Prep Baseball Report

Top 10 Stories of 2022: Team Wisconsin Garners Attention at Future Games

By: Maddox Durst & Andy Sroka
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 near New Year’s Eve.

In late July, the PBR Future Games took place in Emerson, Ga., at the LakePoint Sports Complex. It’s there where each state showcases its top uncommitted players in state, predominantly representing the Class of 2024 at the Future Games and classes 2026 and 2027 at the Junior Future Games. The prestigious uncommitted event entices the attendance of college recruiting coordinators and pro scouts by the hundreds. As it stands, 11 of Team Wisconsin’s players have since committed to play at the next level, and counting.

In 2022, Team Wisconsin represented itself proudly during this competitive week-long event all while under an intense microscope while playing in front of stacked stands with evaluators of all kinds watching over, stopwatch in hand. Starting in the older group, the state’s 2024s finished with a 2-1 record, with wins over a talented Team Michigan squad and an equally impressive Team Select, comprised of 2024 and 2025 from across the country.

In Team Wisconsin’s opening contest, C William Hoerner (Appleton North, 2024) earned the game’s MVP award for his performance. He finished with a double and an inside-the-park home run, displaying his above-average power and speed, especially for his position.

INF Keagen Jirschele (Mosinee, 2024) and INF Brock Lulewicz (Muskego, 2024; Wichita State commit) also had multi-hit games against Team Michigan. Lulewicz was the team’s highest ranked position player in attendance, and he performed that way both in the showcase/workout setting, as well as the team’s three live games later in the week, including this first one.

The pitching staff helped out in this 9-4 victory as well, as RHP Nolan Buss (Arrowhead, 2024; Kansas State), RHP Brennen Grams (Kimberly, 2024), RHP Jack DeTienne (Verona, 2024; Xavier), and RHP/OF Kaden Corlett (Solon Springs, 2024) each had successful outings in their appearances, and several of whom were dominant enough to draw a crowd as they went on.

The next day, Team Wisconsin took down Team Select with the help of 3B/OF Eason Hurd (Ashwaubenon, 2024; Creighton) and INF Trent Cornell (Altoona, 2024), who produced at the plate once again on Day Two. Hurd was named the MVP of this game, after he went 2-for-3 with an RBI and was flawless on the defensive side.

1B/LHP Jackson Brewer (Homestead, 2024), RHP Kyle Alivo (St. Thomas More, 2024; Iowa), LHP Tannis Lange (Waukesha South, 2024; Ohio State) and LHP Easton Bobb (Chippewa Falls, 2024; St. Thomas, MN commit) held the Team Select lineup to two runs over eight innings of play, as Team Wisconsin won 8-2 and started 2-0 in the Future Games.

On the final day, OF Cade Palkowski (Oak Creek, 2024; North Carolina) showcased his talent on both sides of the field, as he ranged in the outfield to catch a couple of fly balls, and stroked a triple to the gap at the plate. Team Pacific Northwest’s offense could not be slowed down though, as they went on to win 11-5. Despite this though, Team Wisconsin finished with a strong 2-1 record, which doesn’t fully capture the success this team earned during this event.

There have been 11 commits in the last five months from Team Wisconsin, including two eventually headed to the Big Ten and one to the ACC.

Inside the state’s Junior Future Games dugout, the Class of 2026 squad finished with a 1-1-1 record after pool play. They got their win on their first day of competition, against a quality Team Georgia 2 team.

OF Matthew Hieptas (Appleton North, 2026) finished 3-for-3 on the day with four RBIs, while OF Matthew O’Grady (Badger, 2026) scored three runs. INF Jake Cummins (Milton, 2026), 1B Dominic Santarelli (Kenosha St. Joseph, 2026; Louisville), and 3B Caleb Johns (New Berlin Eisenhower, 2026) each helped contribute to the offense as Team Wisconsin won 9-3 while facing some of the top local talent from one of the country’s powerhouse states.

In game one, RHP/OF Carson Hawley (Bay Port, 2026) got the win, and only gave up one hit in four innings of work, and it probably wound up being Team Wisconsin’s best individual outing on the mound, all things considered.

After a late night loss against a robust Team Tennessee squad featuring some high-end ‘26s who’ve already landed on the recruiting radar, Team Wisconsin bounced back and tied with Team Pacific Northwest on Day Three, which was just enough to give them the opportunity to advance out of pool play and into the Gold Bracket’s playoffs.

Team Wisconsin’s playoff opener was a thrilling, narrow defeat opposite the Team Arkansas squad that wound up winning the Gold Bracket entirely, and its closest call ended up being this first-round meeting with our state’s ‘26s.

RHP/INF Brayden Alivo (St. Thomas More, 2026) put up a strong performance on the mound, and kept Team Wisconsin in the game. Down two runs in its final turn at the plate, O’Grady sparked a two-out rally with a double and a two-strike deep triple delivered by Santarelli in the next at-bat scored him. OF Luke Schaning (Nathan Hale, 2026) had shown throughout the year as one of the state’s top prospects, and he synced up a hard-hit line drive inside the left-center gap that found a diving left fielder’s mitt for a dramatic way to end Team Wisconsin’s venture at the Junior Future Games. Regardless, this was, arguably, the most talent our state has brought down to the tournament – which is saying something.

The memorable run at the JFGs in addition to the success the older players earned throughout the week made our latest visit to Georgia one of our most notable ever, and it was certainly one of our staff’s favorite moments of 2022.

Overall, both teams from Wisconsin performed well at the 2022 PBR Future Games, allowing the national stage to witness the talent that is brewing within the Badger State.