Nate Stevens photo

Nate Stevens hit .512 with eight home runs and 38 RBIs last season to lead Waunakee to the WIAA Division 1 state title.

Opponents often elected not to run the bases against the powerful and accurate arm of Waunakee senior catcher Nate Stevens.

Opposing pitchers also thought twice about throwing anything too good to the left-handed swinging University of Arkansas commit when he stepped into the batter’s box.

In other words, Stevens faced teams this season well-aware of his abilities and wary to let him beat them.

Still, the 6-foot, 197-pound Stevens had another impactful season on the diamond, leading the Warriors to the Badger North Conference crown, a top-seeding for postseason and a top-ranking in Division 1 during the first part of the season.

He hit more than .400 and was named as the first-team catcher on the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association’s all-state team, a unanimous all-district choice, a first-team selection on the Badger North all-conference team and the player of the year in the Badger North.

Stevens also received national recognition, chosen as a third-team pick on the USA Today All-USA team.

For his efforts this season, Stevens was named the Wisconsin State Journal’s 2019 All-Area Baseball Player of the Year.

“He was pitched around all year and still put up huge numbers,” Waunakee coach Spencer Lee said. “Other teams did not run against him, so he had a huge impact on the defensive end as well as offensive.”

This season marked the third consecutive year Stevens, a two-time team MVP, was a unanimous all-conference selection, Lee said.

Stevens hit .419 and set program records with nine homers and 31 walks this season, Lee said.

Stevens knocked in 31 runs, had a 1.052 slugging percentage and was ranked 119th in Perfect Game’s top 500 players, according to USA Today’s statistics.

Stevens drove in a school-record 38 runs in 2018 when Waunakee won the WIAA Division 1 state championship in 2018 and he was the State Journal’s player of the year.

The top-seeded Warriors were upended 1-0 in 11 innings by ninth-seeded Verona in a regional final this season.

Stevens and Janesville Craig senior Dan Blomgren were the two area players on the coaches’ all-state first team.

Others considered for the All-Area honor included Blomgren, Janesville Craig pitcher Mitchell Woelfle, the Big Eight Conference player of the year, and Mineral Point’s Liam Stumpf and Grady Gorgen.

Wisconsin State Journal’s All-Area Coach of the Year: Mineral Point coach Jordan Tibbits.

Tibbits, the SWAL coach of the year, directed the Pointers to a 27-1 record, the SWAL title and a berth in the WIAA Division 4 state title game.

Second-ranked Mineral Point defeated Belmont 6-2 in the state semifinal and carried an undefeated record into the state championship game, before falling to undefeated and top-ranked Webster 11-1 in the final.

“What we did this year isn’t measured by how we played today,” Tibbits said in comments after the title game. “It’s been an unbelievable year — the fact that we got here undefeated and the road we took. I’m just super-proud of these guys.”

Others considered for the coaching honor included Sun Prairie’s Rob Hamilton, who directed the Cardinals to the Division 1 title game, and McFarland’s John Feldner, who guided the Spartans to the Division 2 state semifinals.

Wisconsin State Journal 2019 All-Area Baseball team

First team

Pitchers — Mitchell Woelfle, sr., Janesville Craig: U.S. Air Force Academy commit Woelfle led Craig to the Big Eight Conference title. He was a first-team all-Big Eight choice, the conference player of the year and a second-team selection as a pitcher on the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association all-state team.

Nick Carpenter, sr., Lake Mills: Carpenter, a UW-Stevens Point commit, led Lake Mills to the Capitol North Conference title. He was on the first team in the Capitol North, was named the conference player of the year and received honorable-mention recognition on the WBCA all-state team.

Justin Swanson, jr., Johnson Creek: Swanson led Johnson Creek to the Trailways South title. He was a first-team all-conference choice, the league player of the year and was WBCA Southeast district player of the year in Division 4.

Reagan Klawiter, sr., Verona: Illinois State commit Klawiter was a first-team selection as a pitcher in the Big Eight Conference. He led Verona to a WIAA Division 1 sectional final against Sun Prairie.

Catcher — Nate Stevens, sr., Waunakee: Arkansas commit Stevens led Waunakee to the Badger North Conference title. He was a first-team selection on the WBCA all-state team; a unanimous first-team choice on the Badger North team and the conference player of the year; a third-team national pick on the USA Today team.

Infielders — Dan Blomgren, sr., Janesville Craig: Michigan commit Dan Blomgren, sr., led Craig to the Big Eight Conference title, a top-ranking for several weeks of the regular season and a top-seeding entering postseason. He was a first-team selection on the WBCA all-state team and a first-team all-Big Eight performer.

Liam Stumpf, so., Mineral Point: Stumpf led second-ranked Mineral Point to the SWAL title and to the Division 4 state title game. He was a first-team all-conference selection and was a WBCA second-team all-state pick who played multiple positions for the Pointers, including as an infielder, outfielder, catcher and pitcher.

Reece Samuel, sr., McFarland: Samuel led McFarland to its first state appearance in the Division 2 semifinals. He was WBCA South Central district player of the year, a WBCA honorable-mention selection on the all-state team and a first-team choice on the Rock Valley Conference all-conference team.

Joe Hauser, jr., Waunakee: Hauser, who has orally committed to Arizona State University, led Waunakee to the Badger North title. Hauser -- who played second, third, shortstop and pitcher -- was a first-team all-Badger North pick and received honorable-mention recognition on the WBCA all-state team.

Outfielders — Dylan Nevar, jr., Wisconsin Dells: Nevar led Wisconsin Dells to the South Central Conference title and to a Division 2 sectional semifinal. He was a first-team pick as a pitcher and an outfielder in the South Central, the conference player of the year and a WBCA second-team all-state selection.

Spencer Bartel, jr., Sun Prairie: Bartel led Big Eight runner-up Sun Prairie to a Division 1 title game appearance against Eau Claire North. He was a first-team all-Big Eight performer and earned honorable-mention recognition on the WBCA all-state team.

Grady Gorgen, jr., Mineral Point: Gorgen led SWAL champion Mineral Point to an appearance in the Division 4 title game against Webster. Gorgen, a versatile player for the Pointers, was a first-team all-conference choice, was named the SWAL player of the year and received WBCA all-state honorable-mention recognition.

Utility — Nick Smith, jr., Waunakee: Smith led Waunakee to the Badger North title. He was a unanimous all-conference pick, playing infielder, pitcher and designated hitter, and was conference co-pitcher of the year with Reedsburg’s Hayden Hahn. Smith, whose 37 RBI this season was second-most in program history, earned WBCA honorable-mention all-state recognition as a utility player.

Second team

Hayden Hahn, sr., Reedsburg; Michael Zande, sr., Monona Grove; Corbin Ovist, sr., Beloit Memorial; Justin Baehler, jr., Mineral Point; Drake Baldwin, sr., Madison West; Adam Juran, sr., Sauk Prairie; Spencer Hans, sr., Lake Mills; Thomas Hartlieb, sr., Madison Edgewood; Carson Shepard, so., Sun Prairie; Ryan Taylor, so., Verona; Robbie Knorr, sr., Sun Prairie; Alex Ryan, jr., Lakeside Lutheran; Jack Krumbach, sr., Madison Memorial; Andrew Newton, sr., Madison Edgewood.

Honorable mention

Tyler Denu,sr., Mount Horeb; Jaydon Winkers, sr., Belleville; Isaac Lindsey, jr., Mineral Point; Grant Bossert, jr., Mineral Point; Josh Caron, so., Sun Prairie; Curtis Cox, sr., Mineral Point; Brett Faltersack, sr., Watertown; Brady Gerothanas, sr., Monona Grove; Ethan Haefner, jr., Milton; Trenton Herber, sr., Monona Grove;

Eric Hughes, jr., Janesville Craig; Evan Jackson, so., Milton; Kyle Jungers, sr., Madison Memorial; Brett Kiger, sr., Beloit Memorial; Keegan Knutson, fr., Milton; Taiten Manriquez, jr., Waunakee; Wyatt Molitor, sr., Reedsburg; Cal Olson, so., DeForest; Micah Overley, sr., Janesville Craig; Will Ross, jr., Waunakee;

Matt Rusch, sr., Oregon; Jordan Schaefer, sr., Mount Horeb; Clark Schmaling, sr., Janesville Craig; Mitchell Wendler, sr., Madison Edgewood;

Denver Evans, sr., Cambridge; Luke Kelly, sr., Belleville; Riley Zirbel, jr., Lake Mills; Matt Ballweg, sr., Middleton; Ryan Herbst, sr, Janesville Craig; Liam Moreno, so., Sun Prairie; Kyle Murphy, jr., Madison Memorial; Noah Wendler, jr., Sun Prairie;

Ryan Brost, sr., Jefferson; Gavin Burke, sr., Lodi; Clay Caminiti, sr., Wisconsin Heights; Trent Casper, sr., Columbus; Tyler Chadwick, so., Marshall; Lucas Esser, jr., River Valley; Austin Fahey, sr., Belleville; Simon Fuerstenberg, sr., Deerfield; Carson Galla, jr., Deerfield; Kevin Gorman, sr., Poynette;

Bow Hartwig, so., Johnson Creek; Bryce Henningsen, sr., Johnson Creek; Carson Hill, jr., Evansville; Dylan Horstmeyer, jr., Marshall; Blake Huebner, so., Waterloo; Will Jewell, jr., River Valley; Harley Jones, sr., Lake Mills; Carson Knapp, sr., Deerfield; Ben LaRonge, sr., Deerfield; Kolby Kapsner, jr., Cambridge;

Micah Larsen, jr., Watertown Luther Prep; Jordan Marty, jr., Cambridge; Brandon Molldrem, sr., Dodgeville; Dylan Musiedlak, sr., Wisconsin Dells; Payton Orlando-Baldauf, sr., Cambridge; Carson Possehl, so., Lodi; Anthony Purpi, sr., Johnson Creek; Jackson Richter, sr., Belleville; Jacob Rockwell, fr., Wisconsin Dells; Malachi Roeseler, sr., Watertown Luther Prep;

Joel Schewe, sr., Watertown Luther Prep; Kyle Schupmann, fr., Watertown Luther Prep; Noah Stark, jr., Poynette; Brennen Tofson, jr., Wisconsin Dells; R.J. Veinberg, so,. Dodgeville; Anthony Vivian, so., Dodgeville; Jared Vogel, jr., Jefferson; Ben Wileman, jr., Edgerton; Stuart Woller, sr., Mount Horeb; Branden Zastrow, jr., Fort Atkinson;

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Pitchers: Connor Prielipp, sr., Tomah (9-2 record, 0.68 ERA); Trey Krause, sr., Burlington (7-0-2, 0.54); Ben Hampton, jr., West De Pere (9-1, 0.99).

Catcher: Nate Stevens, sr., Waunakee (.419 batting average).

Infielders: Marcus Cline, sr., Fall Creek (.534); Seth Coker, sr., Athens (.594); Max Wagner, jr., Green Bay Preble (.507); Dan Blomgren, sr., Janesville Craig (.419).

Outfielders: Sam Stange, sr., Eau Claire North (.538); Tanner Peterson, sr., Wilmot (.468); Cory Walker, sr., Beloit Turner (.467).

Utility: Donovan Brandl, sr., Wisconsin Rapids (.457; 7-1, 1.79); Jack Washburn, sr., Webster (.529; 12-0, 0.13).


Pitchers: Hunter Vikemyr, sr., Viroqua (8-0, 0.64); John Nett, sr., Kimberly (8-0-1, 1.74); Mitchell Woelfle, sr., Janesville Craig (10-1, 1.00).

Catcher: Colin Kalinowski, sr., Oak Creek (.408).

Infielders: Bailey Banaszynski, sr., Brookfield East (.415); Owen Washburn, so., Webster (.561); Paul Toetz, sr., Greendale (.473); Tyler Tetzke, jr., Appleton West (.489); Liam Stumpf, so., Mineral Point (.476).

Outfielders: Hunter Slaats, sr., Sussex Hamilton (.425); Dylan Nevar, jr., Wisconsin Dells (.486); Brady Renfroe, jr., Antigo (.437).

Utility: Eric Erato, jr., Sussex Hamilton (.405; 6-1, 1.68).


Pitchers: Jace Kressin, sr., Menomonie (4-2-4, 1.03); Shane Ryan, sr., Markesan (12-0, 0.90); Luke Hansel, sr., Union Grove (8-0-1, 1.02).

Catcher: Zane Schreiner, sr., Rib Lake (.540).

Infielders: Adam Hill, sr., Wauwatosa East (.392); Drew Hennessey, sr., Highland (.519); Xavier Watson, sr., South Milwaukee (.484); Spencer Hans, sr., Lake Mills (.471).

Outfielders: Gunnar Doyle, jr., Oak Creek (.453); Zach Boehnlein, sr., Chilton (.463); Nic Koenig, sr., Howards Grove (.489).

Utility: Gavin Gillitzer, sr., Prairie du Chien (.384; 3-2-1, 1.75.


Pitchers: Chris Barnes, sr., Sussex Hamilton (10-1-1, 1.31); Tommy Lamb, jr., Grafton (6-1-1, 1.13); Caden Bronkhorst, sr., Waupun (9-1, 1.83); Nevin Wall, sr., Holmen (5-0, 1.52); Joe Stoffel, jr., River Falls (6-0, 0.83); Hunter Rosenbaum, sr., Webster (11-0, 0.10); Jacob Wilde, sr., Waukesha West (6-1, 1.34); Cade Alexander, sr., Medford (10-0, 1.36); Ryan Stefiuk, jr., Green Bay Preble (2.01); Jett Thielke, sr., Bay Port (7-2-2, 0.50); Nick Carpenter, sr., Lake Mills (9-0, 0.90); Sebastian Noskowiak, sr., Antigo (7-1, 1.79).

Catchers: Cooper Schlosser, sr., West Bend East (.348); Ethan Toone, sr., Brookfield East (.449); Trevon Van Egtern, sr., La Crosse Central (.388); Justin Baehler, jr., Mineral Point (.380); Trevor Gustafson, sr., Webster (.419); Tyler Landgraf, sr., Random Lake (.416); Jacob Debruin, jr., Manitowoc Lincoln (.395); B.J. Konkel, jr., Green Lake/Princeton (.586).

Infielders: Logan Mantz, sr., Slinger (.528); Brady Marget, so., Whitefish Bay (.432); Jacob Berendes, sr., Shullsburg/Benton (.475); Colton Schraepfer, sr., Pecatonica (.494); Anthony Pogodzinski, jr., Eau Claire North (.439); Justin Sedin, sr., Northwestern (.547); Tyler Brandenburg, sr., Lake Country Lutheran (.525); Reese Dutton, sr., Kenosha Tremper (.337); T.J. Manteufel, jr., Union Grove (.382); Carter Hanke, sr., Marathon (.500); Jaden Werner, jr., Crivitz (.471); Eric Langseth, sr., Antigo (.404); Colton Wright, sr., Auburndale (.509); Noah Miller, so., Ozaukee (.492); Luke Renard, jr., Wrightstown (.529); Fletcher Dallas, sr., Valders (.439); Joe Hauser, jr., Waunakee (.386); Reece Samuel, sr., McFarland (.444).

Outfielders: Michael Lippe, fr., Whitefish Bay (.430); Cade Jahns, sr, Ripon (.487); Grady Gorgen, jr., Mineral Point (.456); Kevin Koelbl, sr., Holmen (.396); Jaden Schwantz, so., River Falls (.418); Mitchel Voller, jr., Eau Claire Memorial (.434); Spenser Kent, sr., Franklin (.427); Carter Kurki, sr., Iola-Scandinavia (.412); Brady Franz, sr., Stevens Point (.385); Zach Kehl, jr., Hustisford-Dodgeland (.508); Alex Ryan, jr., Lakeside Lutheran (.452); Spencer Bartel, jr., Sun Prairie (.344); Jack Krumbach, sr., Madison Memorial (.377).

Utility: Cade Osborn, sr., Eau Claire Regis (.475; 7-1, 3.37); Luke Fox, jr., Waukesha Catholic Memorial (.361); Will Semb, jr., De Pere (.373); Nick Smith, jr., Waunakee (.368, 6-0, 1.76); Andrew Newton, sr., Madison Edgewood (.400).



Player of the Year: Sam Stange, sr., Eau Claire North (.538; 7-1, 2.03).

South Central: Nate Stevens, sr., Waunakee (.419); Northwest: Sam Stange, Eau Claire North; Southwest: Kevin Koelbl, sr., Holmen (.396); Metro: Eric Erato, jr., Sussex Hamilton (.405; 6-1, 1.68); Northeast: Max Wagner, jr., Green Bay Preble (.507); North Central: Donovan Brandl, sr., Wisconsin Rapids (.457; 7-1, 1.79); Southeast: Trey Krause, sr. Burlington (7-0-2, 0.54).


Player of the Year: Connor Prielipp, sr., Tomah (.330; 9-2, 0.68).

South Central: Reece Samuel, sr., McFarland (.444); Northwest: Jace Kressin, sr., Menomonie (4-2-4, 1.03); Southwest: Connor Prielipp, Tomah; Metro: Caden Bronkhorst, sr., Waupun (9-1, 1.83); Northeast: Luke Renard, jr., Wrightstown (.529); North Central: Ben Hampton, jr., West De Pere (9-1, 0.99); Southeast: Luke Hansel, sr., Union Grove (8-0-1, 1.02).


Player of the Year: Marcus Cline, sr., Fall Creek (.534; 7-1, 1.28).

South Central: Shane Ryan, sr., Markesan, (12-0, 0.90); Northwest: Marcus Cline, Fall Creek; Southwest: Gavin Gillitzer, sr., Prairie du Chien (.384, 3-2-1, 1.75), and Hunter Vikemyr, sr., Viroqua (8-0, 0.64); Metro: Jake Gessert, Kenosha St. Joseph; Northeast: Fletcher Dallas, sr., Valders, (.439); North Central: Carter Kurki, sr. Iola-Scandinavia, (.412); Southeast: Tyler Brandenburg, sr., Lake Country Lutheran, (.525).


Players of the Year: Seth Coker, sr., Athens (.594; 8-1, 1.70) and Jack Washburn, Webster (.529, 12-0, 0.13).

South Central: B.J. Konkel, jr., Green Lake/Princeton, (.586); Northwest: Jack Washburn, sr., Webster (.529, 12-0, 0.13); Southwest: Grady Gorgen, jr., Mineral Point (.456); Northeast: Trevor Reinhardt, Gibraltar/Washington Island; North Central: Seth Coker, sr., Athens (.594); Southeast: Justin Swanson, Johnson Creek.


Assistant of the Year: Dale Westfall, Athens.

Metro: Bob Spanbauer, Waupun; Northwest: Teddy Joas, Eau Claire North; Southwest: Todd Carl, Shullsburg/Benton; South Central: Matt Huffman, Beloit Turner; Southeast: Mark Bombien, Greendale; North Central: Dale Westfall, Athens; Northeast: Eric Beard and Shawn Rotzenberg, Wrightstown.


(Area players listed)

Criteria: Junior or senior; must receive all-conference recognition; must have cumulative 4.00 grade-point average; coach must be WBCA member.

Neil Braker, Beaver Dam; Spencer Hans, Lake Mills; Ethan Haefner, Milton; Isaac Lindsey, Mineral Point; Dane Luebke, Waunakee; Will Ross, Waunakee.


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Jon Masson covers high school sports for the Wisconsin State Journal. He has covered a variety of sports — including the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin men's and women's basketball and volleyball — since he first came to the State Journal in 1999.