Arrowhead will head to the WIAA State Baseball Tournament in Grand Chute next week full of confidence. The 2018 finalists ended the regular season on a six-game win streak and battled through some tough postseason matchups to reach the tournament for the first time since 2022.

The Warhawks (24-5) were the No. 3 seed in the 2022 edition of the tournament but fell to No. 6 seed Milton 8-5 in the quarterfinal. Arrowhead is the No. 4 seed this year and will play No. 5 Westosha Central on Monday at 9 a.m. at Fox Cities Stadium.

Central has not played its best baseball of late, losing its last game of the regular season 6-5 to Janesville Craig.

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In the playoffs, the Falcons beat Mukwonago 2-0 in the regional final. Central then won both sectional games 43 over Craig and Badger.

Junior outfielder Carson Sieler and senior catcher Mason Mitacek are the toptwo offensive threats for the Falcons (24-5), winners of the Southern Lakes Conference. Sieler is batting a team-best .424 with 23 RBIs and 32 runs scored, while Mitacek has belted a pair of home runs, driven in 24 and is hitting .378 on the season.

Arrowhead can expect to see junior Joe Suokko toe the rubber on Monday. Suokko, Westosha Central鈥檚 ace, is 6-1 with a 0.78 ERA and 39 strikeouts over 45 innings of work.

The Warhawks, who claimed the Classic 8 Conference, won their first two playoff games against West Allis Central and Wauwatosa West with ease. Arrowhead then beat Hamilton 3-0 in the sectional semifinal and Classic 8 Conference rival Muskego 2-0 in the sectional final at Wisconsin Brewing Company Park in Oconomowoc to reach the state tournament for the 13th time between spring and summer. The Warhawks won the summer state title in 1979 and 2009.

As good as its lineup has been, it鈥檚 the pitching staff that has led Arrowhead鈥檚 charge to the state tournament.

The Warhawks, who didn鈥檛 play any of the other seven state quarterfinalists this season, have a combined team ERA of just 1.70, led by senior Nolan Buss. In 11 games, Buss has an 80 record with an ERA of 1.07.

Junior Peter Kussow is another of the Warhawks starters who has been lights out this season. In eight games, Kussow has a record of 5-1 with an ERA of just 0.70. Six of the eight pitchers the Warhawks have called upon this season have an ERA under 3, and if the Warhawks are to advance in the tournament, they will need their pitching staff to perform the way it has all season.

Leading the Warhawks offensively are sophomore Cam Carter, and seniors Issei Takahashi and Jacob Lorbecki. Carter leads the team in batting average, hitting .366, while Takahashi and Lorbecki are hitting .341 and .337, respectively. Senior Josh Gilroy leads the power stats for the Warhawks, hitting three of the team鈥檚 six home runs, while posting an OPS over 1.200.

If Arrowhead is able to get past Westosha Central on Monday, it would set up a semifinal on Wednesday afternoon against the winner of No. 1-seeded De Pere (24-3) and No. 8 Menasha (19-6). In the other two quarterfinal contests, No. 3 seed Sun Prairie East (25-4) gets No. 6 Hudson (22-7), while No. 7 Nicolet (23-6) takes on No. 2 Oak Creek (26-3). The D1 championship is scheduled for Thursday at 6 p.m.

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