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2021 Pitcher of the Year finalists announced

By WBC staff, 07/13/21, 8:45AM CDT


Denmark's Reece Piontek pitches in a Division 2 state semifinal against Rice Lake on June 30 in Grand Chute.

The Wisconsin Baseball Central Pitcher of the Year award goes to the pitcher who maintained the most consistent level of excellence over the course of the year. Players of any grade are eligible to win the award.

We've trimmed the field down to 10 finalists, representing the best of the best to take the mound in Wisconsin this spring.

The Pitcher of the Year award was first introduced in 2016. Arrowhead's Ryan Schmitt won the inaugural award, Kenosha Indian Trail's Ryan Hoerter won in 2017, Tomah's Connor Prielipp won in 2018 and Webster's Jack Washburn took home honors in 2019.

Here are the 10 finalists for this year's award, listed alphabetically by last name.

Tommy Ellisen, Kimberly senior

Ellisen was the latest in a long line of Papermakers aces. The UConn commit dominated this spring, posting a 6-1 record with a 0.46 ERA. He struck out 64 batters in 46 innings.

Cole Fialco, Menomonee Falls senior

Fialco pulled off the impressive feat of only allowing one earned run prior to the state tournament for a Phoenix team which reached the Division 1 semifinals. He finished the season 6-1 with a 0.84 ERA. The McHenry County College commit fanned 51 hitters in 58 innings.

Alex Hayes, Muskego senior

Hayes was the ace for a dominant Warriors team this season. The Madison College recruit went unbeaten with a 7-0 record and a 0.81 ERA. He struck out 59 in just 33.2 innings of work.

Bryce Leedle, Markesan senior

Leedle was a strikeout machine for the Hornets this spring. The St. Thomas commit posted 107 Ks in 48.2 innings on the mound. He went 7-0 with a 1.15 ERA to lead one of the best teams in Division 3.

Jared Lessman, St. Croix Falls senior

Lessman could not be touched this spring. The Iowa Western commit was 11-0 with a 0.64 ERA, but those were far from his only impressive stats. The righty struck out 158 hitters in 65.2 innings. He pitched three solo no-hitters.

Tommy Meyer, Wauwatosa East senior

Meyer took a couple of tough-luck losses, but don't let his 4-2 record fool you. The future Northern Illinois Husky had a sterling 0.63 ERA and averaged nearly two strikeouts per inning. He fanned 73 hitters in 45.2 innings.

Reece Piontek, Denmark senior

Denmark had the top pitching staff in Division 2, and Piontek was a huge part of that for the state champs. The southpaw was 11-0 with a 0.44 ERA. The Concordia-St. Paul commit tallied 93 strikeouts in 62.2 innings of work.

Walker Retz, Boyceville senior

Retz was dominant on both sides of the ball for the Division 4 state champions. As a pitcher, the St. Thomas recruit was 6-0 with a 0.50 ERA. He struck out 84 in 41.2 frames on the mound.

Cole Selvig, Regis sophomore

Selvig burst onto the scene in his first varsity season. The Texas commit went 7-1 as a sophomore, sporting a 1.43 ERA. He hit triple digits in the strikeout category, racking up 112 in 53.2 innings.

Joe Turco, Franklin senior

The Sabers were one of the top teams in the state this spring, and Turco was their ace. His numbers speak for themselves, especially considering the high-level competition they came against: an 8-1 record and 1.30 ERA. He fanned 60 hitters in 48.2 innings.

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