Top 10 Stories of 2022: Milton Cruises to First-Ever D1 State Title

By: Maddox Durst
PBR Wisconsin Staff

At the end of the year, our staff reflects back on some of the best moments that came from the past 365 days. As the final month comes to a close, we wanted to highlight the 10 most interesting headlines from around the state, finishing with our number one storyline that will be released on New Year’s Day.

An improbable matchup was given to the spectators at Fox Cities Stadium on day three of the WIAA State Tournament, where Bay Port was taking on Milton for the Div. 1 crown. 

Bay Port, rated as a seven seed entering the playoffs, played spoiler throughout the month of June, and continued to do so in Appleton. First, they took down a potent Sun Prairie squad in game one. Later that night, the Pirates finished off Menomonee Falls, who was also on an upset tear. 

On the other side of the 8-team bracket, Milton pulled off an upset against Arrowhead, and then defeated a tough Greendale team in the nightcap of the first day of action. 

After a day off in-between games, the championship matchup was set between the Pirates and the Red Hawks. 

Milton, coming in with a hot offense, erupted for six runs in the first inning and sent 11 batters to the plate. INF Gavin Kilen (2022; Louisville), as he did all season for the Red Hawks, got the offense started as he drove in 2B Jack Campion (2022)

Bay Port’s defense did not help their cause through the first three innings, as they had multiple wild pitches and an error that Milton was able to take advantage of. Because of this, the Red Hawks created a quick 7-0 lead. 

RHP Michael Birkhimer (2022) did his job for Milton on the mound, as he shut down the Bay Port offense through the first four innings of the ballgame. Birkhimer struck out five batters and only walked one, scattering five Pirate hits and only allowing a run. 

Bay Port made a threat in the fifth inning, where they had the bases loaded and nobody out, as OF Austin Holton (2022) had the one and only RBI of the day for the Pirates, driving in OF/C Isaiah Grimm (2022; Marian University). After that, LHP Trey Jones (2025) came in on the big stage and retired three straight Pirates, holding the lead at 9-1.

In the bottom half of the frame, Milton continued to have their way and put up two more runs of their own, winning the game in run-rule fashion at 11-1, crowning themselves as the 2022 Div. 1 Champions. 

While multiple players had impressive performances for the Red Hawks, DH/RHP Broden Jackson (2024) stood out the most, as he finished his 2022 season by going 3-for-3 with three RBIs and a triple. 

Milton’s all-around team performance allowed them to dominate in the championship game, setting themselves up for success heading into the 2023 season.