WIAA State Baseball Tournament Preview

State Baseball Tournament Preview

WIAA State Baseball Scoreboard: Matchups and Computer Predictions

THE TOURNAMENT:  The 74th Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Baseball State Tournament will take place Tuesday-Thursday, June 14-16, at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium in Grand Chute, Wis.

TICKET INFORMATION:  Ticket prices for the tourney are  $11 per session plus online fees and $25 for an all-day ticket on Thursday and Friday, and $11 for each championship game Thursday. Tickets are to be purchased online on the WIAA website through GoFan, the WIAA ticketing partner, at:  https://gofan.co/app/school/WIAAWI?activity=Baseball.

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE AND PAIRINGS:  The State Baseball Tournament features four divisions. The single elimination tournament includes eight teams in Division 1 and four each in Divisions 2, 3 and 4.

* Game begins approximately 35 min. following first game of session.

Tuesday, June 14

Division 1 Quarterfinals – 8 a.m.
Game 1 – #4 Westosha Central (21-4) vs. #5 Menomonee Falls (20-7)
Game 2 – #1 Sun Prairie (26-3) vs. #8  Bay Port (19-9)*

Division 1 Quarterfinals – approx. 12:30 p.m.
Game 3 – #2 Eau Claire North (24-2) vs. #7 Greendale (20-9)
Game 4 – #3 Arrowhead (20-6) vs. #6 Milton (21-7)*

Division 1 Semifinals – approx. 5:30 p.m.
Game 5 – Winner of Game #1 vs. Winner of Game #2
Game 6 – Winner of Game #3 vs. Winner of Game #4*

Wednesday, June 15

Division 4 Semifinals – 8 a.m.
Game 1 –  #1 Regis (21-1) vs. #4 Oakfield (17-5)
Game 2 –  #2 Columbus Catholic (20-3) vs. #3 Bangor (21-5)*

Division 3 Semifinals – approx. 12:30 p.m.
Game 1 – #1 Amherst (28-0) vs. #4 Cuba City (21-4)
Game 2 – #2 St. Croix Falls (25-2) vs. #3 Kenosha St. Joseph (20-2)*

Division 2 Semifinals – approx. 5:30 p.m.
Game 1 – #1 Mosinee (26-3) vs. #4 Jefferson (23-7)
Game 2 – #2 Pewaukee (24-6) #3 Denmark (26-3)*

Thursday, June 16

Division 4 Final –  9:05 a.m.
Game 3 – Winner of Game #1 vs. Winner of Game #2

Division 3 Final –  12:05 p.m.
Game 3 – Winner of Game #1 vs. Winner of Game #2

Division 2 Final –  3:05 p.m.
Game 3 – Winner of Game #1 vs. Winner of Game #2

Division 1 Final – 6:05 p.m.
Game 7 – Winner of Game #5 vs. Winner of Game #6

PRE-FINALS LIVE ON WIAA.TV:  The pre-finals of  State Baseball Tournament will be streamed live on the WIAA.TV portal of the NFHS Network on a subscription basis. To purchase a subscription to the live programming, log-on to wiaa.tv or www.nfhsnetwork.com and click on the blue subscription graphic in the upper right side of the homepage.

FINALS LIVE ON BALLY SPORTS WISCONSIN:  Watch the WIAA State Baseball Tournament finals on Bally Sports Wisconsin or the Bally Sports Wisconsin Extra channel. The championship games in Divisions 3 and 4 will air live on Bally Sports Wisconsin and the Divisions 1 and 2 finals will air on Bally Sports Wisconsin Extra. Check local cable listings for the channel in your area. The championship finals will also be streamed live on the Bally Sports app. Register for the app and sign in with your cable or satellite authentication to stream on mobile devices.

TEAM TOURNAMENT HISTORY:  The WIAA has been sponsoring the State Baseball Tournament since 1948. Sun Prairie has won the most State championships with nine, followed by Appleton West with seven, and then Catholic Central and Nekoosa with five. La Crosse Central has appeared in the most State Tournaments with 18. Sun Prairie is next on the list with 17, and both Milwaukee Bradley, Eau Claire North and Stevens Point have reached State 15 times. Appleton West, Bay Port, Eau Claire Memorial, Janesville Craig and Oconomowoc have appeared in 14; and Eau Claire Memorial, Fond du Lac and Middleton are next with 13.

LAST YEAR:  Sun Prairie won the Division 1 championship with an 11-2 victory over Bay Port in the title game. Denmark captured the Division 2 title with a 4-1 win over Jefferson in the championship final. In Division 3, Kenosha St. Joseph Catholic downed Coleman 7-4 to claim the Division 3 championship, and Boyceville was a 4-0 victor over Rosholt in the title game to win the Division 4 crown.

THE DIVISION 1 FIELD:  Defending champion Sun Prairie is the top seed in the bracket. The Cardinals qualify for the State Tournament for the 17th time overall and essentially for the third straight time not including the 2020 season and tournament that was canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Cardinals have been crowned champions nine times, which leads the membership. In addition to last season, they won the Class A title in 1974 and added Division 1 championships in 1994, 1997, 2005, 2006, and three in a row from 2012-14. In addition, the perennial power has finished runner-up twice, including 2017 and 2019. This season, they cruised past Waunakee 9-1 in the sectional final hosted at Waunakee. The Cardinals are the champions in the Big Eight Conference this spring. Second-seeded Eau Claire North is making its 15th experience overall and the first since winning the championship in 2019. The Huskies also won the State title in 2011. In addition, they have advanced to the championship game on three other occasions, resulting in runner-up finishes in 1981, 2002 and 2005. They shutout Stevens Point 7-0 in the Eau Claire Memorial Sectional to earn another berth in the tournament field. They are the champions in the Big Rivers Conference this season. Third-seeded Arrowhead will make its fifth appearance overall and the first since a string of three consecutive experiences ended in 2018, which produced runner-up finishes in 2016 and 2018. In addition, the Warhawks made seven appearances in the State Summer Baseball Tournament between 1973 and 2009, winning State titles in 1979 and 2009. The Warhawks also recorded runner-up finishes in 1973, 1975 and 2006. They finished first in the Classic 8 Conference standings this season. They shutout Beaver Dam 2-0 to win the Oshkosh North Sectional and advance to the State quarterfinals. Westosha Central is the fourth seed. The Falcons make their first appearance since winning the title in 2002 and for the sixth time overall. They finished runner-up in the Southern Lakes Conference this spring. They return to the State quarterfinals for the first time in two decades following a 5-4 win over Franklin in the Kenosha Bradford Sectional final. Menomonee Falls is seeded fifth. The Phoenix make their second consecutive appearance in the tournament after making eight appearances in the summer baseball program with the most recent coming in 2018, which was the last season of the summer baseball program. They won back-to-back championships in 2015-16 and finished runner-up in 2001 and 2004. They return to the State Tournament this season by virtue of a 9-3 win over Whitefish Bay in the Brookfield Central Sectional final. The Phoenix placed third in the Greater Metro Conference in 2022. Sixth-seeded Milton will experience the State Tournament for the first time in the program’s history. The Red Hawks began celebrating the feat following a 5-4 win over Mukwonago in the Oregon Sectional final. They are the runners-up in the East Division of the Badger Conference this year. Seventh-seeded Greendale makes its first-ever appearance in the State Tournament or what was formally considered the State Spring Baseball Tournament. However, they made five appearances in the now-defunct State Summer Baseball Tournament. The Panthers won State championships in 1980, 1987 and 1995. They also finished runner-up in 1985. This season, they are the champions of the West Division of the Woodland Conference. The Panthers qualify out of the South Milwaukee Sectional with a 6-0 shutout over Marquette in the final.  Last year’s runner-up Bay Port, the eighth seed, returns to State for the 14th time and for the second straight season. The Pirates won back-to-back championships in 2009-10 and finished runner-up in 2012. They placed fourth in the Fox River Classic Conference this spring and reach the final field of eight teams with an 11-2 thrashing of De Pere in the sectional final conducted at Bay Port. 

THE DIVISION 2 FIELD:  Top-seeded Mosinee will make its sixth appearance at State and the first since the second of back-to-back experiences in 2017 and 2018. Their first two experiences also came in succession in 1948 and 1949 when there was only one classification. They were eliminated from title contention in the quarterfinals in those two appearances and in the semifinals in three most recent experiences. This season, the Indians are the champions in the Great Northern Conference. They trounced Rice Lake 10-3 in the Abbotsford Sectional final to join the field. Second-seeded Pewaukee makes its second State Tournament appearance after qualifying last season for the first time in what was formerly considered the spring baseball season, which resulted in a loss in the quarterfinals in Division 1. The Pirates made three appearances in the summer baseball program with the most notable experience being advancing to the semifinals in 1972. They reach the State quarterfinals this year following a 4-0 win over Kettle Moraine Lutheran in the Racine St. Catherine’s Sectional final. They are runners-up in the West Division of the Woodland Conference this spring behind Division 1 qualifier Greendale. Defending champion Denmark returns to the State Tournament as the third seed in the bracket this year. It’s the fourth appearance at State for the Vikings overall. In each of their previous three experiences, they have advanced to the championship game. Their first two resulted in runner-up finishes in 2002 and 2005. This season, they shut out Notre Dame 6-0 in the Seymour Sectional final to earn the opportunity to defend their title. The Vikings are the champions of the North Eastern Conference this season. Last season’s runner-up Jefferson is the #4 seed. The Eagles are making their eighth appearance at State. They won the championship in 2014 and had two other runner-up finishes, including  1994 and 2018. The Eagles are back for another chance at a title  after an 11-2 whipping of Dodgeville in the Waupun Sectional final. They finished runner-up in the Rock Valley Conference this season.

THE DIVISION 3 FIELD:  Amherst was issued the #1 seed. The Falcons last appeared at State in 1992, which resulted in a loss in the semifinals. Their only other experience in the tournament was in Class C in 1986. The Falcons are the champions of the East Division of the Central Wisconsin Conference this year. They rolled to a five-inning, 10-0 win over Oconto in the Crivitz Sectional final to return to State for the first time in 30 years. Second-seeded St. Croix Falls returns to the State Tournament field for the first time in 74 years. The only prior appearance resulted in a loss in the first round of the 1948 tourney. The Saints long-awaited return comes by virtue of a 3-0 shutout over Aquinas in the sectional final hosted by the Blugolds in La Crosse. The Saints are the champions of the Heart O’ North Conference in 2022. Defending champion Kenosha St. Joseph Catholic is the third seed. The Lancers have qualified for the second straight season and for the seventh time overall. They made four appearances during a span of five years from 2005-09, which resulted in a Division 2 championship in 2005 and a Division 3 title in 2006. They added another Division 3 crown in 2009 to give them four State titles. They also had a number of championships as a former member of WISAA, winning titles in 1965, 1970, 1977 and 1988. This season, the Lancers finished atop the standings in the Metro Classic Conference. They advanced to the State semifinals through the Chilton Sectional following an 8-2 win over Chilton in the final.  Fourth-seeded Cuba City will make its second State appearance, and its first since its only other experience resulted in a runner-up finish in 1955. The Cubans’ return after a 67-year hiatus from the tournament is a result of a 3-2, nine-inning victory over Viroqua in the Prairie du Chien Sectional final. They are the champions of the Southwest Wisconsin Activities League this spring.

THE DIVISION 4 FIELD:  Regis is the top seed in the bracket. The Ramblers qualify for the second straight season and the fourth time overall. They transition to Division 4 this year after qualifying in Division 3 a year ago and falling in the semifinals. In their first two appearances, they advanced to the title game, winning the title in 2002 and finishing runner-up in 2007. They earned their return to the tournament by winning the Shell Lake Sectional with a high-scoring 13-10 victory over Northwood/Solon Springs in the final. The Ramblers are the champions in the West Division of the Cloverbelt Conference this season. Columbus Catholic will experience the State Tournament for the first time in the program’s history. They placed atop the standings in the East Division of the Cloverbelt Conference this spring, and they are the representatives out of the Gillett Sectional with the 5-0 blanking of Rib Lake in the final. Bangor, the #3 seed, has made three other appearances in the State Tournament, all came in succession from 1994-96. The Cardinals won the State title in 1996 in Division 3 and was runner-up in 1994. They are the co-champions of the Scenic Bluffs Conference this season with Cashton. Their path to Fox Cities Stadium culminated with a 9-3 win over Pecatonica in the Riverdale Sectional final. Fourth-seeded Oakfield will be making its seventh State Tournament appearance and its first since 2017. The Oaks have a pair of State championships, winning titles in Class C in 1984 and 1986. Their return to the tournament field is the result of a 13-6 win over Iola-Scandinavia in the Rosholt Sectional final. The Oaks placed third in the North Division of the Trailways Conference this year.

NEED THE QUALIFIERS?:  Team information and rosters of qualifying teams for the State Tournament are available on the restricted media area of the WIAA website. 

NEED RESULTS?:  The quickest way to get results will be to access the baseball results page on the WIAA website at: https://www.wiaawi.org/Sports/Spring/Baseball/Tournament and choose the appropriate links on the “Tournament” page.

ORDER STATE MEET APPAREL ONLINE: WIAA-licensed apparel is available online for the 2022 State Baseball Tournament. To browse and purchase branded merchandise, visit the WIAA Store at: https://foxcitiesembroidery.com/swag/wiaabaseball22/.

FOLLOW ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Receive the updates of the State Baseball Tournament on the WIAA State Tournament Twitter accounts. The Twitter account is @wiaawistate with the hashtag #wiaabase. Also like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram.

COVID PROVISIONS:  Fully vaccinated individuals should consider wearing a mask in areas of high likelihood of transmission. In addition, masks are strongly encouraged for individuals not fully vaccinated.

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David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]