Wisconsin came up just shy of reaching the World Series in 2017, falling in the regional championship game to eventual national runner-up Windsor University.
This year, the Badgers are hungry for a World Series berth — and have the personnel to get there.
On the mound, senior Alec Nelson returns for his final season after throwing 24 straight scoreless innings his junior year, along with a no-hitter against UW-La Crosse.
Fifth-year senior Andrew Wolfe is back for another campaign. The tall righty has lost just one game in his club baseball career.
Sophomore Ryan Molini, a hard-throwing righty, is expected to play a more prominent role in the rotation this year.
Senior Drew Rust, another fireballer, hopes to continue the success he’s seen in his career and figures to be the squad’s closer.
The Badgers also hope to get quality innings from the LA boys. Freshman Ryan Winters and sophomore Charlie Goldring are two newcomers who both hail from Los Angeles and will take their first shot at battling the bitterly cold Wisconsin spring this year.
Offensively, seniors Chris Trafton and Bobby Ehrlich return and are looking to have big seasons at the plate.
2017 offensive MVP Jake Gain returns looking to build on his impressive rookie campaign.
Junior Tyler Behle is finally fully healthy after an injury-riddled 2017 and will provide a powerful bat in the middle of the lineup. Leadoff hitter and second baseman Alexis Quintero also returns for the Badgers. Junior right fielder Ryan Wenzel, who may just be the toughest out in the NCBA, comes back as well.
Newcomer first basemen Karson Krueger brings serious power to the Badgers’ lineup and will look to make an impact right away, along with freshmen Jackson Preschler, a smooth outfielder, and Tony Spence and Cam Polce, both slick infielders.
The Badgers most valuable asset is their depth. The aforementioned names represent just the beginning of this deep and talented team, which will be a serious advantage for Wisconsin when it enters its jam-packed conference schedule.
With 19 returning players and a strong cast of new faces, the D2 squad looks poised to make a run in 2018.