The final season of WIAA summer baseball is in full swing. These are our power rankings of the best teams playing in the summer.
Greendale (15-10), Howards Grove (14-5), Muskego (16-8), Pewaukee (17-10), Random Lake (19-5)
The Knights got their first win over a top 10 team this week when they beat No. 6 West Bend West 15-9. Their record is 15-8-1 entering this week, as they also beat Homestead and Waukesha North but fell to Brookfield Central and No. 5 Marquette last week. They don’t have an easy schedule to close out the regular season. They face Grafton, No. 8 Kewaskum, No. 7 Kettle Moraine and Muskego (honorable mention this week).
It has been business as usual for the Panthers. They went 5-0 last week to run their win streak to eight games and overall record to 21-5. They don’t play in a terribly difficult conference, but they do have a signature victory: a 2-1 win over No. 3 Sussex Hamilton. Ace pitcher Holden Reilly has been as lockdown as they get this summer. He’s allowed only one earned run all season. Plymouth closes out the regular season with games against Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah, Cedar Grove-Belgium and Cedarburg.
The Indians are pushing for the North Shore Conference championship, and have an 18-4 record overall. They went 4-0 last week, a stretch in which they pitched two shutouts. They only drop in the rankings due to other teams making big jumps up. Their season has come down to crunch time. With the conference title on the line, they face three tough teams early in the week. On Monday, they take on West Bend East (14-8). On Tuesday, it’s a matchup with No. 10 Nicolet. Then they take on defending state champion No. 6 West Bend West on Thursday. As far as the regular season goes, this has the makings of a season-defining week.
The Lasers are cruising to the Classic Eight Conference title. They clinched a share of the league championship with a win over Waukesha South on Thursday, and can win it outright this week. Kettle Moraine (16-6) has seven games scheduled for this week, of which the most noteworthy are matchups with No. 10 Nicolet (Thursday) and honorable mention Muskego (Monday and Tuesday).
The defending summer champion Spartans dropped a pair of games last week and have a 17-5 record. They fell at the hands of No. 10 Nicolet on Wednesday, meaning the two split their regular season series. They also lost to a solid West Bend East team on Thursday. Coming up this Thursday is a big North Shore Conference contest with No. 8 Kewaskum. The Spartans edged the Indians 5-2 in their last matchup. In another notable game, West faces Greendale, an honorable mention this week, on Saturday.
The Hilltoppers had a tough slate of games last week, and emerged with a 2-2 record from it. They beat Franklin and pounded No. 10 Nicolet, but lost to No. 3 Sussex Hamilton and No. 4 Menomonee Falls. Their record sits at 17-8 entering the Greater Metro Conference tournament, and they also have a nonconference game with New Berlin Eisenhower scheduled for Saturday. Then it will be time to focus on preparing for the playoffs, where they are in a brutally tough sectional.
There’s no other way to put it: The Indians are simply on fire. They’ve won 13 of their last 14 games, which has pushed their record to 20-6. During that stretch, they picked up wins over both No. 2 Oak Creek and No. 5 Marquette. Their only miscue came last Saturday, when they dropped a game against No. 3 Sussex Hamilton. They’ve got the Greater Metro Conference tournament this week before turning their attention to what’s shaping up to be a tough postseason sectional.
Menomonee Falls may be on fire, but Sussex Hamilton brought an extinguisher with them to the ballpark last week. The Chargers are hot too. They’ve won seven of their last nine, and the two losses were by one run each to No. 2 Oak Creek and No. 9 Plymouth. Last week, they beat No. 4 Menomonee Falls and No. 5 Marquette. They swept their regular season series with both of those teams. Hamilton (17-7) will be one of the favorites to win the Greater Metro Conference tournament, along with Oak Creek.
The Knights wrapped up a sixth straight Greater Metro Conference title last week. They’re 19-6 on the season, and have won five games in a row. They are the No. 1 seed in both the GMC tournament this week and their sectional next week. They were hit by a big loss this week, as slugger Alex Binelas, a late-round pick in this year’s MLB Draft, departed the team to head to Louisville. Time will tell how the Knights fare without a guy who is arguably their best player in program history.
The Popes kept their grip on the No. 1 spot tight by going 5-1 last week. They clinched the Woodland West Conference title outright, and have a 21-3 record entering this week. A loss to Waukesha South on Saturday snapped an 11-game win streak. They’ll look to get a new streak going when they take on SWCHA on Monday before heading into the Woodland Conference tournament. They also face West Allis Hale on Sunday at Fox Cities Stadium, the home of the spring state tournament.
Dropped from the rankings: Grafton (11-9).