Prep Baseball Report

Top 10 Stories of 2022: Team Effort Leads to State Championship for Cuba City

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

The Div. 3 field in 2022 featured some of the most dominant teams in the WIAA, four of which showcased their talent at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton, WI at the State Tournament. Those four teams: Amherst, Cuba City, Saint Croix Falls, and Kenosha St. Joseph, combined to only have eight losses between each of them. 

In the first semifinal, undefeated Amherst faced off against Cuba City. The heavy favorite was taken down in one of the bigger upsets of the tournament, guided by a 13-strikeout performance from RHP Kobe Vosberg (2022; Madison JC). The Cubans won 2-1, with all of the scoring coming in the 7th inning. 

RHP Brayden Olson (2023; Purdue commit) asserted his dominance on the mound in the second semifinal, as he led St. Croix Falls to an 8-0 victory over Kenosha St. Joseph after a complete game shutout performance, consistent with what the righty did all season for the Saints. 

That set up the championship matchup between Cuba City and St. Croix Falls the next day. The combination of RHP Blake Bussan (2022) and the Cubans’ offense set the tone throughout the game.

Both teams got off to hot starts from the plate, as St. Croix Falls held a slight 4-3 lead after the first three innings of play. INF Brady Belisle (2023) had two hits during the game, both driving in runs early in the game for the Saints, including an RBI triple. 

After that, Bussan was able to settle into the game on the mound. From a ¾ slot, the righty only allowed 2 hits in his last 3 ⅔ innings of work, after struggling in the first three innings. 

The Cubans helped Bussan in the fifth inning, as they took the lead and never looked back from there. OF Max Lucey (2023) broke the game open for the Cubans as he singled to left field with the bases loaded and drove in two runs. The 3-run fifth gave Cuba City a 6-4 lead with two innings left to play.

Cuba City added on two more runs in the sixth after a passed ball and bases-loaded walk. The Cubans were able to knock out RHP Dylan Smith (2023) after 5 ⅓, giving them an 8-4 lead. 

RHP Mason Reese (2022) came in to close out the game, as Bussan hit his pitch count with one batter to retire. The Cubans went on to win their first ever state championship with a final score of 8-4.