at our Fox Cities Preseason ID in 2021, Zeidler absolutely exploded, throwing arguably one of the winter’s best ‘pens. He then carried that momentum into the WIAA season where his impact was prominent as he was considered the team’s ace, having an 8-0 record and willing them to the D1 state championship game. Not only will Zeidler pitch for this Bay Port squad, but he will also be on the left side of the infield during his days off the bump, something he did last year as well. Hitting near the top of the order, Zeidler had a .447 batting average. With Zeidler’s ability to impact the game in multiple ways, he will be leaned on throughout the season by this virtually new Pirates squad and it's highly likely he's in our Player of the Year discussion when the season comes to a close.


Last year was a very successful year for head coach Harvey Knutson, losing only two games and making it to the D1 state championship game, led by a group of talented seniors. Now with those seniors gone, Knutson will look to many names who have not yet competed at the varsity level, along with a few names from last year’s roster who will have larger roles this upcoming season. 

With a young team, like the Pirates will have this year, there are a few seniors who have the experience and talent to lead this team in the right direction. Besides Zeidler, senior Brandon Black (Wisconsin-Whitewater) is someone who will be an everyday starter for Bay Port. Last year he logged a .360 batting average and will play a larger role in this Pirate offense. Senior OF John Nickel is poised to build off of a solid year, a year in which he was an all-conference selection with a .350 batting average. Joining Nickel in the outfield, LHP/OF Ky Mueller (2022; Wisconsin-Eau Claire) is someone else with varsity experience from last year where he logged a .350 batting average, albeit in limited playing time. Isaiah Grimm is another senior that will be important as the season rolls on for Bay Port.

Since the Pirates graduated nearly all of their starting nine from last year’s roster, there will be many players expected to take over some key roles. Junior C Grant Gill and RHP/OF Cole Bensen are set to do this, playing a larger part in this Pirate lineup. Rounding out this lineup will be the aforementioned Casper, taking over behind the plate duties that Cano had last season. 

Benson and Mueller slot right behind Zeidler in this team’s starting rotation. With many of their other arms now graduated, Mueller will have to shoulder more innings on the mound going into his senior season. Bensen has made some offseason gains and we got the chance to see it first hand at our Green Bay Preseason ID. There Bensen showed a velocity uptick, topping at 87 mph along with some improved offspeed offerings. We came away equally impressed with RHP Craig Kabat (2024) another candidate to log innings this year, who we saw at our Green Bay Preseason ID where he showed a quality three-pitch mix and topped at 86 mph with his fastball. The Pirates won’t be without help in the backend of the bullpen either. Aforementioned names like Black, Grimm, and Casper are names set to come out the ‘pen making this Pirates pitching staff a formidable one with many quality arms. 


Losing as many seniors as Bay Port did, it won’t be easy to repeat the success that they had last year. With that being said, Knutson will lean on some young talent, along with a talented senior core to help this team achieve its goals and bring home yet another Fox River Classic title in the process. 

Make sure to follow @PBRWisconsin on Twitter for the most up-to-date coverage throughout the 2022 season.

Find more information on the 2022 Pirates below:

+ Team Website
+ Team Schedule
+ Team Twitter