Wisconsin Power 25 Update: Week 9

By Maddox Durst, Isaiah Glidden & Andy Sroka
Wisconsin Staff

In our final update of the regular season, Week 9 featured multiple upsets and shifts within the Power 25, including a first loss being handed to the top team in the Badger State, eliminating all undefeated teams in the WIAA. The WIAA regional semifinals and championships take place this week, starting today and ending Thursday with the Division 1 Regional Championship games. These top teams, along with the rest of the field, begin to compete for a state championship in the upcoming weeks.

For this week’s update, Janesville Craig holds strong at the No. 1 spot, despite dropping their first game of the year. Two Fox Valley Association make their way into the top three, along with multiple risers within the rest of the Power 25. 

Reedsburg, the champion of the Badger-East Conference, makes its first appearance on the Power 25 after putting together a quality resume by the conclusion of the regular season. This is out final Power 25 update of the season, and we won't update it again until after state champions are crowned in Appleton.


+ No. 1 Janesville Craig (23-1): The Cougars were handed their first loss of the season this past week, dropping a nail-biter to Middleton in a Big Eight Conference matchup. They were able to make up for it though, as the team bounced back two days later and defeated the Cardinals 9-2. With a dominant win over Madison La Follette, Janesville Craig maintains the No. 1 spot in our rankings to end the regular season, going 2-1 on the week. RHP Denver Hughes (2023), as he has done for the entirety of the season for the Cougars, picked up another win on the mound, as Janesville Craig got its revenge against Middleton. Hughes went six innings, allowing zero runs while striking out three batters in a winning effort. OF Jackson Adams (2023; Wisconsin-Stevens Point commit) and MIF Jake Schaffner (2023; North Dakota State commit) led the way offensively in the 9-2 win, both accumulating multiple hits. This week, Janesville Craig prepares to play in what’s arguably the toughest sectional in the state, featuring three other Power 25 teams, and two teams who made the state tournament in 2022. 

+ No. 2 Kimberly (22-3): After going 3-0 on the week, including a top-five victory over Menomonee Falls on Saturday, the Papermakers jumped one spot to No. 2 in our final Power 25 update of the regular season. Early in the week, Kimberly defeated both Oshkosh West and Appleton North to earn their Fox Valley Association Conference title. On Saturday, the Papermakers took their talents to take on the formerly No. 5 ranked Phoenix in a non-conference battle to end the WIAA regular season. The stars showed well for Kimberly, as LHP Brady Koester (2024; Notre Dame commit) picked up a win on the mound, and RHP Brayden Deering (2023; Upper Iowa commit) closed the last two innings, reflecting the success this pitching staff has had throughout the entire season. OF/RHP Sawyer Deering (2025), one of the top uncommitted sophomores in the state, had the big hit to give the Papermakers the lead against Menomonee Falls, singling to left field to drive in two runs, which ultimately proved to be the game-winning hit. 

+ No. 3 Hortonville (21-4): The Polar Bears made one of the most noteworthy moves in the Power 25, moving up from No. 6 to No. 3 after putting together another quality week. Hortonville was 4-0, picking up multiple conference wins to wrap up second place in the Fox Valley Association, a loss behind aforementioned Kimberly. They picked up their biggest win of the week against a conference champion in Menasha, as SS/RHP Camden Kuhnke (2023; Wisconsin-Milwaukee commit) ended the game with an RBI double, walking it off for the Polar Bears with a 3-2 win. Earlier in the week, RHP Thomas Burns (2023; Arizona State commit) and RHP Nathan Vela (2023; Winona State University commit) each picked up a win over conference foes, including a five-inning one-hitter turned in by Vela, who struck out eight batters in the process. Hortonville, along with the Papermakers, each shape up well in the upcoming playoffs, featuring a potential third matchup between the two teams to punch a ticket to the state tournament. 


+ No. 4 St. Thomas More (22-2): In going undefeated against the Division 2 and 3 field, the Cavaliers made the biggest leap among non-Division 1 teams in the Power 25, finishing 22-2 on the regular season, including a big non-conference win over No. 21 Wisconsin Lutheran this past week. The pitching staff has excelled for St. Thomas More, as RHP Eli Niemiec (2023; Wisconsin-Stevens Point), RHP Sam Mommer (2024), and RHP Kyle Alivo (2024; Iowa commit) have emerged as the top arms on this top-five squad. The offense has been extremely productive as well, which speaks to the depth and strength of this team. SS Alex Alicea (2023; Louisville commit), as he has done for multiple years now, has been the spark to the lineup. The star shortstop finished with two hits and three runs scored against the aforementioned Vikings this past week. 3B Oliver Gonzalez (2024) and C Brady Johnson (2024) have also produced at the top of this order consistently, rounding out a threatening offense, paired with a lights-out pitching staff. The Cavaliers are primed for a state tournament run, entering as the No. 1 seed in their sectional this week, as they will face Racine Lutheran/The Prairie School in their regional semifinal.

+ No. 5 Stevens Point Area (22-1): The Panthers now enter the playoffs with not having lost since April, and this loss came at the hands of one of the top-pitching prospects in the entire state, nonetheless. Since then, SPASH has been on a roll, and yet again have captured a dominant 3-0 week. To start, they cruised to 6-1 win over Holmen, in which OF Jackson Fox (2023) tallied a 3-for-3 day, and OF Braylen Nystrom (2024), who is enjoying a successful junior campaign, drove in a team-high three runs. They then followed it up with two more wins, both coming over Wausau East. In their second win over the Lumberjacks, RHP Ty Rechner (2024), who is quickly becoming a uncommitted name-to-know in the state, twirled yet another gem on the year, scattering just six hits, and striking out five in his six innings of work. This Panther team has been dominant all year long, now entering the playoff picture with one of the most successful regular seasons inside of this Power 25, and look all the part of a true contender for a state title. 

+ No. 8 Oak Creek (21-5): The Knights enter the top-10 of the Power 25 for the first time since the preseason, as head coach Scott Holler and his team have seemed to find their rhythm over the past couple of weeks. They capped off their 2023 regular season with three conference wins over Kenosha Tremper, out-scoring the Trojans 25-4. RHP William Hyland (2023; Wisconsin-Parkside commit) and RHP Payten Jibben (2024) were responsible for the two shutouts on the week. Hyland threw five innings in his start, punching out five batters in a 10-0 victory. The next day, Jibben, who has had a very successful 2023, struck out 12 in a 3-0 win for Oak Creek, walking zero batters in the process. As the offense continues to produce, SS CJ Trask (2024) and OF Nathan Schopf (2025) have powered the bats recently, rounding out a solid all-around ballclub. The Knights have gotten hot at the right time, taking an 11-game winning streak into the playoffs, where they sit as the No. 2 seed in their sectional, awaiting the winner of Greenfield and Kenosha Indian Trail on Thursday. 

+ No. 9 Arrowhead (20-6): After an up-and-down middle part of the season, the Warhawks have been playing their best baseball as of late, and it could not have come at a better time as the playoffs are now underway. They now find themselves back in the top-10, after a 4-0 week, in which they defeated a couple of Power 25 opponents. They started the week with a run-rule win over conference foe and then-ranked No. 15 Kettle Moraine, where RHP Nolan Buss (2024; Kansas State) looked every bit the part of one of the top arms in the state. They also grabbed two wins over previously ranked No. 19 Muskego in which their bats continued to put up a multitude of runs, led by SS Ethan Hindle (2023; Kentucky commit) and C Thomas Curry (2023; Missouri commit). Their closest win of the week came against Fort Atkinson, where they relied on some late-game magic to power them to a 5-4 win. Arrowhead seems to be back as one of the top teams in the entire state after a forgetful start to the season. Recently their offense has started to find their rhythm at the plate, and if they continue to put up these type of numbers, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them back in Appleton in June. 

+ No. 11 Waterford Union (19-4): After wrapping up a Southern Lakes Conference championship, the Wolverines have found their rhythm before the start of the playoffs, moving them up to No. 11 in the Power 25. Despite dropping a game to South Milwaukee to start the week, Waterford bounced back with a conference-clinching victory over Union Grove, dominating the Broncos from the start. The star players stepped up, as they’ve done for most of the year, as RHP Dylan Questad (2023; Arkansas commit) and OF Garrett Kay (2023; Illinois-Chicago commit) were the difference-makers in this monumental game. In the 10-0 victory, Questad, one of the top prospects in the state, twirled a two-hitter and struck out 10 batters in his five-inning complete game. Kay did his damage at the plate, driving in a team-high five runs via two home runs. All of this came against one of the top teams in the state, emphasizing the dangerous power that this Wolverines team brings to the table, shaping them up to be a tough-out in the playoffs. 

+ No. 18 Ashwaubenon (18-5): The Jaguars only picked up one win this week, but their recent success and share of a Fox River Classic title has moved them up a couple of spots to No. 18 in the final Power 25 update of the regular season. Ashwaubenon extended their winning streak to six games with a 9-0 victory over Green Bay Southwest, highlighted by multiple quality performances. Offensively, INF Eason Hurd (2024; Creighton commit), OF Caden Van Duyse (2023), and 1B Eli Zollar (2023; Wisconsin-La Crosse commit) led the way, powering the offense all season and in their lone game in the past week. Hurd had three hits and three RBIs, along with a 2-for-3 performance turned in by Van Duyse. Zollar hit a two-run home run in the victory, summarizing the success the Jaguars have had in their 2023 campaign. RHP Ian Aoki (2025) threw six shutout innings, punching out seven batters while twirling a two-hitter in the process, emerging as one of the top pitchers for Ashwaubenon as they begin their playoff run today with a matchup Green Bay East/West. 

+ No. 19 River Falls (16-6): The Wildcats bounced back after struggling for a couple of weeks and moved up in our rankings by accumulating two wins over Chippewa Falls and a victory over non-conference foe: Superior. The offense, which has faltered at times throughout the year, picked it up against the Cardinals, especially in their 8-3 win. INF Teddy Norman (2023; Wisconsin-La Crosse commit), C Chase McQuade (2024) and 3B/RHP Cayden Mueller (2024) were the leaders, combining for six hits and four RBIs between the three prospects. Mueller came up big on the mound as well, as the right-hander threw 5.2 innings, striking out eight batters in the win. On Friday, RHP Eli Condon (2023) shut down Superior in a four-inning start, striking out a total of six batters and held the Spartans to zero runs, priming River Falls to be a dangerous No. 5 seed in their sectional.


+ No. 24 Reedsburg (16-3): The Beavers are the lone team in Week 9 to enter the Power 25, as they make their first appearance on the rankings all season. Reedsburg only lost one game in all of April, and they’ve only dropped one match in the month of May. Part of the reason for that has been the play of CF Edison Alonso (2023; Madison JC commit). Over the entire season, Alonso has come up with clutch hits and has launched multiple home runs as the leader of this team. In one of his most recent examples, Alonso hit a walk-off home run against Edgewood to end a 15-inning marathon game. His younger brother, INF Winston Alonso (2026), has excelled as a freshman with Reedsburg, taking over the SS position and the leadoff spot for the Beavers. He hit two home runs in that 4-3 win over the Crusaders, displaying advanced power and a developed maturity on the varsity stage. OF Alek Southworth (2025) has been a nice complement to these two as well, adding depth onto the No. 1-seeded Beavers, who play Adams-Friendship today in a regional semifinal matchup. 


+ No. 13 Denmark (24-2) and No. 17 Mosinee (20-2) have both once again put together dominant seasons in the Division 2 field, as both teams continue to hover in the middle of the Power 25. Each team has consistently won games throughout the entirety of the season, and shape up to once again be state contenders at the conclusion of the playoffs. The Vikings, led by RHP/INF Lucas Miller (2023; Wisconsin-Whitewater commit) and OF/RHP Ethan Ovsak (2023), have only given up one run since May 12th. In their last six games, Denmark has outscored their opponents 47-1, as they take a 13-game winning streak into the playoffs. On the other hand, the two-way efforts of INF/RHP Keagen Jirschele (2024) and the offensive play OF Taylor Lemanski (2024) have powered the Indians to a current 15-game winning streak. As both teams took their conference championships, they now look to meet each other in Appleton in a couple of weeks for the state tournament. 


Chilton was the lone team to drop out of the Power 25 rankings after losing their first game of the season to Kewaunee, a power in the Division 3 field. The Tigers set up well for the playoffs in one of the tougher Division 2 groups of teams, including Notre Dame Academy, Waupun, and the aforementioned Denmark. Altoona (19-4), Kettle Moraine Lutheran (22-4), and De Pere (18-7) continue to sit on the bubble as the WIAA begins their playoff stretch to end the 2023 spring season. 


+ Altoona (19-4)
+ Kettle Moraine Lutheran (22-4)
+ De Pere (19-7)
+ Kenosha St. Joseph (18-5)
+ Kewaunee (22-4)
+ La Crosse Aquinas (18-2)
+ Medford Area (21-4)
+ Waupun (19-4)
+ Beloit Turner (21-3)
+ Chilton (21-2)
+ Whitefish Bay (19-7)
+ Menasha (17-6)


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