Wisconsin Power 25: Week 7


By Andy Sroka & Isaiah Glidden
Wisconsin Staff

The PBR Wisconsin staff updated the Power 25 rankings for the latest time today, Monday, following a Week 7 that bounced four programs off the top-25 and brought four, including three programs who made their season debut on the Power 25.

The top of the state’s rankings appear to have an obvious group that’s ahead of the rest, with Whitefish Bay reigning as the No. 1-ranked program in the state ever since the preseason, but the teams situated just behind them have fared well all spring, too.

The heatwave last week was a welcome change to a spring season that had previously been marred with cold, and teams across the state took advantage to play a busy Week 7 schedule.

TOP-FIVE

The top of the Power 25 has featured several season-long staples occupying the top-five spots, for the most part. Whitefish Bay is running the table, as it stands, as the No. 1-ranked team in the state, while Franklin, Arrowhead, and Kimberly have each spent the entirety of the season in one of the next four spots, in some order. While this is the first time Eau Claire North has entered the top-five this spring, they’ve spent the whole spring inside the top-10 to this point, currently leading a competitive Big Rivers Conference, now as the No. 5-ranked team in the state. 

We’ll break down these clear-cut leaders in the WIAA at this stage in the season below:

+ No. 1 Whitefish Bay (17-1): After losing their first game of the season a couple of weeks ago, the Blue Dukes have found their groove and seem to be playing their best baseball as of late. To start the week, the Blue Dukes grabbed three conference wins in dominant fashion, outscoring their opponents by 33 runs. Their conference dominance led them to a weekend matchup with Arrowhead, ranked No. 4 overall at the time, and WFB’s home field advantage came in handy as RHP/OF DJ Kojis (2022; Wisconsin-Milwaukee commit) capped a terrific all-around performance with a walk-off base hit that followed a stellar start on the mound. The Blue Dukes are looking to do what Sun Prairie accomplished just last year, and that’s going from the preseason through the regular season and playoffs as the top-ranked team on the Power 25, culminating in a state title.

+ No. 2 Franklin (15-2): The Sabers enjoyed a three-game series victory over conference foe and local rival Oak Creek, which has them just a half-game back of Tremper at the top of the Southeast, tied in the loss column with just one loss apiece now. Oak Creek was the one to actually hand Franklin its first conference loss of the year in the opening game of the series, 4-3, but the Sabers battled back to win the second and third games of last week’s series triumphantly, with the help of OF Dylan Mass (2022; Saint Leo), the Week 6 POTW who remained red hot at the plate in Week 7. Despite the narrow loss in the opener, the dominance Franklin showed in the final two games really helped their case to remain at No. 2 in this update.

+ No. 3 Arrowhead (12-3): Arrowhead nudged up a spot in this update as a result of a solid 3-1 week featuring a one-run defeat on the road in Whitefish Bay, a game in which they looked like a threat for the D1 title despite the loss. The Warhawks are 5-3 in their last two weeks, but it’s fair to call them competitive losses, and we’re high on the talent they roster – including the simmering juniors SS Ethan Hindle (2023; Kentucky) and C Thomas Curry (2023; Missouri) who are really starting to cook offensively. Those two, combined with one of the deepest pitching staffs led by one of the most dependable go-to arms in the state, RHP Mason Buss (2022; Kansas State), and Arrowhead still appears to be one of the last teams you’d want to oppose in the postseason. They have conference series with Waukesha West and Catholic Memorial this week, the latter of which will more than likely cinch up the Classic Eight, should Arrowhead come away with a sweep, or maybe even just a single win, by that point.

+ No. 4 Kimberly (13-3): This Papermakers pitching staff has been on fire throughout the season and kept up their stellar play last week as they allowed just two combined runs in their three wins. In their first game of the week Kimberly cruised to a 8-1 win over Kaukauna and then followed that up with a shutout win over a solid Neenah group. The ‘Makers then capped off their week with a 10-1 win over Oshkosh North, now 13-3 overall. Kimberly’s cruising inside the historic Fox Valley Association, and they’re armed with one of the state’s top pitching staffs, and it shows. Brothers and right-handers Brayden Deering (2023) and Sawyer Deering (2025) have been especially reliable for head coach Ryan McGinnis – Brayden’s regularly punching out seven-plus batters in complete game efforts while his freshman brother has taken to the varsity scene seamlessly. Senior RHP Al Leitner (2022; Madison JC) is equally dependable, combining to create the kind of staff depth that pushes you through Sectionals and beyond.

+ No. 5 Eau Claire North (15-2): The Huskies are putting together quite the season as they have only risen in our Power 25 updates since late April. Last week, Eau Claire North grabbed two conference wins over River Falls to extend their lead in the Big Rivers, tied with Hudson in the loss column at two, though they have three more wins than those Raiders, and the two teams are prepped for a series showdown this week, on Tuesday and Thursday. These two Big River heavyweights have been battling at the top of the conference all season and they’ll finally get to go up against each other. North managed to scrape a few runs across River Falls’ top arm and one of the best arms in the region in their opening win over the Wildcats, and the offense heated up in their three overpowering wins that followed, creating a six-game win streak.

CLIMBING

+ No. 6 Sun Prairie (15-3): The Cardinals are one of the hottest teams in the state, owning one of the best resumes of these past two weeks, earning wins over the likes of Arrowhead, Hudson, Brookfield East, and conference opponents Madison Memorial. As a result, the Cardinals have soared all the way inside the top-10, up six spots in this update. Sun Prairie started their 4-0 week off with two wins over JMM in pretty convincing fashion. They went on to defeat then-ranked Brookfield East and Hudson, our current No. 10, in the same day. The reigning Division-1 champions seem poised to continue the success they’ve proven year over year in what will be their final year as one program before the high school splits into two separate schools, East and West.

+No. 7 Marquette University (16-3): The Hilltoppers have made one of the largest jumps since the beginning of the year, as they were ranked No. 23 to start the season. Now at the No. 7 spot, Marquette is back on a hot streak following a 4-0 performance in Week 7. Their best win of the week came against then-ranked Greendale where they cruised to a 12-0 victory, breaking out of a small offensive slump that their pitching carried them through unharmed. Marquette’s pitching is their backbone, and they allowed only eight runs combined in those four victories. It also seems like the bats are coming around ever so slightly as they scored 31 runs last week, which will only make their pitching appear that much more effective. Marquette is seeming to find their groove late in the season and if they can keep it up, a game ahead in the Greater Metro standings, with some pivotal conference matchups to be played down the stretch, starting today at Brookfield East.

+ No. 8 Westosha Central (17-2): Westosha Central is a team that was unranked to start the season and now they are coming in at No. 8 in our most recent update, the highest an unranked preseason team has been on the Power 25 in 2022. Even though they did lose a tough one to Elkhorn early into the week, they bounced back to beat them the following day in style. That, coupled with two more wins in Week 7, and Westosha Central is moving up three more spots in this update, inside the top-10 for the first time. With depth in this pitching staff and some bats that are coming alive, Westosha Central is the threat that the Southern Lakes Conference is accustomed to producing come playoff time.

+ No. 10 Hudson (13-4): After dropping a handful of spots in last week's update, the Raiders are trending upwards after a solid week. Hudson’s lone loss of the week came at the hands of No. 6 Sun Prairie, a team that’s proven to be a hindrance in non-conference matchups particularly. The Raiders collected three wins on the week, two of which were conference wins against Rice Lake and the other being a dominant win over a talented Bay Port squad, 10-0. This week, Hudson is preparing for a critical two-game series with Big Rivers leaders Eau Claire North, a series that may be the biggest determiner the BRC’s race.

+ No. 12 Mosinee (18-2): After cracking the top-25 last week, Mosinee is moving all the way up to No. 12 in our most recent update, riding some of the biggest momentum in the state these past couple of weeks. We anticipated that the Great Northern would continue to surprise us with its Division-2 talent, and while we chose Medford Area to replicate its 2021 success this spring (and they mostly have), it’s this Mosinee squad that’s really started to gain steam, winners of 10 straight. Mosinee grabbed two wins from Tomahawk and one from Antigo en route to their undefeated week. Sophomore INF/RHP Keagen Jirschele (2024) has been excellent on both sides of the ball, and OF Taylor Lemanski (2024) has provided timely offense too, including last week and the week prior in their two wins over powerhouse Pewaukee. A conference series with Rhinelander awaits them this week, and a Friday meeting with a tough Division-3 team, Stratford, follows.

+ No. 13 Kenosha Tremper (18-1): Three shutouts in their sweep of Racine Park has Tremper at the top of the Southeast mountain, 14-1 in the conference, a half-game up on Franklin (both teams have one conference loss). Tremper hasn’t had the most difficult of schedules, in hindsight, but as winners of 18 of the 19 games they’ve played in 2022, that’s a commendable feat no matter how you break it down. You can only beat who you play, and Tremper has given themselves a chance to claim the Southeast, though they still have Franklin and Oak Creek on the horizon in the final two weeks of the regular season – their Sabers series starts Tuesday, and a non-con against No. 8 Westosha Central is sandwiched in between this Friday. This week’s slate will go a long way in determining the Trojans’ skill level as unlikely SEC leaders at this stage in the season.

+ No. 16 Pewaukee (18-5): A 4-0 week spurred a rebound on the Power 25 for the Pirates, as they regained two spots following wins over Cudahy, Muskego, Port Washington, and Lake Mills. Pewaukee’s OF Carson Hansen (2022; Wisconsin-Milwaukee) was an all-state performer as a junior last season and he’s on another torrid pace in his senior spring. PKE’s offense has been somewhat inconsistent this season, so Hansen’s reliability has stabilized their season as they look to hit their stride in time to coincide with the postseason ahead – though they have a huge two-game set with New Berlin Eisenhower this week, games in which they’ll need to win in order to have a chance to snatching the Woodland West from Greendale, which leads by a game.

+ No. 18 Edgerton (16-2): The Tide’s best week of the spring – a 5-0 stretch – saw them take care of business against some of their conference’s programs that have struggled in 2022. They scored double-digit runs in all five games and limited their opposition to just eight runs combined, giving themselves a chance to scoop up the Rock Valley down the stretch, which would be majorly unexpected as Turner and Jefferson are both so accustomed to winning it. The three programs each split their two-game sets against each other, and they RVC standings reflect that, though Jefferson’s early season loss to Evansville has them hoping for Turner and Edgerton to drop a conference game down the stretch. Edgerton, meanwhile, was led last week by senior Peyton Lee (2022; Winona State), who went 11-for-14 with four extra-base hits that generated 15 RBIs and he punched out 13 in last Tuesday’s 13-1 win at Big Foot.

+ No. 19 Kenosha St. Joseph (12-0): The reigning Division-3 champs remain undefeated in 2022, and they notched three more wins last week, capped by a no-hitter recorded by Andrew Setter, featuring 10 Ks. Uncommitted junior INF Brady Davidson (2023) was expectedly at the center of things offensively, to help keep the Lancers’ lineup rolling in its latest lopsided wins. St. Joe’s is in the driver’s seat of the Metro Classic standings, up four games now, as they’re preparing to retain their state title, looking like the D3 favorites in the process.

+ No. 21 Amherst (17-0): The Falcons are the second highest ranked Division-3 program on our Power 25, and one of just a few remaining undefeated teams in the state. They capably won their first three games last week over Iola-Scandinavia and twice against Menominee Indian but were up against the ropes on Saturday morning in their meeting with Columbus Catholic. Down to their final out with the bases loaded, trailing 5-2, senior RHP/INF Ben Lee (2022; Wisconsin-Milwaukee) clubbed the dramatic walk-off grand slam to pull them all the way back in front, keeping their undefeated season intact. There’s something special brewing inside this Central Wisconsin dugout.

WELCOME…

+ No. 20 Wautoma (15-2): Sophomore OF/LHP Logan Dunn (2024) is one of the top-ranked players on our state’s Class of 2024 rankings, and he’s playing like one of Wisconsin’s top pound-for-pound players. Wautoma has won six straight since its narrow 1-0 loss to Adams-Friendship, and Dunn has been largely responsible for this recent hot streak. In Week 7, Dunn was 11-for-15 with six extra-base hits – including a pair of homers – and he drove in 13 runs. He also K’d 14 in their statement win over Westfield, which was the only other team to beat them earlier in the year. And as talented as Dunn is, Wautoma isn’t powered by him alone. Senior RHP Hoyt Keller (2022; Wisconsin-Oshkosh) just no-hit Lourdes Academy in five innings and C Kyler Fenske (2022; Marian, WI) has also been very productive this season from the middle of the order, same goes for Christian (2023) and Sam Weiss (2021). The Hornets are also one of just two teams to have beaten streaking Mosinee this year, currently ranked as the top Division-2 team in the state – as you might expect, it was Dunn who dealt in that 2-1 win, as he struck out 11 batters in a near-complete game performance. Welcome, Wautoma, to the Power 25.

+ No. 23 Denmark (17-3): The Vikings graduated some of the most productive players across the Division-2 scene last spring, and we thought that might prevent them from repeating as D2 champs. Well, they continue to prove as wrong, as Denmark is now 17-3 overall – and all three losses were by a single run in low-scoring, well-played matchups against talented opponents. The Vikings clearly returned enough to maintain their presence as one of the state’s top D2 teams, and their latest win over D1 Manitowoc Lincoln helped make that case, led by RHP Luke Miller’s (2023) six Ks in a CG victory, and he was 3-for-3 in the game, too, showing that he’s stepped into his brother Brennen’s (2021; College of Lake County JC) big shoes just fine. Returners like MIF Abe Kapinos (2022), OF Hayden Konkol (2022; St. Cloud State), and C Rheis Johnson (2023) have helped Denmark fill the holes it graduated smoothly, and now Denmark has a head of steam as the postseason nears.

+ No. 24 La Crosse Aquinas (18-2): The Blugolds are tied for the most wins in the state, across all divisions, and that’s placed them right back onto the Power 25 after a one-week absence. In Week 6, Aquinas dropped two conference games to Holmen and La Crosse Central, but they rebounded in Week 7 with a 1-0 win over Logan and overwhelming wins over Luther and Sparta to get right back on track. RHP/C Nolan Hargrove (2022) tossed a clutch complete game shutout of Logan and senior Chris Wilson’s (2022) infield single scored the walk-off run after Kyle Keppel’s (2022) single opened the inning, and Keppel stayed hot all week. Sophomore Eddie Peters (2024) is one of the state’s top ‘24s, and energizes this lineup consistently. The Blugolds’ huge Monday meeting with Onalaska will likely determine the winner of the Mississippi Valley, a conference the Blugolds haven’t won outright since 2015, though they tied Onalaska and La Crosse Central for it last spring.

+ No. 25 Homestead (14-3): The Highlanders are one of the season’s biggest surprises, especially after starting 0-2, with losses to Whitefish Bay and Nicolet. Homestead has won 10 in a row now, and that includes a monumental upset of North Shore rivals Whitefish Bay – and it remains the Blue Dukes’ lone blemish. Senior C Will Vierling (2022; Louisville) is one of the top hitters in the state, batting .571 this spring with seven extra-base hits, though sophomore LHP/1B Jackson Brewer (2024) has matched his offensive production for the most part, with four doubles and two homers this year, as well as 13 RBIs, and Brewer’s gaining more confidence on the mound, too, with 33 Ks in 22.1 innings. RHP/1B Drew Gernert (2023) has been Homestead’s most reliable arm, however, and he’s allowed just six earned runs this season in nearly 30 innings, to go along with 37 punch-outs. Homestead’s chances of catching WFB in the North Shore might be out of reach, but they’re playing like a threat come playoff time regardless.

DROPPED OUT

+ Greendale (15-6)
+ Stevens Point Area (13-5)
+ University School (16-2)
+ Brookfield East (11-6)

ON THE BUBBLE

+ Lake Country Lutheran (16-3)
+ Medford Area (16-5)
+ Edgewood (13-2)
+ Ashwaubenon (14-4)
+ Oconomowoc (13-3)
+ Appleton North (12-4)
+ Middleton (14-5)
+ Jefferson (16-5)
+ Eau Claire Regis (13-0)
+ Saint Croix Falls (17-1)

**Click here to view the PBR Wisconsin Power 25 board in full.**


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