Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Power 25: No. 1 Janesville Craig

The Wisconsin high school season kicks off on March 28, the first day for regular season games. Most teams will begin practicing on March 20, getting their rosters set and finalizing their lineups.

Over the next several weeks, leading up to opening day, 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 have been sending out our annual Preseason Questionnaire to coaches all across the state and as the responses flood in we will bring you a snapshot of what to expect along with top players and keys to success for that particular team. If you don’t see your team’s season preview make sure your head coach fills out his Preseason Questionnaire.

Team: Janesville Craig
Preseason Rank: 1
2016 Record: 26-3
Conference: Big Eight
WIAA Division: 1
Head Coach:
Victor Herbst
Playoff Run: Sectional Champions
2016 Final Rank: 4
Returning Starters: 7
Returning Pitchers: 6


Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Jack Blomgren WI Janesville Craig
2017 SS
Evan Spry
WI Janesville Craig 2017 INF/RHP Creighton
Austin Kraus WI Janesville Craig 2017 INF
Jacob Campbell WI Janesville Craig 2018 C Illinois
Noah Berghammer WI Janesville Craig 2018 INF
Nick Cramer
WI Janesville Craig 2017 OF/RHP
Luke Malmanger
WI Janesville Craig 2018 INF  
Brandon Dunham WI Janesville Craig 2017 LHP  


The experience the Cougars bring to the diamond in 2017 is unmatched by anyone in the state. First team all-conference seniors Jack Blomgren and Evan Spry have been varsity contributors since their freshman year in 2014, while seniors Nick Cramer and Austin Kraus have been there since their sophomore campaign. Of their junior class, Jacob Campbell and Noah Berghammer have been varsity producers since their freshman year as well while Luke Malmanger was a regular on last year's team as a sophomore. Seven of the Craig potential starters have seen varsity time as sophomores or younger. On top of the sheer experience, the Cougars have been state bound both in 2015 and 2016 winning the D1 title in 2015, giving this Cougar roster a playoff pedigree like no other team in the state.


Pick your poison, the Cougars can beat you on the mound and with the bats. On the mound Craig returns 21 of their 26 wins from last year's sub 2.00 ERA staff in the likes of Evan Spry (8-2, 1.69), Nick Cramer (4-1, 2.33), Brandon Dunham (5-0, 0.75) and Jack Blomgren (2-0, 1.52, 5 SV). Offensively the the Cougar attack is just as potent returning six .300 hitters to the lineup: Jack Blomgren (.375), Austin Kraus (.376), Noah Berghammer (.351), Evan Spry (.323), Luke Malmanger (.307) and Jacob Campbell (.303).


With all the experience returning to the 2017 roster it's hard to imagine any time for newcomers. But the Cougars have a pair of sophomores likely to play significant roles this season. Both RHP Mitchell Woelfle and INF Dan Blomgren made the varsity playoff roster last season. Outside of a few pinch running appearances from Blomgren, neither saw any time but should see increased roles in 2017. Blomgren, the younger brother of Jack, is a spitting image of his older sibling as a player and with the mound time that the rest of the infield will see, the younger Blomgren should play a big role on the infield. Woefle is an arm that will likely add to the Cougar depth. The sophomore right-hander has a low-mid 80's arm out of a strong 6-foot, 180-pound frame that should eat up crucial innings for Craig.


The Cougars go into the 2017 as our favorites to hold the D1 trophy in June. Coach Herbst squad has all the pieces in place - we mentioned the pitching and offense, to go along with a defense on the dirt that would be envious of many college programs. Led by Jacob Campbell (Illinois) behind the dish who has one of the strongest arms in the state, opposing offenses will be hard pressed to take extra bases. If the pitching keeps the ball on the ground, it's likely an out as Spry (Creighton), Blomgren (Michigan) and Berghammer will man the majority of the infield while freshman Dan Blomgren (Michigan), will likely fill in the holes when one of the trio is on the mound. On paper it looks good for the Cougars, but that's just paper. Craig was a favorite on paper a year ago until running into the buzzsaw that was Burlington in the state quarterfinals. The competitive Big Eight should keep the Cougars sharp all year and ready for that title run in June.

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