Eau Claire Memorial's Vincent Trapani throws a pitch at Carson Park in Eau Claire on April 28 (Wisconsin Baseball Central/Staff photo).
Wisconsin Baseball Central's power rankings rank the top 15 teams in the state, regardless of Division, as selected by WBC staff. Our top five in all four Divisions can be found at the bottom of the page.
In alphabetical order:
Appleton North (11-5), Bay Port (10-4), Beaver Dam (13-5), Beloit Turner (15-4), Catholic Memorial (13-6), Columbus (11-1), Holmen (12-6), Hortonville (12-5), Kenosha Bradford (14-9), Lake Mills (11-2), Oshkosh West (11-4), Watertown (14-4), Wausau West (10-5), Waunakee (13-5), Waupaca (15-3), Webster (19-2), Westosha Central (14-5), Wilmot (13-8)
The Wolverines have cooled off since starting the year 9-2. They’re 4-3 in their last seven games, bringing their record to 13-5. They split two games with Union Grove last week, which allowed No. 14 Burlington to snatch the Southern Lakes Conference title by finishing one game above Waterford in the standings. Their regular season ends with games against No. 1 Arrowhead, Wisconsin Lutheran and Fort Atkinson.
The Demons wrapped up the Southern Lakes Conference title for the third straight season by going 4-0 last week, picking up two wins apiece over Wilmot (honorable mention in this week’s rankings) and Delavan-Darien. When the playoffs begin, Burlington (14-6) will be looking for its third straight trip to state. They close out the regular season with games against No. 6 Kenosha Tremper, Catholic Memorial (honorable mention), Racine Park and Hartford.
The Warriors lost for the first time in over a month and a half last week, but proved that they can hang with any team in the state in doing so. The East Central Conference champions fell to No. 2 Sun Prairie 5-2 in a matchup of two state runner-ups from last season. Waupun – a Division 2 team – will be the favorite to win the state title when the playoffs begin on Thursday. The Warriors (17-2) have a first round bye, and close their regular season with games against St. Mary’s Springs, Markesan and Pulaski this week.
The Old Abes are back into the top 15 after splitting a two game series with No. 8 Eau Claire North last week in addition to sweeping a doubleheader against Rice Lake. Memorial is 12-4 entering the last week of the regular season. If they want to be Big Rivers Conference champions, they’ll need to beat Menomonie twice this week and hope that Eau Claire North loses at least one of its four remaining league games. Memorial also has a nonconference matchup with D.C. Everest scheduled for Saturday.
The Cardinals had four games last week, including two against top five teams, and emerged with three wins. They swept their season series with No. 3 Janesville Craig by beating the Cougars on Monday, but lost to No. 1 Arrowhead in nonconference play on Thursday. Middleton holds a half-game lead atop the Big Eight Conference standings entering this week, and will be tied with whichever team wins Monday’s game between No. 2 Sun Prairie and Janesville Craig. The Cardinals (16-6) have two games against Madison East (the second-to-last-place team in the conference) this week, and will guarantee themselves at least a share of the conference title if they win both. They also face DeForest on Saturday.
The defending Division 1 state champion is 13-5 entering the final week of the regular season and holds a 1.5 game lead over Hortonville in the Fox Valley Association. Those two square off on Tuesday in the biggest game of the conference season. The Papermakers won the first meeting 5-4 back in April. Kimberly also has games against Neenah, Kenosha Indian Trail and No. 6 Kenosha Tremper this week.
The Great Northern Conference champion Red Robins put together another good week, bringing their record to 23-2. They’ve done a lot of traveling down south this season, including trips to Sun Prairie and Kenosha last week. They lost to No. 2 Sun Prairie 2-0 on Friday, but beat Kenosha Bradford (honorable mention this week) and Beloit Memorial. They also downed conference foes Mosinee and Rhinelander. They finish their regular season with a nonconference game against Waupaca – one of the top teams in Division 2 – on Thursday.
The Huskies didn’t have their best week, going 2-2 to bring their record to 14-3. They split two games with No. 12 Eau Claire Memorial during the week, and then split a doubleheader with La Crosse Central on Saturday. They hold a one game lead over Memorial in the Big Rivers Conference standings with four games left to play, and Memorial only has two games left to make up ground. If North wins out this week or gets some help from an Old Abes loss, the Huskies will be conference champions. They face Hudson in a doubleheader on Monday and have a two-game series with River Falls on Tuesday and Thursday.
The Hornets just keep winning. They have won nine straight games, and can clinch a share of the Fox River Classic Conference title for the third straight year with a win over Notre Dame on Tuesday. A 5-3 win in nine innings over second-place Bay Port on Tuesday was huge in putting Preble (13-3) in this position. In addition to the win over the Pirates last week, the Hornets also beat Sheboygan North and Ashwaubenon.
The Trojans clinched the Southeast Conference title by sweeping Kenosha Indian Trail on Saturday. Tremper (16-2) has won six games in a row now, and its only two losses have come against teams featured in this week’s rankings. They lost to No. 2 Sun Prairie and Kenosha Bradford (honorable mention). They haven’t beaten a top 15 team yet, but they can change that this week. They face No. 14 Burlington on Monday, No. 1 Arrowhead on Thursday and No. 10 Kimberly on Saturday.
The Phantoms went 3-1 and clinched their fourth straight Bay Conference title last week. Their record sits at 18-4 entering the final week of the regular season, where they’ll try to keep their bats hot. They’ve scored double digit runs in their last three games. They play a doubleheader against Green Bay East/West on Monday and wrap up their regular season versus Ashwaubenon on Thursday.
After missing out on the Wisconsin Valley Conference championship last year, the Panthers can reassert their dominance over the league by clinching the title this week. SPASH is 17-2 overall and has a 1.5 game lead over Wausau West in the standings. If the Panthers sweep Wausau East this week, they will be conference champions. They’re in this position thanks to two big wins over third-place D.C. Everest last week, and they also swept De Pere on Saturday.
The Cougars are one of three teams that still have a shot at the Big Eight Conference title. A pivotal matchup with No. 2 Sun Prairie is set for Monday, with the winner going into a tie for first place in the standings. Craig is 18-3 this year after going 3-1 last week, with their only loss coming to No. 11 Middleton – the second time the Cougars lost to the Cardinals. After the game with Sun Prairie, Craig has a two game series with Verona on Tuesday and Thursday.
The Big Eight Conference title race all comes down to this week, and Sun Prairie still has a shot at the championship. The Cardinals (19-3) face No. 3 Janesville Craig on Monday in a game that will be as high-stakes as they come in the regular season. Whichever team wins will be tied with No. 11 Middleton atop the standings with two games left to play. Sun Prairie faces last-place Madison La Follette twice after the matchup with Craig, and also has a nonconference game against Mukwonago over the weekend. Last week, the Cardinals picked up impressive wins over No. 9 Antigo and No. 13 Waupun – adding to what is arguably the toughest schedule for any team in the state.
The Warhawks will enter the playoffs as the favorite to win the Division 1 state championship, and deservedly so. They are 18-2 right now, and won both the Classic 8 Conference regular season and tournament titles. They went 5-0 last week, including a 10-2 win over No. 11 Middleton. Arrowhead closes out the regular season with tough games against No. 6 Kenosha Tremper, No. 15 Waterford and Verona.
Dropped from the rankings: D.C. Everest, Oconomowoc, Tomah
1. Arrowhead (18-2)
2. Sun Prairie (19-3)
3. Janesville Craig (18-3)
4. Stevens Point (17-2)
5. West De Pere (18-4)
1. Waupun (17-2)
2. Columbus (11-1)
3. Beloit Turner (15-4)
4. Waupaca (15-3)
5. Catholic Memorial (13-6)
1. Webster (19-2)
2. Shullsburg/Benton (17-2)
3. St. Mary Catholic (13-2)
4. Brookfield Academy (13-1)
5. Fennimore (16-4)
1. Athens (13-0)
2. Independence/Gilmanton (15-0)
3. Pittsville (16-3)
4. Ithaca (12-2)
5. Royall (14-2)