What: The 72nd annual WIAA state baseball tournament.
When: Tuesday through Thursday.
Where: Fox Cities Stadium, 2400 N. Casaloma Drive, Grand Chute, off Interstate Highway 41 (Wisconsin Avenue exit).
Tickets: $8 per session ($9 with credit card), or $14 per day for an all-day admission ticket.
Parking, prohibited items: Parking is available at the stadium for $7 per day. No food, beverages, alcohol, tobacco, noisemakers, face/body paint, confetti, animals, drones or laser pens allowed.
Live streaming/television: Quarterfinals and semifinals will be streamed live on a subscription basis by the WIAA.tv portal of the NFHS Network. Championship games will be carried live on Fox Sports Wisconsin or its alternate channel, and on the FoxSportsGo app.
On the Web: Schedules, sectional brackets, live updates and statistics are available at www.wiaawi.org/Sports/Spring/Baseball/Tournament
Last year’s finals: Division 1, Waunakee 3, Hartland Arrowhead 1; D2, Waupun 4, Jefferson 0; D3, Webster 8, Neenah St. Mary 2; D4, Athens 13, Thorp 10.
Boys of summer: Last year was the final season of the WIAA’s separate summer baseball season/tournament series, so all 50 teams who played summer ball last year competed in the spring. Four former summer teams advanced to state this year: Oak Creek, Sussex Hamilton and Brookfield East in Division 1 and Ozaukee in Division 3.
Division 1 quarterfinals
(Start times approximate; the tournament often runs late)
8 a.m.: Green Bay Preble (24-3) vs. Burlington (23-5)
10:30 a.m.: Sun Prairie (22-7) vs. Oak Creek (21-6)
1 p.m.: Eau Claire North (22-4) vs. Sussex Hamilton (19-8)
3:30 p.m.: Fond du Lac (13-12) vs. Brookfield East (18-8)
Division 1 semifinals
6 p.m.: Tuesday morning winners meet.
8:30 p.m.: Tuesday afternoon winners meet.
Division 4 semifinals
8 a.m.: Webster (28-0) vs. Athens (18-4)
10:30 a.m.: Mineral Point (26-0) vs. Belmont (17-8)
Division 3 semifinals
1 p.m.: Boyceville (19-3) vs. Stratford (20-2)
3:30 p.m.: Markesan (21-5) vs. Ozaukee (12-7)
Division 2 semifinals
6 p.m.: Antigo (19-5) vs. West De Pere (27-2)
8:30 p.m.: McFarland (20-9) vs. Union Grove (26-3)
9:05 a.m.: Division 4
12:05 p.m.: Division 3
3:05 p.m.: Division 2
6:05 p.m.: Division 1
Sun Prairie already holds the WIAA record for most state championships with eight, and coach Rob Hamilton’s Cardinals are making their 15th state trip and sixth in the last eight years. The Big Eight Conference runners-up earned honorable mention in the final state coaches’ rankings and have won nine of their last 10 games and 17 of their last 19. That run included a 2-0 victory over Oak Creek on May 11. Junior outfielder Spencer Bartel leads the offense with a .500 average and has 24 runs batted in. Sophomore outfielder Josh Caron has a team-high 30 RBIs and is hitting .435. Junior pitcher Noah Wendler is 6-1 with a 0.37 earned-run average, and junior Matt DePrey is 3.1 with a 1.31 ERA.
Oak Creek, ranked 10th by the state coaches, is in its first spring season after winning four WIAA summer championships. Coach Scott Holler’s Southeast Conference runners-up beat West Allis Central to make state. Junior outfielder Gunnar Doyle leads the offense with a .462 batting average and 22 RBIs, and junior shortstop Austin Scoville is hitting .444. The top pitcher is senior Cade Pisca, who has a 1.77 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 31 innings.
Green Bay Preble, ranked fourth, is making its fourth consecutive state appearance, but is 1-3 over those prior three trips. Coach Andy Conard’s Hornets, the Fox River Classic Conference co-champion, beat Kimberly, 5-0, in a sectional final. Junior pitcher Ryan Stefiuk and junior infielder Max Wagner were first-team all-state picks last year. Wagner leads the Hornets with a .508 batting average, four home runs and 34 RBIs, and also tops the pitching staff with a 0.91 earned-run average and 65 strikeouts in 46 innings. Stefiuk, a left-handed pitcher, has a 0.93 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 45 innings. Senior infielder Josh Nicklaus is hitting .384 with 25 RBIs.
Burlington, ranked second, is making its fourth consecutive state trip. Coach Scott Staude’s Demons shared the Southern Lakes Conference title with Union Grove, a Division 2 state qualifier, and made state with a 2-0 win over Kenosha Tremper. Senior pitcher Trey Krause was a second-team all-state pick last year, and is 6-0 with a 0.55 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 51 innings this year. Krause also is hitting .400 with 21 RBIs and senior Trent Turzenski leads the team with 23 RBIs and three homers.
Eau Claire North is making its fourth straight state trip and 14th overall, and won its only championship in 2011. Coach Bob Johnson’s Huskies beat Wisconsin Rapids, 9-3, in a sectional final after finishing second in the Big Rivers Conference, and have won 19 of their last 20 games. Senior outfielder Sam Stange was a second-team all-state pick last year. This year, the left-hander leads the offense with a .522 average and 30 RBIs, and tops the pitchers with a 7-1 record, 20.3 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 48 innings. North earned honorable mention in the state rankings. Freshman Gabriel Richardson is hitting .450 with 29 RBIs, and senior Carter Hesselman is 6-2 with a 1.71 ERA and 38 strikeouts.
Sussex Hamilton, another former summer-ball team, beat Milton in a sectional final after sharing the Greater Metro Conference title with Menomonee Falls. Coach Mike Schramek’s Chargers received honorable mention in the state rankings. Senior center fielder Hunter Slaats has a team-best .466 batting average, with two homers and 18 RBIs. Junior Eric Erato is a top pitcher (5-1, 1.53 ERA, 70 strikeouts in 59 innings) and is hitting .391. Senior lefty Christopher Barnes is 9-1 with a 1.33 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 52 innings.
Fond du Lac has made 12 prior state visits, but the last came in 2000, when the Cardinals won the championship. Marty Paulsen has been the Cardinals’ coach for 51 years, with a 597-413 record. Fondy took ninth in the Fox Valley Association race, losing five of its last seven regular-season games, but beat Sheboygan North, 7-3, in a sectional final. Senior Sam Hernandez leads the pitching staff with a 1.71 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 53 innings, and is hitting .325 with a team-best 20 RBIs.
Brookfield East made three state trips in summer baseball before moving to spring ball this year, and beat Menomonee Falls in a sectional final. Coach Ty Johnson’s Spartans are led by senior catcher Ethan Toone, hitting .451 with 17 RBIs, and senior Bailey Banaszynski, 6-2 on the mound with a 2.38 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 41 innings.
McFarland is making its first state trip under 44-year coach John Feldner. The Rock Valley Conference runners-up beat champion Beloit Turner in a regional final, and then beat Madison Edgewood in nine innings in a sectional final. Senior infielder Reece Samuel is hitting .444 with three homers and 23 RBIs, junior lefty Xavier Schreiber is hitting .441 with two homers and 18 RBIs, and junior infielder Austin Miller is hitting .391 with a team-high 27 RBIs. J.T. Pimental has a 4-1 pitching record and 2.38 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 50 innings.
Union Grove, ranked fifth, has not been to the state tournament since 1952, but coach Nathan Meyer’s Broncos took a 9-2 victory over fourth-ranked Whitefish Bay to earn their trip after sharing the Southern Lakes Conference title. Sophomore infielder Nick Williams is hitting .409, senior Nick Hansel is hitting .408 with 34 RBIs and junior infielder T.J. Manteufel is hitting .398 with a team-best seven homers and 36 RBIs. Senior Jake Zimmerman is 7-0 with a 0.32 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 43 innings, and Hansel has a 1.02 ERA and a team-best 48 strikeouts in 41 innings.
Antigo, an honorable mention pick in the rankings, has made state for the first time since 1995. Coach Scott Farmer’s Red Robins were runners-up in the Great Northern Conference and have won 10 of their last 11 games following a three-game losing streak. Junior lefty Brady Renfro is hitting .437 with 35 RBIs and two home runs. Top pitchers are sophomore Eli Fleischman (6-1, 1.70 ERA, 28 strikeouts), senior Sebastian Noskowiak (6-2, 2.03, 40 strikeouts) and Renfro (5-2, 2.07 ERA, 68 strikeouts).
West De Pere, the state’s top-ranked team, is making its first state trip since 2010. Coach Joe Rukamp’s Phantoms return three players who earned all-state honorable mention last year: Senior left-handed pitcher Connor Langreder (8-0, 0.47 ERA, 76 strikeouts in 45 innings), junior infielder Cameron DuPont (.370, team-high 30 RBIs) and sophomore utility player Kaden Kosobucki (.421, 27 RBIs). Junior lefty Benjamin Hampton is 9-1 with a 1.10 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 57 innings.
Markesan, ranked sixth, last appeared at state in 2016, falling in a semifinal. Coach Dean Slark’s Hornets beat top-ranked Prairie du Chien, 3-1, to make state. Senior infielder Shane Ryan, an honorable mention all-state pick last year, is hitting .377 with 19 RBIs, and has an 11-0 pitching record with a 0.46 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 61 innings. Junior outfielder Josh Boening is hitting .413, and sophomore Bryce Leedle has a 0.46 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 45 innings.
Ozaukee, a former summer-ball team, is making its first trip to state in either season. Coach Steve Kowalkowski’s Warriors beat Sturgeon Bay to earn their state trip after finishing fourth in the Big East Conference. Sophomore infielder Noah Miller is hitting .492 with 18 RBIs, and junior left-handed pitcher Noah Miller has a 2.00 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 42 innings.
Boyceville, an honorable mention pick in the state rankings, made its only other state trip in 2000. Coach Michael Roemhild’s Bulldogs finished second in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference and beat Cumberland in a sectional final to take a nine-game winning streak to state. Sophomore infielder Trevor Hollister is hitting .394 with 26 RBIs, and sophomore pitcher Connor Sempf is 9-1 with a 0.98 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 50 innings.
Stratford is making its second state trip and first since 1989. Coach Marshall Lehman’s Tigers won the Marawood South Conference title and beat Neenah St. Mary in a sectional final to extend their winning streak to 13 games. Junior infielder Dawson Moen is hitting a team-best .393 with 21 RBIs, and senior Lance Heidmann is 6-1 with a 0.46 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 45 innings.
Mineral Point, ranked second, earned its second consecutive state trip, but made it as a Division 3 team last year. Coach Jordan Tibbits’ SWAL champions beat Jackson Living Word Lutheran in a sectional final to take a perfect record to state. The Pointers average 9.9 runs per game, with 17 double-digit outings, and have allowed 45 runs all season (1.7 per game). Junior shortstop Isaac Lindsey is hitting .533 with 23 RBIs, junior pitcher/outfielder Grady Gorgen is hitting .465, and sophomore pitcher/outfielder Liam Stumpf is hitting .461 with 11 home runs and 41 RBIs. Senior pitcher Curtis Cox is 8-0 with a 0.54 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 39 innings, and Gorgen is 8-0 with a 1.05 ERA and 60 strikeouts in 40 innings.
Belmont earned its first-ever state trip with a sectional victory over Bangor after taking second in the Six Rivers West Conference. Coach Trevor Kattre’s Braves have won 14 of their last 16 games. Senior infielder Colin Austin is hitting .446 with four homers and 17 RBIs, and is 5-1 on the mound with a 2.77 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 43 innings. Senior pitcher Ethan James has a 1.35 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 36 innings, and sophomore Riley Christensen is hitting .420 with a team-best 24 RBIs.
Webster, ranked first, is again a Division 4 team after spending last year in Division 3 and winning the state championship. The Tigers, coached by former major-league pitcher Jarrod Washburn, also went to state in Division 4 in 2017. Coach’s son Jack Washburn, a senior is the reigning Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association Division 3 state player of the year, and is 11-0 with a 0.13 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 55 innings. He is hitting .529 with six home runs and 45 RBIs. His younger brother, sophomore Owen Washburn, is hitting .561 with 45 RBIs and seven homers, and has a 1.12 ERA and 47 strikeouts as a pitcher. Senior pitcher Hunter Rosenbaum earned all-state honorable mention last year and is 10-0 with no earned runs allowed in 49 innings pitched, with 88 strikeouts.
Athens, the two-time defending state champion, is an honorable mention pick in the state rankings. Coach Bill Coker’s Fighting Bluejays won the Marawood North Conference and beat Gibraltar/Washington Island in a sectional final. Senior Seth Coker was the Division 4 state player of the year in 2018, and a second-team all-state pick. This year, he is hitting .594 with 22 RBIs, and is 8-1 on the mound with a 1.70 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 53 innings. Senior Dakota Willemssen is 6-0 with a 0.42 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 50 innings.